Are you driving people away by giving them poor experiences? Customers come first, but often SMEs can be too slow to think of innovative ways to look after them.
Whether you’re an online retailer or a brick-and-mortar store, it might be time to update your approach to customer service to expand your reach, boost brand awareness and keep up with increasingly high expectations.
Individualised support for customer satisfaction
For web app-based security solution Cammy, establishing a dedicated customer support team for responding to queries on a one-on-one basis has been essential for remaining competitive.
The Cammy app lets you watch over your home, family, possessions and pets from anywhere, any time. This is a product where the customer needs to feel they are receiving a personalised service, according to Cammy digital marketing manager Jason Allan.
And the more personable the better. Addressing the customer by their name in emails, including a photo of the customer service operator and using language that speaks to one person and not a group are all valuable tactics, Allan says.
“This might not seem innovative in the digital age where everything is automated, but it’s invaluable to customers and it is one area where SMEs have an advantage over larger companies.”
Use data to better understand your customers
Over time the business has realised the importance of data for managing customer satisfaction by keeping better track of a customer’s actions within the app.
“The data can show us whether a customer is yet to try a feature we think is important to their experience, or tells us when we should set up auto messages,” says Allan.
Data also provides deeper insights such as what phone device is being used, how long someone has been a customer and how many cameras they may have set up.
Claire Roberts, Executive General Manager of Local Business Banking at Commonwealth Bank, also emphasises the importance of regularly examining your data for insights.
“Analysing the business landscape and your customer priorities can help a business see itself through fresh eyes and point them towards the right questions to ask,” she says.
Knowing these details by being able to access and interpret data gives you more information more quickly and shows the customer you care about them and their experience.
Get ahead with tech
If you’re looking to better understand customer needs, consider taking advantage of tools such as Survey Monkey, which allows you to analyse your target market, or Intercom.io to assist with customer communication.
Implementing technology that makes any and all processes easier for customers is a key part of good service. This might mean providing easy and flexible payment options for your customers, such as mobile EFTPOS terminals, says Roberts.
But it’s important to remember that customer innovation can extend beyond the use of technology; it’s about cultivating rich, valuable relationships.
“Innovation also involves a form of partnership and advice,” says Roberts.
“At CommBank, we aim to work alongside our customers to help them incorporate innovative thinking in their business plans and to empower them to deliver long term success.”
Drive business with social media
Many of your best customer service advocates are of course your customers. During your online social interactions, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be transparent in your communication to build trust and rapport, advises Allan.
“By using Facebook ads, we target people who look like our customers but we also include existing customers who actively respond to comments and help sell our product for us.
“We even follow customers on social media to help build brand awareness and keep a very high response rate to comments on Facebook.”
At CommBank we believe innovation starts by asking questions. Discover new ways to keep your business moving.
Written by: Thea Christie