When you look at how your last 10 customers found you and decided to do business with you, their process to reach you has changed drastically over the years.
Where customers used to find you by walking past your storefront or opening up a phone book, customers now find you after researching your industry, pricing, competitors and your specific offerings. Now more than ever our customers digitally interact with us before even calling us for a consultation or quotation.
The reason for this change: technology.
Here are four technology “first impressions” that every business owner can fine-tune to increase profits this year by providing a valuable customer journey.
Tune your online presence
Fifteen years ago, a website was a novelty and those who had the shiniest websites often generated more business just by having a site. Now a website alone is rarely enough. Now, if you have built a longstanding business with a 3-page website and zero advertising, I sincerely commend you. However, even companies like yours would benefit from enhancing your web presence with investments in a quality website with educational content that attracts and qualifies your ideal customers and persuades them to take action to inquire of your services. Depending on your industry, you may also do well with a strategic social media and paid advertising strategy.
Tech recommendation: Tune up your website, add customer testimonials, embed contact-us forms and connect your website to your social media channels.
Enhance your phone system
When your customers call into your main line, how are they greeted? By a friendly front desk attendant or a robotic prompting system? And when your staff engage with clients, does their voice come in crystal clear or scratchy and spotty?
Enhancing your telephone system portrays both a professional image and a more pleasurable client image. Simply put, you want your customers to enjoy calling you.
Tech recommendation: Consider a quality voiceover IP (VOIP) with call forwarding, voicemail, and even a professional voiceover virtual attendant.
Create a marketing & sales process
Your marketing & sales process is a key component of your customer’s first impression of your business. From their initial website interaction to engaging with your marketing content to submitting a form to your “Contact Us” page and how quickly you call them back, all reflect on your business’ ability to serve your clients and get the job done. Technology will enhance how quickly your customer’s questions go answered and how quickly they connect with you for help when they need it most.
Tech recommendation: Route all contact page submissions to your customer relationship management tool and email address, send a monthly educational newsletter and call your prospects back as quickly as possible.
Techify your customer service
Of all the things to invest in, nothing beats investing in customer service. Your customer service experience is the differentiator between your business and the competitors next door. No amount of sales training or rebranding beats exceptional customer service. Fortunately, technology can enhance that customer experience by reducing the amount of time they spend with issues and enhancing the quality and trust in your product.
Tech recommendation: Invest in help desk software, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to track customer interactions with you, and deliver electronic statements and invoices.
Of all the possible investments you could make into your business, we always recommend to focus on those that improve service, reduce costs, enhance productivity or provide a fun experience.
Chad Pavel is a partner at Technology Solution Department, operating as TSD Networks, an information technology outsourcing firm in Norwalk serving small businesses in Fairfield County. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.