Customer-Centric Technology is a Top Priority

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Customer-Centric Technology is a Top Priority

By Tom Martin - 03/30/2016
If you spent the last few years making your customers “king,” it’s time to reevaluate that relationship. Now is the time to turn those royals into your best friends. Making a purchase is no longer just a transaction and consumers want a healthy relationship with their favorite brands. They expect recommendations when making selections, whether it’s on the right size to order, or a particular style to consider based on their preferences. They value the brands who listen, interact and help. Starting to sound like a friendship?

Customers want to feel personally connected to brands, and not surprisingly, across different industries brands are exploring ways to develop stronger customer relationships. Glance Networks recently conducted a survey to determine the top business priorities for IT decision makers in 2016 and many indicated plans to add customer-centric technologies to their technology mix, even when their budgets are limited.

The research indicates that brands are beginning to understand how the right technology can establish and nurture long-term relationships. Companies who had stagnant (65%) or decreased (40%) budgets in the past three years, had still increased or upgraded at least one customer-focused technology during the same period of time. One-in-five respondents also indicated that requests for customer-centric technology originated from all employee levels at their companies, signifying that technology is a critical factor in helping employees connect with customers.

So, how do you make a customer a friend? Men’s wear legend George Zimmer is on the path to disrupt the tuxedo industry and his latest venture, Generation Tux, is a great example of how establishing a customer relationship is critical. A wedding or formal event is a major milestone in these customers’ lives, and they turn to family and friends on advice for their big day.

The service aims to become friends with their customers through their concierge service with co-browsing technology. The concierge helps grooms- and brides-to-be review and select clothing options for a seamless and easy experience by sharing their screens and creating looks together. The concierge is a real brand representative with fashion expertise who provides advice during what can be a stressful and pressure-filled time. This type of customer interaction is critical for all retail players and the necessity for using technology to do so will only grow.

Consumers who establish a friendship with a brand are more likely to return. It’s important to empower employees to create connections with customers. Investing in customer-focused technology that connects a brand with its customers is only the first step to build friendships.

Technology and customer service training programs are very important to get the best ROI from your technology and your employees.
Having the latest technology will never be a replacement for true, caring service. Encourage your sales representatives to create a rapport with customers and to empathize with them as they make their selections. As we close out the year, now is the time to re-evaluate how many of your customers you count among your friends.          

-Tom Martin, Glance CEO

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