How Mobile Technology Can Improve the Customer Experience for Even the Smallest Businesses

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Small businesses such as retail shops and restaurants may not have the resources to create an exciting mobile app to increase their brand appeal or enhance customer satisfaction. But that doesn’t mean that these businesses cannot exploit the amazing convenience and efficiency that mobile technology offers.

Here are six ways business owners can use existing apps to enhance their business:

1. Use Keynote to engage, inform, and delight customers

Imagine if the customers browsing in your retail shop, or waiting for a table in your restaurant, could get a quick overview of what’s cool in your shop, or descriptions of the food and drink specials on your menu. Keynote is a powerful, easy-to-use presentation program that you can use to give customers personal, hands-on access to key information that will enhance their experience with your business. All you need is one or more iPads and an inexpensive iPad mounting frame. Now, customers that are waiting will become customers that are engaged in your business. Your Keynote presentation can easily be designed to reflect the brand image and personality you want for your business. Customers can even use it to sign-up for your email newsletter or for special email deals.

2. Use Twitter as an issue ticketing system

Stop worrying about negative comments on Twitter and start using Twitter to negate negative comments. The immediacy of Twitter makes it an excellent Customer Issue Ticketing System, because it gives your customers an easy way to voice concerns and gives you a fast and easy way to address those concerns.

Business can create a handle, such as #supportatABCInc, and customers can tweet their issues using that handle. If an issue is simple and easy to remedy, keep it public and demonstrate your commitment to customer service. If you’re confronted with a difficult or complex issue, respond to it quickly but take additional discussion off-line with an explanation that time is needed to correctly address it. Either way, you are showing your customers that you are reachable, responsive, and care about your customers.

3. Use Snapchat or WhatsApp for direct communication

Many small businesses, particularly professionals, advisors, and consultants, need to be continuously engaged with their customers in order to provide maximum value. Businesses can use popular messaging applications, such as Whatsapp, or Snapchat, to stay intimately connected with key clients. These messaging applications are cost-free and easy to use. You can create an account in just a few minutes, then offer access to those customers who would most appreciate having greater access to your services.

The best part is that these messaging applications are faster, easier, and far less bothersome that dealing with phone calls or emails. You can even create client groups that enable you to easily send out the same message to multiple clients.

4. Use Instagram to build your brand or promote your products

Instagram is a powerful, multimedia messaging system that enables you to easily disseminate text messages, photos and videos. Celebrities are using it to promote their art or businesses, and many businesses are building their entire marketing programs around it. Instagram can be used very effectively by small business, as well, to improve customer service and experience, communicate about new products or services, or otherwise engage their customers. All you need to do is make sure your messages are brand-rooted, appealing, and well-crafted.

5. Facebook Live to connect live with customers

Facebook Live has been rapidly gaining in popularity. Why? Because it’s live! Use it to generate excitement in a special event or new development in your business. Facebook Live is especially valuable to event management businesses, entertainment businesses, and anyone who wants to conduct Webinar-like experiences for their customers, clients, or prospects.

6. Build a proper profile on Yelp and Google Business

Most of the customers for small businesses will visit Yelp or check-out the Google profile of businesses they plan to visit. Often, having a Google business profile or Yelp profile will introduce your business to new customers who are searching locally for your products or services. Any business that does not have profiles on these important platforms are missing out on free exposure, and may even be irritating their existing customers. When your customer forgets your address or phone number, he or she wants to be able to get it simply by typing your name in their phone browser. Your Yelp or Google profile will do just that, so makes sure to keep those profiles up to date.

These platforms also provide business reviews and ratings. Make sure your business stays on top of these valuable promotional tools. Thank the people who give you good reviews, and respond to negative reviews to show the public that you care about customer satisfaction. Don’t worry about impossible-to-satisfy customer complaints. People appreciate good-faith efforts and tend to ignore cranks. Just stay positive, friendly, and responsive.

The great benefit of all the apps mentioned here is that they don’t require the purchase of additional software or highly specialized training to use them. Everything you need to engage your customers and enhance their experiences in your business can be found in these popular mobile apps that everyone is already using.

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