Using Technology to Reach Your Customers
Price isn’t the deciding factor anymore it’s [customer] service was a statement made by someone in the industry in an article on CNN.com about customer service horror stories and consumers’ new technologically savvy approaches for getting good service. For example, one woman found a Comcast executive through Twitter and got her cable fixed almost instantly. Others have used blogs to share their customer service horror stories with millions of people instantly, which in some cases led to the resolution of their problem by the company under question.
I find this use of technology very intriguing, and it raises lots of questions for how businesses function. We’ve all heard about being cautious about what you put on social networking sites for public view, as the information may be seen by an employer. Now the tables are turned, in a sense, and people are using the social networking sites to track businesses. Are businesses going to have to be more cautious about their social networking? Will this be a new solution to outsourced customer service (think no more verbal communication just typing, which could translated through software applications)? At this point it seems like just asking questions and showing awareness that the way of doing customer service is changing is a good initial step.
It also seems like an issue of knowing your market and embracing technology. A smaller business looking to grow could really use the low cost and often free tools that technology has to offer, assuming their customer base has access to and is comfortable using such technology. They have the potential to market and grow their business very efficiently not to mention be at the forefront of a complete reworking of how businesses handle customer service.But how does a business go about tackling such a task? It is a task that no doubt requires some general understanding of social networking technology for professional purposes, creativity, and, probably most critical time. It may be as straightforward as starting out by creating a “customer service plan” of sorts that outlines what you would like to see happen to your businessâ€™ customer service management. Such a plan may include not only handling the complaints through the use of social networking technologies, but also addressing the positives. Investing a few hours in creating such a plan will also provide clarity about areas of weakness that could require outside consulting, as well as clarify the potential scope and complexity of the task.
Regardless of whether your style is merely being aware of technology’s influence or being at the forefront of using technology to handle customer service, be aware of the power of technology to make your customers happier.