How can companies use technological innovations to improve their customer experience?

There are expected to be over a billion smartphones by the end of this year. Sales of tablets are expected to surpass PC sales in the next couple of years. Social media usage has gone up 800% in just 8 years. People are hanging around with high-end technology, providing the access to internet all time. Their devices also have cameras, light sensors, gps, gyroscopes, big screens etc…

These facts give the software developers a great basis to come up with solutions helping people. What this means, is that they can also be used to improve the customer experience. How does your company take the advantage of smart devices bundled with the social media, and the huge hype around them? Well, here are some ideas.

Go virtual

A big part of smartphone users are active in social media, and use the virtual environment in their everyday basis with the devices. These channels are highly effective in marketing, since the usage is daily in most of the cases. You can navigate through Facebook and Twitter feeds, hashtags and fan pages to find your customers, and be present in their everyday life without them even noticing it.

Marketing can also be targeted very accurately through smart devices because of the location services like Foursquare. People want to tell where they are by checking in virtually, and are more likely to use services where others have checked in. This kind of virtual presence creates conversations about your business, and eventually more sales. Now this is truly word of mouth at its best!

Bricks & clicks

One good idea is to make the customers take the advantage of their devices in your store. A good example of this is the in-store navigation apps. These applications are developed by large stores like Macy´s, Walgreens and Home Depot. The key features of these apps are helping customers to find products, scan barcodes and write their shopping lists, as well giving feedback and receiving offers.

There is also a genius idea behind developing these kinds of apps: they attach the customer to that particular store. When the customers already have the app open, they are more unlikely to start comparing prices through web and go elsewhere. They are more likely to buy, particularly if the app is also used to promote special deals and coupons. The more the app is helping to serve the customer, the more sales will be made. This kind of combination of both physical stores with virtual parts supporting it is called the click and mortar retail model.

Definitely fast, but is it easy?

The best thing about expanding the physical services to the virtual world is that measuring it is very easy. Usage of social media and the apps can provide huge amounts of data, and that data can turn the business into a real success story. Also, setting up the very basic platforms for social media can be even free, and done in minutes. However, just being present doesn´t promise anything. There has to be a considered plan about how to carry out the interactivity with the customers. The execution has to be tightly connected with the overall business strategy and marketing communication plan, or you might just end up like these companies.

Still thinking about setting a Facebook -page to support your business? If yes, you´re definitely headed to the right direction, but it might take a little more than that to boost your business for good.

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