Technology has literally revolutionized the way we connect (social media), travel (Uber, Trip Advisor), and even how and where we eat (food delivery apps) but what about the way we do business. Service providers and professionals can leverage easy technology to give their clients a superb experience not to mention, save time, be perceived as a professional business and even collect payments- my favourite part.
Let’s dive right into 3 areas SMB’s can really elevate their customer experience, engagement and get more sales.
The Power of Self-Serve
Customers are accustomed to downloading an app, selecting their desires and check out in no time. Unless there are questions which is what your FAQ's are for or your LiveChat App, customers don’t want to call, be placed on hold or go through an IVR nightmare to make a purchase anymore. Thanks to Amazon, buy and deliver in less then 254 hours has become our new normal and I think we like it. No, we love it!
It's our time to take your business to the same level as the big box stores and get ready for 2020 when customer experience will be the biggest differentiator in our economy-
I didn’t make up that.
Let’s get Automated
Customer management solutions not only manage client information, calendars and payments, they also allow clients to book services and pay bills all on their own. From the owner’s view, all replies and responses are auto-generated and personalized saving you serious time which means serious money. On the client side, they get immediate automated replies to every single request. Imagine never responding to an email right away ever again. Just follow your calendar and do what you love!
Self-serve options make it convenient and easy for clients to make a purchase 24 hours a day. Customers no longer have to wait for your response email prior to booking. Sync your calendar so clients know when you are available and allow them to schedule themselves in. My clients can easily select from the list of live demos I offer, click on a convenient time. ( I do demos at night while my clients work at day) and the best part is the reply email they get confirms their appointment, all while I sleep!
One of my favourite features is the two-way reminders for appointments: Both my clients and I gets a reminder the day before our meeting and also an hour before eliminating no-shows by 70%. My clients can even re-schedule or even cancel their appointments themselves! Yes, I said cancel.
No matter what, I believe what's best for the client, always wins, which is also best for me.
I’m literally ready to accept 1000 clients right now once I’ve set up the parameters that matters to me and my clients the most. It’s just so super easy, I scratch my head why every single entrepreneur doesn’t use this.
Online Reputation Matters- You are who Google says you are!
My hubby was recently referred to a foot clinic and not only did we endure a huge billing nightmare with no information on expectations of the new insole he needed (he damaged the tendons in his arch), we realized too late that this clinic had a 50-year history of lack lustre care for their patients and a disregard for the pain that most people came to them to alleviate. When I read their dismal 20 online reviews with 50% being 5- stars, the other half 1-star and found no social media pages, I realized I was just one of the thousands of victims. If I had read on this clinic BEFORE our visit, there would be no way I would have dragged my partner to this place. And I’m sure this clinic has lost thousands of dollars due to their poor service and worst terrible online reputation.
Why You Should Care about your Online Presence
Your business’s online presence is of utmost importance especially if you have a brick and mortar location which makes interactions even more personal. Over 90% of online searches are for local business so the ability to be found easily online could make or cost you thousands of dollars.
Customers can go on any review site and if your business is not registered and claimed by the legitimate owner, that customer will be asked your business name, address and information. Any in-corrections online could send away potential leads losing money you need to invest in your company.
But how do you get more authentic reviews for your business, just ask. Text messages are the new and best non-evasive way to ask for reviews. 1 in 10 customers will leave a review via this method and making that process easy is what a reputation management system is all about. It can auto- generate review requests and allow customers to write it directly on your Google business listing. But wait, there's more: create custom surveys, see which employees top the list of best reviews and respond and share your best customer responses all over the internet and almost the world.
Give 'em What They Want
Customers want way more engagement, in fact, 79% of them say they want questions answered almost right away and don’t want to be placed on hold and almost half of them say that’s their preferred method of communication- Econsultancy. Thanks to
Live Chat, this is quite possible. Customers can ask questions right away and expect a response much shorter than an email response. But is it fast enough? Chatbots use AI to power conversations without human intervention. There are even chatbots that can talk for hours. Acquire.io offers a free version for a chatbot that can respond to almost 80% of inquires.
The faster a customer’s question is answered, the better the opportunity for a purchase
As a customer experience ambassador, I would recommend chatbots or LiveChat, anything that would allow customers to get what they want when they want it. For the 20% that still want to email, call or message a live person, that still exists. Nothing can replace a phone number or can it?. Manulife recently slashed 700 jobs due to AI’s ability to respond to a plethora of the most frequently asked questions among other processes. The faster a customer’s question is answered, the better the opportunity for a purchase.
Customers who haven’t experienced this type of service before will probably tell people if they were satisfied, leading to an increase in NPS- Net Promoter Score. You want to WOW first time visitors and show them how much you anticipated clarifying your services for them. I do this by having a special client portal for my clients to easily find their past and future information or message TGA- The Golden Apron.
Folks, technology is here to stay, so why not embrace it in our businesses like the big guys. Small businesses can actually reach their potential because tech gives you your time back to focus on your core businesses- providing an impactful, meaningful product or service and the ability to scale. I don't believe AI and technology eliminates jobs, I think it creates more, after all TGA sells customer experience software and I love every minute of it. Book a demo to say hello or to view one of my favourite CRM or Reputation smart tools. I could keep going and if you know me, I’m definitely serious. There’s new gamified and fun loyalty programs for online businesses, platforms to indicate if your customer is likely to churn, customer tracking and customer behaviour software. There’s also a software that lets you track how long the mouse pointer is on the screen and where.
Seriously, companies that want to really be there for their clients, customers and guests, can. The more we know about our customers, the more we can give them.