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Technology and Customers: Are You Getting It Wrong?

by Shawn Karol Sandy

Last week, I had to have an unexpected surgery on my sinuses. At the doctor’s office one day and scheduling an urgent surgery for the following day! Wow, talk about a sudden disruption to your “status quo”.

One of the first things I had to do was to create an account and login to the surgery center to fill in my patient history. It was about 50 questions and took about 20 minutes and I was curious to know if it would expedite the process for the next day OR, as I dreaded, if I was going to have to answer the same questions again—for which I really wondered, “what’s the point?”

So many times in our experiences as customers or patients or even as employees, we’re asked to engage with technology and its benefits are not the payoff we’re expecting.

We answer questions or fill out information multiple times, get duplicate messages or are frustrated by the barriers that technology and automation create between us and real humans or real answers.

Back to surgery day—wow, what a difference in this experience: registration and my pre-op nurse quickly confirmed key and critical pieces of information by reviewing my submitted information and the whole process was extremely smooth and kept waiting room time to only 10 minutes! This process also included follow up care instructions emailed to me and my prescription sent ahead to my pharmacy. This was just the right balance of personal touch with ease and convenience.

They key here being balance, and the ease and convenience it brought to my experience as a patient and a customer.

We struggle with technology, as with most everything else, with moderation and balance and many businesses have got the wrong idea about why and how we want technology to work for us as customers.

Big businesses, small businesses, solo practices and sales pros – there is no better way to maximize your time and resources than by leveraging the amazing tools and technology that are readily available, easily customizable and affordable to help you earn customers and scale business.

But instead of layers of automation and systems – think phone trees, contact forms and questionnaires – the real genius in leveraging technology in business isn’t in adding more layers of efficiency.

The magic and true genius of technology is that it allows us to bring customers closer to us.

When Your Customers or Prospects Have an Experience With You, Ask Yourself:

  • Are you using technology to push your customers away or bring them closer to you?
  • Are you making their life or your life easier? (Yes, the answer can be both but most importantly – theirs!
  • Is your digital or social technology helping customers get to know you better? (Are you sharing Authentic, Transparent and helpful stories and examples vs. constant self promotion?)
  • Is your technology helping you be more human? (Empathetic, relatable, relevant vs. robotic, and programmed?)
  • Are you helping people find you when they need you? (In their channels, where they are researching information Or are you barraging them with mindless, automated messages?)
  • Is technology helping your customers choose their own experience? (How and when they want to communicate and customize their encounters vs. forced email responses or contact forms?)

There are hundreds of tech tools to use in business now:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems used by sales teams,
  • Inbound Marketing or Marketing Automation used to track and customize user experiences
  • Project Management software
  • Forms, surveys, databases
  • Email, Video, Social Media

The resources and tools are endless.

Carefully Consider What Technology You Use and Why You Use It

Every opportunity with a customer can push them away or pull them closer to you.

Topics:Customer ExperienceEmail MarketingCommunicationSales TrainerGrowing Small BusinessSocial Media

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