Because of their size and resources, small businesses were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Being flexible and agile was and is crucial for small businesses to stay afloat.
On top of innovating existing products and services, small businesses also turned to technology to continue operating their businesses and connecting with customers. Technology has become the lifeline between closure and continuity.
The economy may now be recovering from recent crises, but technology remains essential for businesses to maintain relationships with the client base they’ve built over time. Here’s a look at the ways your small business can use tech to improve customer service.
Updated business websites
Having a business website is no longer an option, but a requirement. Whether your business operates fully online or you want a virtual extension of your physical store, your business website has to be updated regularly to better serve your customers.
Our previous post on web design trends discusses how a suitable layout can help improve the look and feel of your website. You can provide customers with a seamless user experience through a simple, minimalist design. Meanwhile, a text-only layout is suitable for displaying purchase information, or hosting a page for customer support and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Free in-store Wi-Fi
Providing free Wi-Fi services is a relatively small investment, but has a huge potential to boost the experience of both new and existing customers. Store visitors who browse through your products can use the Internet to search for more information before they make a purchase. Meanwhile, small businesses with appointment-based services like nail salons or repair shops can let their customers sit back, relax, and connect to the WiFi as they wait to finish.
Small businesses must decide on the primary purpose their free in-store Wi-Fi should serve: Is it to inform or entertain customers? Does it come with marketing promotions or special offers? Over time, owners should also consider upgrades for business WiFi networks in order to accommodate more customers while still ensuring speed and security.
Optimised payment channels
Your payment channels can communicate to your customers how much you value their safety and convenience. Payment solutions for small business can enhance the customer experience by accepting different card brands and offering a range of options from online portals to email links.
You can further streamline your card payment options by determining which type of card machine you need. Your equipment must be portable if you need to visit customers to collect their payments, while countertop machines can be installed if you have a physical store with a permanent till. Diverse options with quick payment processing heighten the chances for your customers to return and make new purchases.
Customer service chatbots
With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, chatbots can be integrated into your business to serve your customers. You can automate responses for usual client inquiries and concerns. Chatbots are designed to provide all-around, 24/7 customer support while also freeing up your time for other operational tasks.
A study on AI-based chatbots in customer service recommends being transparent with customers that they are interacting with a bot and not an actual human, thereby allowing them to manage their expectations. Keeping the predetermined questions and answers conversational can also make customer interactions feel more organic. What’s important is that business chatbots balance service efficiency with the quality of assistance they provide.
It’s critical for small businesses to adapt and innovate in order to not be left behind. When adopting technology for your small business, learn how to monitor progress and collect feedback from customers so you can continuously improve your services and operations.