[If this post seems familiar, that’s because it originally appeared in a LinkedIn post we wrote late in 2017]

I’ve always been a little baffled by the disconnect between technology and customer appreciation. On the surface, one might think integrating technology as a methodology for measuring and improving customer satisfaction comes across as cold and unfeeling, and in some ways, counterintuitive. Your customers could suggest that they need more personal touches, and heaven forbid, “IRL” interactions with you and your staff! Technology can’t possibly be a 100% substitute for interpersonal relationships.

But if the idea is to legitimately improve the user experience, why wouldn’t you as a service provider explore every avenue to capture meaningful feedback from your customer base? More than anything, customers want to be noticed and heard. If technology can be your extra set of eyes and ears, why wouldn’t you add it to your inventory?

Too often, we as business owners seek only the feedback that fits neatly into our predetermined methodology for satisfying our customer base. If a customer’s needs stray too far from what we are readily able to support, we rationalize away their requests as unreasonable or “out of scope.” And other times, the volume of feedback can be just too overwhelming; you run the danger of jumping through hoops to answer some requests while others are left without response.

This is where a well thought out technology integration plan can become the great equalizer. Properly executed, smart customer appreciation technology can funnel customer interactions into manageable silos, while ensuring your customers’ needs are being met and publicly addressed. This quickly turns adversaries into advocates and strengthens the bond between you and your customers. Because the best type of business is repeat business.

Again, nothing is ever going to be more valuable in a customer’s mind than personalized attention. But if technology can help you determine which of your customers most need the personalized attention, you are doing yourself (and your customers) a big disservice by not working to actively capture this data. 

And who knows? Maybe some customers are just more comfortable interacting with a mobile interface than a real-life face.