We're experiencing a wave of new technologies and mediums interact with customers.
Chat bots, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality are just some of the latest pieces of tech with a lot of promise. They won't be great everything, but they definitely have the potential to improve on specific aspects of the customer experience.
It's easy to get caught up in the hoopla. New toys are fun.
But before you start to invest company resources on a new technology, you need to ask yourself...
Does it solve a problem?
As a business owner, or someone who holds an important role in one, you should always be looking to improve the experience for your customers.
Regularly tweaking, fine-tuning, and optimizing your customer experience strategy is crucial. If you're not aware of the pains and problems your customers are facing, how can you solve them?
New technology can help you do that.
It can also do the exact opposite.
Sometimes, incorporating a new form of tech or a new tool can actually complicate your customer experience, rather than simplify it.
We see examples of this all the time. Businesses jumping on trends without first figuring out if it's right for them and, most importantly, their customers.
Imagine you're the owner of a used car dealership.
A representative from a hot new startup walks into your office and pitches their new app to you. The app is essentially a new messaging platform that has some compelling unique features.
The app is growing incredibly fast, with over 50 million active users.
Sounds great right? By setting up a profile and advertising on this platform, you have the potential to reach 50 million new customers!
But do you really?
After doing some research , you find out that the main demographic of the app's users are people aged 13-18.
Remember, you sell used cars. How many teens do you know who are shopping for a car?
On top of that, the app is a global platform. So out of the 50 million users, there are only about 10,000 in your area.
Not quite as appealing now is it?
But this app is all the rage! Everyone is talking about it. On TV, social media, all of the major blogs...
This is when we ask that all important question.
Does it solve a problem?
For a fashion retailer looking to reach millennials all across the country? Absolutely.
For you? Not even close.
Your audience simply isn't on this platform. Perhaps they may be in the future, but not now. To invest your business' time and resources into this tool would be a mistake.
You would be putting the tech ahead of your customers.
The technology and tools you use should fit around your customers, not the other way around.
What does your ideal customer look like?
Take the time to learn about your audience. What are their needs? Where can they be found? What problems are they facing? How can you solve those problems?
Look at the data. Data you likely already have.
The best tools will unlock that untapped resource and help you learn more about your customers.
Don't let shiny new tech distract you from your most important resource - your customer.
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