How to keep customers happy this season

What does it take to keep customers happy today? This is a question business owners ask themselves on a regular basis, and for good reason. The truth is, businesses don't just compete on price, product or promotions anymore. These days, it's the customer experience that counts the most, especially during critical shopping seasons like the holidays.

Why? Because customers have more information than ever before, thanks to the smartphones they carry in their pockets. Today's shoppers are doing their homework well ahead of time, making them more knowledgeable and empowered. They can quickly search for product information like pricing and sizing before stepping inside a bricks-and-mortar store. They also expect any issues to be resolved via email or social media.

A business that can help customers save time and avoid any frustration is already one step ahead of the competition. Not sure how your business can meet customer expectations? This is where technology tools can help.

According to a recent report from Salesforce, more than half of Canadian SMBs say they spend up to 25 per cent of their workday inputting manual data. That's a waste of valuable time. Instead, think about using a customer relationship management solution such as Salesforce, the global leader in CRM. It stores all customer information in one central place so you and your team can access this information from anywhere, including your mobile devices, all in real time. Instead of relying on sticky notes or spreadsheets, CRM automates tasks while providing customer insights like purchase histories, product preferences and interactions on email and social media.

CRM is also valuable for customer service. Your team can use it to keep track of all your customers' interactions including your service department. And because everyone can access the information, account reps and every other relevant department will be fully aware of customers' issues, so everyone can be a service agent when you need them during busier times in the year.

Small business owners investing in the right tech tools will not only stay organized, but more importantly, will keep their customers happy when the shopping crunch really kicks in.