More companies are considering how to improve their customer experience, and technology is often a big part of that. The right technology can save customers time or offer a more fulfilling interaction.
We asked business owners how they’ve deployed technology to improve their customer experience and, in turn, increase sales. Here’s how they responded:
Add barcodes for faster checkout
We’re an artisan pie bakery and one significant upgrade we made to our storefront this year that has made all of our customers swoon is adding barcodes to our pie stickers. At checkout, we just use a scanner to quickly scan each pie. Because we offer so many flavors in so many sizes, the opportunity to just scan each box instead of scrolling through a huge menu list has helped so much. Our checkout time is now a quarter of what it was before the implementation. We work manage everything via our point-of-sale system’s inventory tool, so the unexpected outcome is that it has also helped me get a handle on what pies sell the best.
—Rebecca Miller, owner, Peggy Jean’s Pies, Columbia, Missouri
Get immediate feedback on your website experience
We have embedded user-feedback software on our website that asks our site visitors about their experience using our site as they’re browsing it. It has helped us better engage online customers while also getting their insight into what they were confused about or didn’t like on the actual page they were visiting. We actually completely redid our quote design based on user feedback. We were told a few times that the previous quote method we were using—despite having roughly the same number of inputs—had too many steps, since each field had its own page. So by making that change requested by our customers, our abandonment rate for people in our quote funnel decreased by nearly half. In general, we’ve noticed a huge increase in the number of return visitors—about 15%—as a result of using embedded surveys, as well as a higher conversion rate.
—Alexander M. Kehoe, co-founder and operations director, Caveni Digital Solutions, Philadelphia
Send auto-reminders via text
We send appointment auto-reminders to clients by phone two days before their appointment. Not only do they appreciate the reminder, we have reduced the number of last-minute cancellations significantly.
—Mickey Mikeworth, founder, Mikeworth Consulting, Minneapolis
Use a chatbot to answer common questions
I have an ecommerce site with live customer service agents available to help customers. But we also have a chatbot that can answer frequently asked questions if our agents are busy. Thanks to the chatbot, I’ve been getting fewer customer questions by email and have been able to hire fewer customer service agents.
—Becky Beach, owner, Mom Beach, Dallas, Texas
Send personalized welcome videos
One of our most well-received customer experience initiatives has been sending a personalized welcome video to all our new customers using a platform called Bonjoro. This short interaction thanks them for signing up, provides them with a few actionable bits of information and invites them to reach out to us if they’re ever having issues or have questions about the courses we’re selling. People are thrilled that we’ve taken the time to record these videos, and it really creates a fantastic first impression. The numbers speak for themselves: We currently have a 90%-plus open and watch rate of these videos—which is much higher than the open rate of traditional welcome emails. Moreover, we’ve seen our customer refund rate plummet to the lowest it has ever been as a result.
—Mark Webster, co-founder, Authority Hacker, London
Offer an online customer service portal
To improve our customer experience, we’ve implemented a live ticket dashboard that gives us messages from our customers in real time. We also try to respond to them in real time, whenever we can. If someone sends a message outside of our working hours, we handle it when we get to our office first thing in the morning.
—Dmytro Okunyev, founder, Chanty, New York CityPrint this article