5 Ways Technology Can Help You Strengthen Customer Relationships
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses have been forced to reevaluate their modus operandi. In an era of physical distancing and vaccines, business owners have realized the need for digitalization to better cater to increasing customer expectations.
Building strong customer relationships has always been one of the fundamental building blocks for a successful business. In recent times, however, staying competitive is tantamount to adopting modern, innovative technologies that help build these relationships more effectively.
Agility and adaptability are both traits of successful businesses. Technology can help bridge the gap between a business’ abilities and changing customer demands, which helps build strong customer relationships. You’re more likely to retain customers when they feel you’re willing to travel the extra mile to meet their expectations. That said, let’s look at some of the ways that technology can help strengthen customer relationships.
1. CRM systems improve access to customer data
Effective customer relationship management (CRM) systems can manage all your business’s interactions with its customers. They can combine data from multiple source points into a single, simple, customizable dashboard.
A CRM system can provide business managers and marketers with a clear overview of every customer. It can maintain a record of past purchases, current orders, and complaints filed by each customer. Decision-makers can then draw insights from this data with the help of automatically-generated reports. For instance, if your CRM system picks up recurring complaints about a specific product or service, you can address and contain the issue before it spirals into a huge problem. Data is the name of the game, and CRM systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365 are the future. These systems offer simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use are what make them popular.
2. CRM systems can help deliver personalized customer experiences
One of the benefits of using a CRM system is you can deliver a personalized experience to your customers. One of the problems with traditional retail differentiation techniques such as unique branding or strategic pricing is that other businesses can easily copy them. However, competitors can’t copy personalized experiences tailored to each customer.
According to recent findings by Salesforce, 61% of millennials are happy to share personal data for a more personalized shopping experience. This is a promising statistic for businesses looking to personalize customer experiences. Modern CRM systems are powerful. In addition to basic data, these systems can record a customer’s browsing patterns, searches, cart contents, and likes and dislikes. Marketers can integrate them with social media analytics systems to create personas for each type of buyer. The insights drawn from this data can help businesses understand their customers’ purchasing decisions. Subsequently, companies can deliver targeted content that can increase customer retention. Customers like to feel valued when they make purchases, and personalization does precisely that.
3. Strong social media presence increases customer engagement
Businesses sometimes make the mistake of underestimating the power of social media presence. Mobile phone usage has increased exponentially over the last decade, which has subsequently increased social media traffic. Social media campaigns are beneficial for small businesses that can’t afford to run traditional marketing campaigns.
Social media presence can help your business directly engage with customers. For instance, you can host competitions and giveaways, collaborate with influencers, and make hashtags go viral. A dedicated social media channel can help you resolve customer queries in less time. Moreover, businesses can use social media to hype up upcoming products and events.
Customer engagement helps build loyalty. Customers, especially millennials, are drawn towards businesses that are active on social media. Companies like Wendy’s, Spotify, and PlayStation are loved by all because of how strong their social media presence is.
4. Chatbots can help cut communication barriers
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 44% of customers believe that quality customer service is the most crucial factor when making purchases. Customers now expect 24/7 support and quick replies. Hence, businesses must integrate live chat tools on their websites and applications to be available.
Round-the-clock availability is what makes chatbots a superior technology for strengthening customer relationships. They can quickly provide customers with answers to FAQs in real-time. This allows customer service representatives to handle customer issues more deserving of their attention.
With advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots can do a lot more now. They can search for products, provide recommendations, place orders, and even track packages. Chatbots are a weapon that every business must have in its arsenal.
5. Automation can make your business more competitive
Technology can automate repetitive, menial tasks that take up too much of your valuable time, allowing you to focus on more important things.
5.1. Callbacks and replies
You may run into situations where customers call or message your business, but no customer support agents are available. If this happens many times, your risk customer abandonment. With automated callbacks and replies, customer support agents can call or message customers as soon as they become available. This can help boost customer satisfaction and retention.
5.2. Social media campaigns
Most social media platforms natively allow users to schedule posts and stories. However, specialized tools are also available if you require more granular control. These tools can allow you to automate posting, manage comments, and plan your hashtags. Automation is advantageous when your business is active on multiple social media platforms.
5.3. Feedback surveys and reviews
More than 90% of customers read online reviews before they make a purchase. However, not many customers are quick to write a review of a purchase that they’re happy with. They must be given a gentle nudge after making a purchase, reminding them to leave a positive review to help other customers. Although many businesses use pop-up feedback forms and feedback calls, emails are still the standard since they’re unobtrusive. Automation tools can trigger these emails to be sent out automatically. For instance, salespeople can send these emails a week after a customer makes a purchase.
The bottom line
The times have changed, and so have customer expectations. Strengthening customer relationships is key to running a successful business. This article mentions a few ways technology can help the process. Investing in a CRM system is an essential first step. CRM systems can collect seemingly meaningless data from multiple channels and provide valuable insights from it. A strong social media presence can help your business engage with your customers. You can also use chatbots to cut any communication barriers between your business and customers. Finally, automation can give your business a competitive edge over competing companies. Callbacks and feedback help improve customer satisfaction, but they can take up too much of your valuable time – automation tools can fix that.
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