How Technology Can Influence Your Customer Experience

Technology touches everything. In the modern era, there’s no business that isn’t supported by technology, from the most cutting-edge startups to ancient industries like mining and farming. If your company is going to thrive, innovate, and rise above your competitors, you no longer have the option of sidestepping the technological aspects of your industry.

What’s more, your customers are going to demand a higher standard of technology in their interactions. Customers want chatbots that can answer basic questions without waiting for a human to answer the phone. They want pickup and delivery options so they don’t have to drive to a retail location. They want to be able to sign documents digitally rather than scanning or faxing.

Obviously, your technological solutions will be heavily dependent on the kind of business you run, your customers, and the industry you’re in. We can’t offer a one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everyone, but we can tell you about a few general areas you should be considering.

Big Data

There’s more customer data available to large companies than ever before, but parsing it is an ongoing challenge. The idea of “big data” being able to provide unique insights isn’t new — Target famously developed algorithms to identify pregnant customers as far back as 2002 — but the amount of data has nearly outpaced companies’ ability to keep up.

Putting in the effort to leverage the data you collect on your customers, their habits, and their desires can yield enormously valuable insights into what they want to see next, which will allow you to plan for the future and capitalize on trends.

Artificial Intelligence

It’s a matter of some debate whether the tools being called AI are in fact artificial intelligence (they’re not). Whether you call them machine learning, artificial intelligence, or advanced pattern recognition, the fact is that this area of technology has been exploding in popularity.

The general purpose of artificial intelligence, such as it is, is to anticipate customer needs and meet them before they’ve even expressed them. Amazon’s “Customers Also Bought” section, for example, suggests products that consumers might not have even known they needed. AI-based retargeting can send follow-up emails on topics that customers are likely to be interested in without any extra input from you.

AI tools are the best way to make use of the massive amounts of data you have access to, leveraging the insights to anticipate customer needs, find the reasoning behind customer behavior, and adapt to create a seamless experience.

Social Media Monitoring

Among the hugely useful sources of data available to modern companies is social media. Gleaning anything useful from the endless stream of opinions expressed online isn’t easy, but AI can go a long way toward interpreting meaning despite the use of slang, sarcasm, misspellings, and misinterpretation (not every mention of the word “apple” is about the company that makes iPhones).

AI tools are able to scrape tweets, Facebook comments, Google reviews, blog mentions, and more to glean general impressions of your company, specific product issues, consistent customer service concerns, and more that you can use to take action and improve the customer experience.

Finding the Right Technology

Choosing the technology that’s right for your company isn’t easy, but it’s an undertaking you can’t afford to ignore. Advances in technology can allow your company to become more agile, more receptive to feedback, and more responsive to your customers’ needs. Customers’ expectations will continue to rise whether you like it or not, so it’s worth the effort to meet and exceed them. Technology can help you get there.

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