We Know Our Technology, But Do We Know Our Customers?

Sounds like a strange question, but you would be amazed to learn how many companies implement new CRM technology without first considering the question “Do we know our customers? All of them?”.

Customer service technology

When it comes to business, customer service is crucial. Every business is looking for better ways of delivering high quality customer service through cost-effective methods.

Over the past few years, customer service technology has improved to help close the gap between meeting customer expectations and staying within a budget.

This strategy of managing a company’s interactions with clients, potential sales, and customers through the use of technology, customer support, and marketing is called Customer Relationship Management, or CRM.

As technology has improved, its role in the CRM strategy has continued to increase. Here are a few examples of these types of technologies in action.

Autoresponder

Depending on the type of business that you are running, an autoresponder can be a great form of customer service technology to start utilizing. This customer service software will automatically send out an email to customers once they have placed an order from off of your site. This is a good way for the customer to know that their order has been received and is being processed. You can include contact information, shipping timelines, and information about ordering processes with the emails that are sent out. This helps your customer feel safe and secure that their purchase went through.

Voice Recognition and Call Routing

Voice recognition is a popular software that allows customers to speak a request in the phone rather than dial buttons. Rather than wasting employee time on taking calls and then just having to transfer them, it allows the customer to find the right department first through an automated process. Whenever voice recognition is used in conjunction with call routing, your customers are able to reach a knowledgeable employee very quickly.

EDI

This form of customer support stands for electronic data interchange. This is a great way for organizations to communicate with each other through their computer systems. They can exchange all of their data electronically so that companies don’t have to spend time and money on employee resources. The structure, content, and frequency of the data transfers can all be agreed upon beforehand.

Online Chat

These days, customer service is often given to clients without the need of seeing them face-to-face. Online chat is one great way to accomplish this by using instant messaging technology. The client and the customer service representative are able to communicate through a small pop-up window on the screen. The advantages to a system like this are that the customer service rep is able to help multiple customers at the same time and there can also be verbatim records of the conversations that took place.

As you can see, there are a variety of different customer service technologies out there to help organizations perform better. You have to be careful, however, that you are not using so many forms of customer service technology that you forget about the tried and true methods of good old-fashioned customer service.

More important than any technology is the idea of “getting to know” your customers. Most people would rather talk to a real person than have to work with a machine. If your automated customer support methods are frustrating your customers more than they are helping them, it may be time to rethink your customer relationship management strategy.

Customer feedback is something that a lot of companies pay good money for with surveys and forms. With a solid customer service plan, you can get that feedback for free through the interactions of clients and customer service reps.

The main goal of any CRM strategy is to help your customers feel like their business is valued. If your customers feel valued by your company, they are much more likely to come back for future products and services. Superior customer service can be the factor that turns a casual customer into a loyal client.

This can spill over into other aspects of your business model including advertising and potential leads. Since every company is so different, you will need to find the right combination of technologies and employee support to help your business function efficiently.

While technologies can be picked on a trial and error basis, solid customer service principles cannot. Get to know your customers first, then add technology and software to your CRM strategy to take your business to the next level.

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