Leveraging Technology for Better Customer Relationships

“…and use appropriate Technology tools as enablers. But it all starts by putting your customers first and creating a better relationship with them than your competitors offer.” –Bob Thompson

Every aspect of a business ties with creating better customer relationships and technology plays a major role in doing so. By leveraging technology, companies collect huge amounts of data. However, that data will serve no purpose if it is not used to better customer relationships and enhance every experience customers have with the company. What stops companies from leveraging technology for better customer relationships? Technology is not an easy pill to swallow and even the most senior people in a company could be ‘terrified’ of systems overhaul, rapidly changing systems, and the fact that not everyone can grasp the various aspects of technology. However, whatever a company can do to better customer relationships is always worth the effort.

There is no debate on the fact that customers and their needs are what influence strategies, vision, and the overall business strategy for any company. Among other external factors that influence a company’s direction, technology tops the list – a survey report of top ranking executives report revealed this fact. The aim to build better customer relationships is the underlying reason for business technology and the kind of customer interfacing teams within the company. Technology has given a new and accelerated direction to the business world. Top class products and offerings have been overtaken by better customer relationships as the critical differentiator and competitive edge for any business. For companies to forge and stay ahead they must focus on satisfying and retaining customers and to do this they must thoroughly understand their customer base through accurate segmentation into customer groups.

Companies have to be able to fulfil current demands and effectively predict customer behaviour in order improve service capabilities, reduce costs for the business and the customers, shorten time spans in which to fulfil orders, and overall build better customer relationships. However, none of this is possible without consistency of information across all customer touch-points and to achieve this, companies must leverage technology. CRM systems provide companies with the ‘armour and weaponry’ they need to fend off competitors and keep customers happy and with them for longer.

Building better customer relationships starts with providing more personalized experiences for customers each time they interact with a company. Technology enables companies to automatically collect, collate, store, analyse, and use customer data, which provides invaluable information on their buying patterns and behaviours, customer service requirements and other such information, which prove indispensable in creating and building better customer relationships now and for the future. The tools that technology provides help companies to create effective and accurate customer profiles, which in turn help to deliver customized solutions, tailored products and personalized experiences. The more effective companies are in bringing all this to customers, the higher the possibility of customers trusting the company and remaining loyal to it. Companies would know exactly how much and what information they need send to certain customer groups, making the information sent out extremely relevant and useful to the particular customers.

Personalization makes customers feel special and valued and customers prefer doing business with people they like and those that like them. Offering solutions tailored specifically to the needs of the customer makes for outstanding service and when done consistently would definitely build better customer relationships, some of which would turn to loyalty and brand advocacy. By using technology, a company is able to identify and track particular interests and preferences of customers, thus enabling more personalized messages and tailor-made products and services.

We know that customers have evolved over the last so many years and this evolution has brought about numerous changes in demands and expectations too. Customers now are smarter, more aware, tech-savvy, and intelligent but most of all busier and more rushed than ever before. They are constantly on the move – thinking of new ways to do things and constantly using their smart mobile devices to get the information they require. They are no longer stuck to their desks and neither do they have the time to wait for what they need. All this has been made possible through technology and they expect the companies they associate with to leverage technology to get smarter and faster. The companies that do this successfully and consistently would be better placed to provide easily accessible and updated information to customers, enhancing the trust and dependability customers have in them. By providing accessible and on-the-go information, a company would also be making the lives of customer easier by adding convenience.  One of the quintessential aspects of top class service is that it removes obstacles and reduces the pain areas for customers. By leveraging technology, a company not only enhances the amount of information they can provide to customers, but also elevate the quality and accessibility of it. A company can build better customer relationships by enabling customers to trust and depend on them to get what they want, when they want and wherever they want. It is about exceeding customer expectations, which in turn builds loyalty and brand advocacy – the two pillars of a successful company.

The advancements in technology have also given rise to a number of digital communication channels. So many different channels have made it challenging for companies to keep pace with customers and the information customers seek via these channels. However, given that technology is available, companies have no excuse but must comply with these demands. By leveraging technology, companies can accommodate these expectations, streamline the information, enhance service levels and the net result would be building better customer relationships. Technology would bring all the different channels of communication together and bind them into a centralized system, making the data more easily accessible and useable for companies to make better products and tailor-made solutions.

By unifying the various channels of communication, customers would know that irrespective of the channel they choose to connect with a company, they would receive accurate responses since all their details and interaction history would be properly recorded. For companies, this saves time and energy and enables them to provide swifter and more efficient responses to customers, irrespective of when they connect and through which channel they choose to do so. As companies become more proficient at providing such service, customers are drawn closer and form emotional connections with the company. Deeper emotional connections lead to heightened feelings of bonding with the company and make customers do whatever they can to ensure success for the company and its offerings.

Technology is here to stay and is constantly evolving and getting better. Companies that leverage it would be able to give customers exactly what they want and at the speed at which their needs evolve. This will lead to better customer relationships, stronger ties and feelings of oneness and affinity in association. With so many benefits and a reduction in barriers to reaching customers, it would be highly imprudent for companies to ignore technology. Customers need a ‘partner’ that is as upbeat and knowledgeable as they are – it would be highly improbable that customers would stay with companies that lag behind in this respect or in any aspect of the relationship. Your company is leveraging technology to build better customer relationships right?

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