New Tech Era for You, Customers
- Tech expectations. Customers demand smart tech and kiosk service options.
- Pervasive digitization. Tech-based services are expected in all consumer engagements.
- Integration imperative. Seamless tech integration is key for satisfaction.
Neither customer-facing tech, nor digital kiosks, nor self-service are new phenomena.
But in an age where customers expect more tech options, including smart tech and kiosks, tech-friendly customer service, and fully integrated tech ecosystems in even the unlikeliest places, businesses must adapt to stay competitive.
Simply put, the existence of powerful technologies alone is producing customer demand for those tools — which is, in turn, driving continued innovation.
What do changing customer demands look like in a tech-enabled economy? Let’s dive into how smart tech, like kiosks, has reshaped customers’ expectations in various industries.
Customer Demand Smart Tech and Kiosk Options and More
In today’s landscape, customers simply expect to have tech options available where they shop, work, seek care and purchase services.
When it comes to the types of devices and tools customers expect, consumers routinely look for:
- Self-service point of sale (POS) systems, like:
- Kiosk ordering in food service
- Digital information hubs, like:
- Tablet catalogs in retail
- Digital maps and wayfinding in a variety of contexts
- Tech-enabled customer service channels, including:
- Electronic payment options such as:
- RFID tap-to-pay for physical cards
- Apple Pay
- Digital wallet compatibility
These are just the tip of the iceberg.
Suppose you’re wondering how we transitioned from a landscape where consumers were wary of a cashless world to an economy where digital integration is an outright demand. In that case, the answer lies in the recent past. Experts generally credit the COVID-19 pandemic with accelerating efforts to digitize POS, customer service and other consumer functions.
Related Article: The Bittersweet Story of the Restaurant Kiosk and Customer Experience
Customer Service Expectations Haven’t Changed
It’s important to note that, though consumers’ expectations for available tech have changed, their standards for customer service have not.
Customers still expect robust, quality service from their favorite brands — but in an increasingly digital world, they also expect reasonable shifts in how they get customer service.
What does that look like?
- Customers want tech-savvy support – If your business offers a slate of consumer-facing technologies, your customers will expect every customer service rep they encounter to be fluent in those systems.
- Customers want new channels – More and more customers are turning to (and demanding) digital customer support channels like live chat and SMS support.
- Customers want automation and self-service – Many customers don’t reach out to live customer service agents until they can’t solve their issues themselves — by this point, they’re already frustrated. Customers expect to be able to solve their own problems first, and advanced tools like AI chatbots and automated self-service functions can help them avoid frustration.
Efforts like these can be generally described as customer experience (CX) technologies. They enhance the client’s overall experience with a brand by facilitating smoother, tech-informed customer service.
Related Article: What Defines World-Class Customer Service Now and How to Get There
Customers Want Tech-Integrated Infrastructure
While your business might be prepared to invest in various devices and facilitate multichannel CX, remember that these devices must be thoroughly integrated to maximize customer satisfaction.
Translation: instead of just a litany of devices, your brand needs a functioning ecosystem that creates a seamless experience for end users. All of your devices should serve a purpose in your system.
And these purposes can serve both you and your customer. Here are some examples:
- Your customers’ payment information is stored for use in both your ecommerce and brick-and-mortar POS platforms.
- You use your customers’ browsing and purchase histories to offer personalized product recommendations and services for future transactions.
- You combine your customers’ past ordering data with your email marketing efforts to facilitate easy reordering of consumable items.
Related Article: What Defines Customer Data Today?
Customers Are Looking for Tech Options in Unexpected Contexts
While the conversation above may only apply in retail or restaurant contexts, customers are looking for this level of tech-friendliness, customer service and integration everywhere.
Whether it’s self-check-in at the auto mechanic, digital registration and document storage from their healthcare providers, self-service kiosks from the post office and shipping brands, or even digital time tracking at the office, consumers are looking for tech integration anywhere they engage with the market.
Meet Customers’ Tech Demands to Remain Competitive
Today’s businesses must embrace consumers’ newfound penchant for pixels to remain competitive in an increasingly digitized world.
Whether they incorporate advanced POS technologies, overhaul their customer service channels (or introduce new ones), work to join their existing assets more seamlessly, or find exciting ways to add tech interfaces in unlikely places, companies can (and must) leverage powerful digital tools to facilitate new growth.
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