If you want to really thrive in today’s market – no matter what industry you’re in – you absolutely must make customer experience a priority. Attempting to build your business model solely on obtaining new, one-time customers isn’t sustainable, but focusing on turning those new customers into loyal, repeat customers is a great way to ensure that your business stands the test of time.
According to one index, companies that focus on customer experience outperform those that don’t by a significant margin. Of course, that raises the question, how can you effectively focus on customer experience? What elements are the most important to improving how customers feel about your brand and the likelihood that they’ll continue to come back for more?
While there are a lot of methods and strategies for improving customer experience, one of the simplest and most effective is to integrate mobility into your business model. With mobile technology, you can stay in touch with the office wherever you are in the world. You can respond to customers’ needs when you’re on the road, at home, or sitting at your desk. Customers can access your products and/or services on their phones and tablets. They can buy your products or text with your support staff wherever they happen to be.
In short, mobility makes the world your office and lets your customers interact with you from anywhere in the world, too. Let’s explore a few of the ways that proper use of mobility and staying connected to the office can improve your company’s customer experience.
Prompt Responses to Customer Needs
Imagine, for a moment, that you are in charge of responding to customers’ requests for support, cancelled orders, order modifications, etc. What happens when you aren’t in the office? In the best-case scenario, you have an auto-responder set up to let your customers know that you will respond to them as soon as possible when you return. With or without an auto-response, you won’t be taking care of your customers’ needs while you are out of the office.
Now let’s imagine a scenario in which you’ve implemented mobile technology that allows you to receive messages, alerts, and/or emails from customers when you’re on the go. You can not only see that you have situations to handle for your customers, but you can actually take care of those situations and respond to your customers much more promptly.
A Huge Percentage of Customers Rely on Mobile Live Chat Support
Better still, why not make it possible for your customers to access live chat support on their phones or tablets? With this level of mobility, your customers don’t have to go home or back to their offices to get support. They can access assistance with their orders in a mobile app, and they can text with you or whoever is in charge of customer care and support without the need for a laptop or desktop.
You might be thinking, “But how often is that necessary? Do people really use that kind of service?” The overwhelming answer is, “Yes!” According to one survey, 75% of those surveyed between the ages of 35 and 44 have not only used mobile live chat support, but they use it at least once a month, if not more.
With three quarters of a large consumer demographic regularly relying on live mobile chat support, you can see how incredibly valuable it is for your company. In today’s market, if a customer cannot get a good answer to their question fast, they’re likely to move on to another brand and another solution for their problem.
Providing mobile live support is a great way to keep your customers from bouncing away from your site or app. It’s also a way to improve customer satisfaction, as the instant attention to their needs will make them feel like you really care about them. That feeling is invaluable to converting and retaining more customers.
Give Your Customers Better On-Site Experiences
If you need to send technicians, salespeople, or any other company representatives to work with customers in person, mobility is essential. Say, for example, that you run an Internet service provider, and one of your customers puts in a service request. Without mobile technology, your customer will have to call your call center. Then they’ll have to call one of your technicians. Then they’ll either have to call your customer back or go to their site. And, when your technician arrives on site, they’re not likely to know exactly what your customer actually needs. The whole process can take hours, if not days, and it’s incredibly frustrating for your customers.
Now, imagine the same scenario, but you’ve implemented an online contact form on your site and your technicians are equipped with smartphones and tablets. Your customers will simply send their service requests online, and your technicians will get immediate updates on their phones or tablets. Then, as soon as possible, one of your technicians will be able to respond to the message and get to your customer’s site promptly. Plus, they’ll know exactly what’s going on, and so they’ll be better prepared to deal with your customers’ problems. The whole process is smooth, and efficient, and it is guaranteed to improve your customers’ on-site experiences.
Access to Important Inventory and Company Information
Even the most knowledgeable, well-trained rep is going to forget things on occasion. Not only that, but consider what can happen if you have multiple sales reps taking customers’ orders at the same time. If, for example, your inventory is low on a particularly popular item, you could very easily get multiple orders and run out.
What happens when two of your reps promise two of your customers that they’ll get an in-demand product the next day…only to find out that you only have one of those products left? Calling a customer back to tell them that you can’t deliver on what you promised is never good for customer experience or for your business.
However, if you give your reps the ability to check and update inventory from their smartphones or tablets, then you’ll never have to deal with those inventory problems again. Likewise, if a customer has a question that one of your sales reps can’t answer off the top of their head, your rep can immediately access the appropriate information using their phone or tablet. They’ll never have to say, “I’ll find out about that when I get back to the office and give you a call,” again.
Access to inventory information and the ability to answer all of your customers’ questions instantly can significantly improve customer relations and the customer experience. Your customers will no longer have to wait to hear back from your reps, and you can eliminate a lot of embarrassment and disappointment when an employee gets bogged down and does not get a chance to follow up with a customer.
Fast Payment Processes and Less Paperwork
Mobile technology also makes it possible to eliminate a great deal of paperwork. Instead of signing a paper contract and/or filling out payment information on a form to be transferred to a computer later, you can completely streamline the process. With mobile document and payment handling apps, you can take payments from your customers and have them electronically sign contracts and other documents. Those are then immediately uploaded to your company’s computers and processed without delay.
This is especially useful for businesses in the service industry and other companies that conduct a lot of their business on-site with their customers. Filing documents and processing payments has always presented a unique challenge when – in most cases – you go to your customers instead of having your customers come to you.
Paper contracts and payment processes provide entirely too many opportunities to lose information. Even when everything goes perfectly, though, paper-based payments and documentation are slow and labor-intensive. With mobile technology, you can instantly give your customers a better, more secure experience with your company, and you can streamline your processes and make your business more efficient at the same time.
Give Your Customers a More Personal Experience
Finally, when you implement more mobility and stay in contact with the office while out on service and sales calls, you can create a much more personalized customer experience. Through their phones and/or tablets, your technicians and sales reps will have instant access to all of your information on the customers they’re serving. They’ll know exactly where to go, whom to speak with, and any special instructions that apply specifically to a particular customer.
By implementing more mobility and giving your employees the ability to stay connected with both your office and your customers while on the go, you can more easily show your customers how much you care about them. You can give them more streamlined services, eliminate paperwork, and give them the most personalized assistance possible, all by simply equipping your employees with the ability to stay in touch and transfer documents electronically instead of working with physical copies that will need to be entered into your computer system later. Mobility gives you the power to give your customers what they want.