Monday, November 19, 2012

Smart technology in customer service

Modern technology is no small wonder.  Even more amazing are the simple, yet brilliant, solutions that small businesses put together, using simple, widely available hardware and software, to deliver better customer experience.

A popular restaurant on a Las Vegas Strip has the longest lines on Saturday mornings - and an excellent system for queue management.  A lady in front takes names and numbers for each party wanting to get a table, and types that info directly  into her iPad. Immediately after customer information is recorded, there is an SMS sent to customer phone informing her of the expected wait time, and that she will be notified via SMS when her table is ready. During the wait time, there are a few more updates sent to the customer about the remaining wait, followed by the SMS advising the customer to come up to the hostess stand to be seated. The stream of SMS is just enough to foster the warm-and-fuzzy feeling that the restaurant is working hard to serve the waiting customer soon. Using the phone for notifications also allows people to wonder around, and still not miss their table when it becomes available. 

The restaurant also offers customers to opt-in into their SMS-subscription list, to regularly receive information about food and drink specials.  This is a great way to reach customers directly, without depending on a 3d-party platform, like Facebook.  

Another interesting detail about this restaurant: it has lots of Yelp! reviews, and a huge number of pictures. Once customers get out their smartphones to communicate with the restaurant, they go on to snap pictures of food and drinks, and share them with the world. 

Another wonderful example of a small business creating magic with modern gadgets is one shoe vendor I met recently.  The lady uses her iPad for credit card processing, as many shop owners do, but then she goes a step beyond.  Every customer is emailed a customized receipt for each purchase, adorned by a picture of the customer in her brand-new shoes.

This system accomplishes several good results. The customers get to discuss the photo of the new shoes right away, an many immediately show it off to friends via social media. It completes the sale, and simplifies record keeping for both the seller and the client. The customer knows exactly why she spent [a significant amount of] money - beautiful shoes look lovely in the picture. In addition, the customer has an easy way to contact the vendor, if needed, simply by replying to the email.  And the vendor has built and saved a very informative customer profile: name and email, price paid, and information about product preferences.          


  1. Nice Blog , thanks for shareing the information

  2. Nice post! Glad that you like their service. I believe that treating the customer so politely makes them so comfortable with your services. Anyway, thanks for sharing. Keep posting.

  3. Technology is amazing, and it's truly great to see innovation being used for everything from software to help manage data centers, to software being used to improve customer service. Looking forward to seeing what the future holds.


  4. We should exploit different options to provide good customer service.