Smart companies keep a close eye on the latest developments in technology. When tech is used correctly, it can dramatically improve customer experience and help a business thrive. The good news is that today we have far more tech at our fingertips than ever before to impress our clients. The bad news is that many of us are stuck in the past and not updating our systems.
Check out these technology trends that are now shaping customer experience. Could your business benefit?
It doesn’t take a big research budget to notice that people are glued to their smartphones. Big brands are now experimenting with building mobile apps that help to customers to businesses better. Mobile apps provide a direct channel to the customer. And they allow companies to introduce deals and real-time service information seamlessly.
Take coffee giant, Starbucks, for instance. Starbucks’ mobile app has enjoyed dazzling success over the last half-decade or so. And it’s all because it gives customers many more options that they would have had otherwise. The app tracks customers loyalty points and makes it easier for them to keep track of their spend.
Could a mobile app benefit you? Possibly. If your business relies on communicating lots of information to customers, then it might be worth investing in your own platform. These days, they’re surprisingly cheap.
Payment technology is changing yet again. No longer do customers expect to have to type in a PIN number every time they want to make a purchase. Instead, they want to be able to tap their card on a portable credit card reader and be done with it. The option to do this is showing up in more and more retailers. And as the trend grows, customers will shift from seeing it as a novelty to seeing it as a standard service.
In the US, the contactless payment market is currently blossoming. All the big banks are increasing their market presence in response to the big push made by the tech sector. According to data from eMarketer, mobile payments will grow by 210 percent in 2016 alone.
For decades, shoppers have put up with standard sizing options. You were either an S, M, L or XL. Or you were some generic size, running from 6 on up. But those days may soon be behind us.
Innovative retailers want their clothing to fit better. Now they’re investing in 3D scanning technology that will allow more bespoke fits. Take entreDonovan, for instance. This is a small boutique store targeting young, professional women. The Delaware-based retailer had the idea to use scanning technology to make precise measurements of its clients. Instead of having to get measured up using a tape measure, now clients just step into a pod. entreDonovan then uses these measurements to craft custom items. The company’s founder, Linda Farquhar, later got an industry award for her innovation.
If you’ve been to a McDonald’s recently, you’ll have noticed the rise of mobile kiosks. They’re popping up everywhere. And it’s likely that they’ll soon be a feature of practically all locations where people ordinarily queue.
However, McDonald’s new ordering is system is about more than just reducing queue times. It offers customers a whole new level of customization. Customers can choose different toppings for their burgers and create unique meal combinations.
McDonald’s isn’t the only restaurant in town experimenting with this new technology. San Francisco-based Eatsa is also getting in on the act. They’re another restaurant chain, trying to cash in on the current trend toward health-casual. Their unique idea is to allow customers to pick up their food from personalized cubbies.
Unification Of Customer Service Channels
Not all of your customers want to ring you up on the phone. Some would rather video-call you over Skype. And others would like for you to respond to their complaints through a webchat plugin or on Twitter. But keeping track of all those different customer service channels can be a headache.
There are, however, companies that are trying to bring all of these disparate channels together. Tools like Marketo and Hubspot are a great place to start when you’re trying to unify your customer experience channels. Then, once you build up confidence, you can turn to more advanced platforms.
John Paitaridis, the MD of Optus Business, drives the point home. Companies, he says, need to think carefully about how all their technologies work together. They need to think about how their apps and mobile platforms work together. And then they need to link these with their contact center, retail outlets, and social networks.