Get tech plusses to offset the minuses

As with almost everything in this world, technology is not all or nothing. Glitches and gaffes are offset by really cool advanced technology that truly engages prospects and customers.

A recent Forbes.com article by contributor Bernard Marr illustrates the point in detail. Titled, “The 6 Customer Experience (CX) Trends Every Company Must Get Ready For Now,” the story conveys tips and trends that companies need to get proactive about, if they aren’t already.

Notes Marr: “It’s no longer enough to have a surface-level understanding of customers. It’s assumed every business should know who their customers are, where they live, how old they are, and other rudimentary info.” His recommendations include:

Responding in the moment. Marr points out that companies that really understand customers “deliver content, purchasing options, and advertising for what they desire at each moment of the day.”

Anticipating customer needs. Marr writes, “The more you know about customers, the better you can predict what they might want or need in the future. That’s predictive analytics at work to improve the customer experience.”

Adding relationship value. In the past, it was enough for a company just to offer a product or service…Today, customers expect more…Vitality Health is an insurance company, but they don’t just provide health insurance to their customers. They support their customers on a journey to better health and to achieve their health goals with value-added amenities such as an Apple Watch and feedback about how to be healthier.”

Augmenting customer experience. Marr details how virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies innovate customer interaction. He notes, “Warby Parker uses augmented reality technology to give customers a chance to ‘try on’ different glasses through their smartphones.”

Making it tangible. Marr emphasizes that companies bringing customer service to life will be successful, citing the example of Nike, who “…invested in a value-added app that helps customers track their runs. At the same time, the app provides value to the customer, it’s providing information about customers to Nike.”

There is no doubt technology can enhance the customer service experience. The key is to understand its role, which isn’t trying to be all things to all people. Look at where and how technology can make a valid, viable contribution with the net result of positive customer service interactions. Buggy, incomplete or confounding technology can quickly put a plus into the minus category.

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Technology is touted for its customer relationship management enhancement. Using advanced techniques, marketers can mine much information about prospects and customers, ranging from how they want to be communicated with to buying habits. But, there’s a decided dark side to technology run amok—or not running at all. When it complicates or confuses the buying process, the end result can be a customer service hit to the organization.

Do you have technology snafus or stellar experiences to share? If so, feel free to comment on this post or email your thoughts to mark@marklusky.com.

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Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience.

Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage,  Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm.

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