Delighting your Customers with Today’s Communications Technology
by Andrew Roth, Field Marketing Manager at Verizon Business Markets
Twitter | @AJRothCA
Many small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are already using advanced communications technology to delight their customers. These days anything from booking a doctor’s appointment to hiring a party magician can be done online. The latest communications innovations are helping organizations improve every step of the customer journey, stand out from the competition and delight their customer.
Leveraging the latest communication tools
There are hundreds of accessible and affordable communications tools that SMBs can use to deliver great experiences. For example, by upgrading your traditional phone lines to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) based system, you enable your customers to call you from any of their digital devices. You can set up “simultaneous ring” to help make sure no call goes unanswered. And by integrating VoIP with your CRM platform, your employees can give customers an even more personalized experience.
VoIP also supports video calling, which can help to bring you closer to your customers. For professionals who offer in-depth client consultations—such as, architects, engineers and designers—an HD video call can be as effective as meeting in person. Share your screen, interactive portfolio or online presentation, and showcase your work before the customer even sets foot in your office.
When customers have an enquiry, they should be able to contact your business in a way that suits them. Often, they will choose to do this through social media—an increasingly popular channel for customer queries. Some companies are even using chatbots to meet the growing demand for 24/7 service. These bots can be programmed to offer helpful suggestions, manage booking times or redirect customers to relevant webpages.
If your customers want to book your services online, there are increasingly sophisticated tools to help them to do this. Online booking systems have been around for years—but the service doesn’t have to stop when the customer hits send. Today’s booking apps can be integrated with your customer’s existing calendars, setting automatic notifications and sending friendly SMS reminders so they never miss an appointment.
Of course, it’s not just online experiences that matter. Communications technology is making a difference in-store as well. Employees equipped with tablets can answer customer queries faster. If you have reliable, secure free Wi-Fi, customers can find answers themselves and experience the best of online and physical CX.
Delivering the best customer experience
The latest innovations can surprise and delight, taking your customer experience to the next level. And they’re no longer just the province of big enterprises. These advanced communications tools are increasingly affordable and accessible, and there are many off-the-shelf solutions. But they do rely on your underlying IT infrastructure to operate efficiently.
Your network connectivity needs to be robust enough to handle all your customer traffic, applications and data. When customers are interacting with your business online they expect a quick and seamless experience—delays and slow loading times just won’t cut it. Network solutions like Managed SD-WAN can help you to get more from your bandwidth, enhancing your website and mobile app performance, and
improving your experience of VoIP.
It’s also important that you make security a priority. The more customer data you collect, the more responsibility you have to keep this personal information safe. A data breach could ruin your reputation for years to come. Not only that, a security breach could jeopardize your entire business operation—what happens if your mission-critical systems crash? What happens if your VoIP goes down and customers are unable to contact you?
Some simple precautions, like two-factor authentication, are relatively under-used, but can make a massive difference to your security. Consider Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection to keep your critical systems online. And if your business accepts card payments online or in-person, make sure you’re compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Read our 2017 Payment Security Report to understand the biggest challenges facing your industry.
Keeping network connectivity and security in mind can help your SMB to leverage the latest communications technology—and deliver an experience that delights your customers consistently.
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