Technology allows businesses to be much more innovative when it comes to customer service. However, you have more creative leeway in the online space than you do in the physical space. For example, storing customer information makes your online helpdesk more streamlined. Since there is no face-to-face interaction, your customers are less likely to feel invaded. On the contrary, when a repeat customer is greeted at a restaurant from someone who knows exactly what he or she ordered last time, the approach can come across as either sleek or awkward.

Don’t Be a Digital Stalker

Anyone can track down information through social media platforms, but customers don’t want companies knowing where and what they ate last night. Balance is the key. If you want to know your customers, do so with recognition rather than by asking about them about their dating history.

In a physical environment, the first point of contact is not always the designated contact. Knowing the names of your customers and the exact person to direct them to makes a huge and inviting impact. The great thing about utilizing customer service software is that customer information is shared through your entire organization, so anyone can be a successful first point of contact.

Ditch the Mechanics

Reading from a fill-in-the-blank script is sometimes worse than being invasive. Customers don’t want to feel like a number. Use names, but use them genuinely. An airline gate agent, for example, is doing nothing by simply inserting a name into a thank you script while looking down at the scanner. Simple eye contact goes a long way. The number one rule is to not let technology get in the way of being human.

Use Technology to Your Advantage…Subtly

Good customer service doesn’t mean reverting back to pencil and paper, for technology can be your most useful tool if used correctly. If you possess knowledge about a customer, be clever about your implementation.

Perhaps you own a luxury hotel and one of your clients is a high-profile venture capitalist. You might consider discretely placing a magazine in the room that outlines some your city’s up-and-coming startups. This kind of tactic makes the stay more meaningful without being too nosey.

For business owners who utilize a physical or cloud help desk, make sure your system allows you to ask the right questions from the beginning. Customer inquiries need to be routed to the right person right off the bat.

Today’s customers also value convenience as well as privacy. The beauty of technology is that it allows consumers to feel in control, which is actually a good thing for businesses. If you offer a self-service portal system, invest effort into making it user friendly. It’s also important to be mobile and transparent. Customers value honesty and integrity, so be clear about your service level agreements right from the get go.