“Inexpensive technology tools can be deployed at every stage of the customer journey to make the experience smoother and better. When used correctly, technology can make customers’ lives much easier and happier,” – Shep Hyken
Modern marketing science informs us that the juncture of technology and commerce is vital in the modern age because it can be fashioned to execute better customer experiences. The evolution of technology has marched down the ages and has culminated in modern technology applications that have touched critical aspects of human existence. Therefore, brands, businesses, marketers, and technology mavens are working in concert to diversify the interface between technology and the modern customer in an attempt to boost customer convenience and to create better customer experiences. We must note that this has been made possible by the rapid advances registered by online and electronic connectivity technologies that underlie the foundations of the information age we live in.
Modern wireless technologies can be leveraged to benefit business processes and the customers that are critical to the operation of mass markets. For instance, we are aware of the incremental leaps registered by commercial air passenger traffic in most parts of the civilised world. The growth of such traffic can be attributed to a multitude of causes, but growth has also resulted in congested skies and delays in the movements of commercial air traffic. Therefore, commercial air services operators can be advised to use cell phone text messages to inform fliers in advance regarding estimated delays in departure and arrivals. We could state that such technologies can be built into the information systems of various airlines and can be designed to automatically trigger alerts to passengers in case of delays and other traffic or operational disruptions. This instance demonstrates a low-cost approach to framing better customer experiences through the astute use of available technology.
Mobile apps represent an example of on-going evolution of personal shopping technologies. Most brands and businesses have invested in and deployed apps in order to reach the customer through a mobile interface. The design and flow of information inside mobile apps can be optimised in an effort to provide customers with detailed data regarding product attributes, product colours and prices, etc. In addition, mobile apps should be engineered to offer customer reviews in real time. This approach can help time-deficient customers to research a product inside the app, dispense with visits to online search engines, and to arrive at a purchase decision. We must note that this approach to app design helps in the creation of better customer experiences while boosting the efficiency quotient by providing simultaneous streams of in-app information about a product or a service.
Businesses can choose to elevate the levels of customer engagement by using technology. Considerable investments in terms of time and effort should be allocated to studying customer behaviour and the key aspects that trigger customer frustration. The outcomes can be moulded to generate better customer experiences and boost the metrics that track customer engagement. For instance, a business website should ideally be calibrated to efficiently handle various levels of customer traffic at different times. We must note that customer traffic tends to peak during weekends and festivals for online businesses. This information should be leveraged to ensure that servers are adequately tuned and provisioned to handle spikes in heavy traffic. This action can effectively help to arrest any chances of customer disappointment and ensure smooth website operations. A fully functional website that can consistently handle volumes of traffic can also promote better customer experiences that essentially boost the market reputation of the operating business.
Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses can use technology to improve business prospects and to sustain a competitive advantage. For instance, a jewellery business can deploy touch screen hardware at its showrooms as an alternative to actual product displays. The touch screens can be positioned at different parts of the showroom and customers can be encouraged to peruse the various items of jewellery on these devices. The high resolution displays can portray inventory items through images or holograms and display the pricing for each item. This approach to marketing also reduces manifest risk for the business operator since only a limited items of actual jewellery remain on display. In addition, the displays can be easily updated with new product images and product information as required. Clearly, this is an instance of devising better customer experiences through technology, because multiple customers can use the touch screens at the same time.
Further to the above, we note that touch screen kiosks represent flexible technology that can be deployed by quick service restaurants in an attempt to create better customer experiences. Visitors and customers can peruse the food and drink menus on said kiosks and place their orders directly from these machines. In addition, the kiosks can enable customers to create their own versions of food using available ingredients. We may note that such technology is already available and can be used by businesses to cut operating costs while boosting the chances of better customer experiences. Further, quick service restaurants can experiment with their menus every day in a bid to create novelty in business operations as also to boost customer choice. In light of the above, we may state that touch screen kiosks afford businesses multiple chances to create customer delight.
Mobile payment solutions can be viewed as the use of cutting edge consumer technology designed to boost better customer experiences. Industry research indicates that cash and credit cards are approaching a sunset phase in terms of their utility to consumers and customers. Mobile payment solutions are at the forefront of electronic payment systems and are widely being adopted by many businesses including restaurants, bars, gas stations, convenience stores, retail showrooms, online businesses, among others. Self-service restaurants can use these modern payment technologies to boost customer experiences, while retail establishments can use them to shorten check-out queues. Similarly, mobile point of sale systems can be deployed to cut congestion that typically attends payment queues. These instances of using cutting edge mobile payment systems offer a clear and compelling illustration of creating better customer experiences.
Omni-channel marketing technologies can be deployed by brands and businesses that hope to create better relationships with their customers. This is significant because modern customers interact with brands through multiple channels such as social media, websites, third party websites, telephone service, and offline channels, among others. Brands and businesses can deploy Omni-channel by integrating online content across all electronic marketing channels. In addition, businesses should explore the possibilities of combining the huge potential offered by artificial intelligence technologies with human engagement. These techniques must be studied and refined in an attempt to connect with the customer in every possible manner. The sheer diversity of modern marketing channels should enable these techniques to succeed in mass markets.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have surveyed multiple techniques that hinge on using technology to improve customer experiences. Brands and businesses should note that technology represents an evolving phenomenon and therefore, the possibilities of using technology to delight customers will multiply in the near future. In light of these facts, commercial organisations must act with alacrity to determine the optimum mix of technologies that works best for a business or an industry. This involves experimentation, setbacks, and eventual delight. Therefore, commerce must dedicate resources and manpower in finding the sweet points that can translate into better customer service opportunities in the future.