Improving Customer Experience – 6 Useful Tools

Improving customer experience is an ongoing and arduous process that’s never truly over or considered 100% accomplished by any business wise enough to get that. There are a number of strategies and sciences that’ve sprung up around this ongoing quest, and for good reason. Customer experience is everything, for your company, entailing anything involving the customer, your service, and the direct relationship between the product, the customer and your company as a triad.

This all inclusiveness makes it a bit dodgy to perfect the customer experience when there is so much unpredictability and so much room for things to go Wrong. There are, however, general tools and ideas for improving the customer experience that are a big help, if it occurs to you to use them. The problem is, many of these require one to think outside the box in order to see their potential for customer experience improvement beyond very superficial levels.

That said, we’ll save you a little grief here and point out six general tools that can help you improve your customer experience. We’re citing general tools, but may mention specific ones within a category as an example.

#1 – Social Networking

Your company probably already uses social networking to establish a basic presence online, and to keep up with the trends so to be approved of by your demographic as not behind the times. However, are you using them for the potential they truly have?

These are an excellent tool for quick gratification in customer service as well as marketing, while offloading a lot of unnecessary workload from customer service people, so they can be free to handle the problems that really need their attention. Customers will appreciate the speed and convenience. Twitter is especially excellent for this.

#2 – Website On-boarding

Website on-boarding is the use of pre programmed web-based infrastructures that run natively within websites and services. They have little to no extra load time, spare bandwidth by handling a lot of calculations locally, and are dynamic and powerful.

The best ones can watch a user and interact with the environment to teach them and to hold their hands with things get confusing. They also can be made to be very nifty interfaces, if programmed properly. The most diverse and effective one out right now is WalkMe.

Software like this also makes for yet more organic and unobtrusive customer service.

#3 – Refined CRM

CRM software has come a long way since the old on premise database systems like Excel, QuickBooks and Platypus. Consider upgrading to a programmable, diverse CRM system like RightNow or SalesForce which are centralized, streamlined and collaborative.

These new systems allow for multiple books and products, and can enable a lot of special entries like discounts, as well as handle a diverse and scalable lifetime customer value. This will make things easier for the customer and for you.

#4 – Better Payments

Payment convenience means a lot to customers, and as payments become increasingly digital, with people forsaking their credit cards and check books for online debit cards and PayPal cards, you need a payment gateway that can account for this. Using a gateway that can accept just about anything ensures better customer experience all around because paying you won’t be a pain.

CheddarGetter is probably the most impressive multi-channel payment gateway we’ve seen, and we’ve discussed them at length in the past.

#5 – Better Logistics

There are a number of these business intelligence and logistics applications out there, and we can’t cite a quintessential one in this case, but we can sure point out why they help. These BI suites are capable otf tapping into user data, social trends and search trends so that you know exactly what customers are interested in and what the zeitgeist of your demographic may be at any time.

These are an eye into the soul of your customers, allowing you to tailor their experience to meet their needs and requirements as they change dynamically and organically.

#6 – Better Marketing

Marketing is important not just as outreach but as a continued rapport with your customers. Customer experience is partially in being in the know of new features or changes to a product, and how can you make sure this information reaches them without good marketing tools?

These come in the form of advertising and outreach media such as Google AdWords and Appnexus, who specialize not just in advertising but in general outreach and marketing as a whole. These are a way to saturate the web with information pertaining to your product or service, when it is pertinent and relevant to the customer, without being annoying.

These are important, because the customer needs to know everything at all times!

Improving customer experience is not difficult to do, once you know the tools that can help you do it. They’re not always obvious, until they’re pointed out.

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe