When you take a look around at the vast majority of business advice sites, customer service is always close to the top of the list of recommendations. And it’s easy to see why. Without customers, companies will quickly go the way of the dodo.
But the strange thing is that few businesses - including the vast majority of startups - spend the right levels of time, effort or money on customer service. What’s even more disappointing is that there is a multitude of technologies available to help startups and bigger, older businesses lay out a great platform to develop and improve customer relations.
So, in today’s guide, I’m going to go through some of the key tech that all startup owners should be considering to use as part of a stronger customer service plan. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know.
Variety and choice in communication
The modern consumer is used to having a choice - for almost everything they do in life. That includes communicating with businesses, and it’s important for startup owners to recognize this fact. People are different, and unless you are allowing for those differences, you will ostracize some of your core audience. For example, some people love to talk on the phone - so a regular phone number and a VoIP platform is essential to serve them. Others might like sending messages, so businesses should consider offering the opportunity for clients to contact them via email, texts, or, the recent newcomer to the table, Live Chat.
Show empathetic skills
Are you addressing your customer’s direct needs? Or are you leaving them frustrated at every turn? If so, it might be time to have a long hard think about empathy - and starting to look like you actually care about your customers. Again, technology can help. Start by using analytics software to find out when and where customers are leaving your website. Look at the search terms they are using to access your site, or the searches they perform while on it. Is there anything they are looking for that you aren’t giving them? Finally, start using technology to spread the word about your ideal customer's concerns. Talk about them on social media, and use other digital marketing tools to get a name for yourself.
Invest in apps
Apps are another technology well worth investigating, whether you are a startup or an established business. You can use them for a variety of reasons, including getting your brand name out there, enhancing your customer’s experience, or just giving them something extra. Mobile phone app developers can help you create something that helps, inspires, or fixes their direct problems. Apps are also a great way of laying the groundwork for more sales, as a kind of wide funnel in the sales process. You can offer it free to customers, while they get great use out of it. Then, they come back to you when you have something more technical or worthwhile - and they will happily pay for it.
Create a variety of content
As I mentioned earlier in the post, people these days love variety - and they expect it, too. So, you should be bearing this in mind when it comes to creating content, advice, and tutorials on your site or blog. Not everyone wants to sit down and spend 30 minutes reading a blog post. Others might prefer a video or a podcast. Some people take in information more visually, so may like to see infographics. The point is unless you are catering for all these people, it’s unlikely you will be able to start developing better relationships with them. Make sure you are creating a broad range of content, and using every medium you can to get your message across - you will find you start relating to much more people than you did before.
Security and trust
In this day and age, it is vital to win the confidence of your customers. Look at security technology that ensures that your client’s data is as safe as possible. The simple truth is that if a customer feels like they can’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. So, don’t just invest in tech security - shout about it from the rooftops. Make sure your clients know exactly how seriously you take your responsibilities, and explain the security programs and protections you use. When people feel safe, they will be more liable to open their purse strings and spend.
As you can see, technology can help you find, retain, and help your customers in many different ways. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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