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Teresa Ward-Maupin

Vice President, Customer and Digital Experience at Comcast Business

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Technology Creates Exceptional Customer Experiences

July 13, 2018

With robust communications systems and data technology networks from a reliable provider, businesses can deliver high-quality customer experiences.

Smart businesses place the customer at the center of everything they do. They create an agile corporate culture and dedicate the resources needed to ensure remarkable customer experiences from the start. Technology can enable these exceptional customer experiences by providing the insights needed to plan them and the tools and applications needed to deliver them. However, some businesses lack the infrastructure necessary to support exceptional customer experiences.

A robust data network, fast and secure internet, and an advanced-voice-based unified communications (UC) system are all crucial for creating exceptional customer experiences. An investment in your technology infrastructure is a wise decision and will pay long-term dividends in improved customer satisfaction, repeat business and referrals.

Customer Insights: Understanding the Data

With the right technology infrastructure, you can quickly and easily obtain the data you need to evaluate the state of your current customer experience. Sales data is a good place to start, but also look at metrics such as customer hold/wait times, shopping cart conversions/abandonment, and the amount of time and number of steps required to purchase your product or activate your service. Individual customer preferences can also be tracked and resulting data can be used for personalized marketing efforts. A range of business intelligence tools, including Microsoft SharePoint, ClicData, Yellowfin and other dashboards, are available to analyze big data and deliver these insights in real time.

Call logs and search logs are other good sources of information and will help you keep on top of complaints, trending concerns and outlier issues. You can also gauge customer opinion through web-, email- and SMS-based surveys at both the transactional level as well as an overall experience level.

Track mentions about your business on social media, and make sure your social media strategy is optimized for responding. People have been conditioned to expect quick responses from businesses on social media, so if you decide to provide customer support via social media, don’t do it halfway – go all in.  Make sure you have customer-facing staff who are subject matter experts and available during the times your customers want to interact with you. The ideal approach is to segue the public discussion to a private one between your staff and the customer.

Build customer feedback tools into everything you do. Then make sure that everyone in the organization who touches the customer has visibility into that data. This strategy will help you avoid sending untimely messages to your customers, such as sending a sales pitch to a customer who may have recently experienced an event with his or her existing product or service.

Technology Tools

A robust technology infrastructure can allow you to give your customers the tools they need to efficiently purchase and use your products or services as well as interact with your company in meaningful ways.

For example, many businesses are turning to service automation. With service automation, both customer-facing and customer-centric activities are automated, freeing employees to provide more meaningful customer experiences or enabling locations to work at peak efficiency, even with reduced headcount. Businesses — especially retail-based — can also use location-based services to provide an exceptional customer experience, by pushing out coupons or special offers to customers’ mobile devices during their visit.

On the customer interaction front, one simple technology-enabled tool businesses can implement is SMS (short message service) or text messaging. At Comcast Business, we use SMS/text messaging for service related transactions — at the end of the purchase and through the installation and post-installation phases — to keep customers abreast of their status. For instance, immediately after a customer purchases services, we send a message thanking them for their order and letting them know the day on which their service will be installed. Later, we send them an update message notifying them about the expected time of their installation and letting them know what they need to do prior to the service technician’s arrival. We also use this same approach when providing customers updates on service / repair appointments too. After installation or service visit, we send the customer a survey to find out how we did in delivering on their expectations and we use that feedback to drive ongoing process improvements.

Enhancing Communication and Collaboration

Reliable internet and phone systems are critical enablers of exceptional customer experiences. Fast, secure internet service provides the backbone for customer-centric applications including screen sharing, video conferencing, instant message chats, virtual workspaces and online customer portals. If your business serves customers at a publicly-accessible location, a strong internet connection with high-capacity bandwidth will enable e-commerce applications for online, tablet- and kiosk-based purchases and let you offer complimentary high-speed WiFi for patrons.

A professional voice system, optimized for UC and integrated with your customer relationship management (CRM) programs, can make it easier for you to reach out and respond to customers. Mobility is crucial for today’s phone systems; you don’t want to be tied to your desk when taking and receiving customer calls. Make sure your phone system gives you reliable, high-quality/high-definition voice with clear connections so you can always maintain a professional image with your customers.

Businesses should strive to provide the technology-based conveniences customers will appreciate. However, new technologies may over-stress the bandwidth of traditional networks, resulting in delays in response time and lags in performance. With robust communications systems and data technology networks from a reliable provider, businesses can deliver the high-quality customer experiences they need to grow.

Learn more about how technology is changing the ways in which businesses provide exceptional customer experiences.

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Douglas Knauer

July 18, 2018

Why is this board limited to 300 characters? Hard to have a 'discussion' via a tweet...

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