by Cody Lents, partner and customer steward, COVI, Inc.

What is every company’s primary product? The customer’s experience. IT has an enormous impact on this overall experience. It begins with trust. A company’s trust is built upon the 3 C’s: consistency, emotional connection, and communication. Employees are critical in building that trust between the company and its customers.

Employees who are consistently empowered by processes and are ready and able to communicate will easily stay connected with their customers. They will be able to follow established guidelines to ensure the customer receives the best experience possible.

Excellent customer service is becoming more and more challenging now that customer expectations and 24/7 workforces are increasingly becoming the standard at the same time our capacity is diminishing amid the great resignation.

So, to understand IT’s impact on the customer experience, we must first understand its impact on culture.

“The customer is always right, right?” At the end of the day, for customers to come first, our culture must come first.

An exceptional customer experience wins and retains loyal customers. So how do you make your customers feel valued and listened to? A lot of it relies on your organization’s culture. Companies must build organizational cultures of treating employees well — as if they are customers, too. Finding a solid tech balance for employees and customers means checking some boxes before you decide to adopt another solution.

When is too much tech a problem? Being inundated with tech is a common problem in today’s marketplace. Finding a way to balance tech and customers’ experience is about creating an intelligent technology plan that aligns with your industry and mission. Tech can no longer operate successfully without such alignment.

Not including these processes can make a great experience for your customer impossible, and happy customers are the lifeblood and beating heart of any organization and organic, word-of-mouth referrals.

Many people will be inclined to leverage their technology to fill the gap, but is that really the best way? The problem we face is that the more tech we use, the more tech we must continue to manage, which requires expensive skill sets and nuanced management skills. IT plays a pivotal role in your customer’s experience.

Technology may increase efficiency, but it doesn’t necessarily improve effectiveness. As companies continue to look for ways to reduce costs and gain process efficiencies, they shouldn’t do so at the expense of the overall customer service experience and ultimate customer satisfaction.

These companies must realize that customers are individuals, with varying appetites and tolerance for technology. We must adapt to the customer’s platform and ensure that the technology we use does not get in the way of that overall experience.