Running a business is not an easy thing to do. It may have started off as just an idea, but on the surface of it, that seed is planted in your mind and at some stage you take that leap of faith and make the business a reality. You are excited about the next chapter, it gives you purpose and motivation, but are you taking advantage of everything that is available to help move your business forward?
Technology has advanced at an alarming rate, and it is now easier than ever To incorporate different elements into your business to make things easier, not just for you as a business leader but also for your customer. Here are some of the ways that technology advances can help move your business forward.
The customer experience
A great way that technology advances have helped business is through the customer experience. Customer experience is such an important factor when it comes to how your business works and how many sales that it can potentially make. Without the customers and clients, you simply have no business. So how can you use different technology advances to ensure that you get the customer experience right? Here are some suggestions to try within your business.
Social media strategy
You may want to look at ways that you can use social media to enhance the customer experience. Social media has really blown up in the last few years, and it enables businesses to directly engage with their customers. Further to that, you have so many options that can help you utilise the platforms better. For starters, it might be worth coming up with a social media strategy. This takes into account the content that you share as well as how you engage with your audience. Perhaps trying to share not just sales focused content, but also content that would be of interest that entices your audience to strike up a conversation through comments and direct messages. You might also want to try out different tools within the platforms. Things like Instagram stories and also live video options can work really well. There articles that support usigin different functions within the platforms can help when it comes to beating the algorithm of how posts are presented to your audience.
The customer experience is all about knowledge, and as a business owner, you need to ember previous contacts with the customer, you need to know when they made an enquiry, what they last bought from you and when and any comments they may have made. This is when a CRM system is a great way to do this. You can look at storing customer details in there and then have people update the notes every time a conversation is had. This helps a customers to feel valued and also allows you as a business to remain consistent. It can often be the small things, such as remembering that a customer has taken a holiday recently, for example, that can help your business stand out.
Often you will want to use the opportunity to advertise to your customer database as much as possible, and so direct marketing could be an option that you consider. There are many different methods that you can try. It could be that you want to reach out via email or post, with mailers or flyers advertising different things. You may want to use a ringless voicemail option, where customers can be contacted without it feeling that they are being prospected or harassed. It might be that you look at direct marketing through the phone, for customers that you may consider to be a hot prospect. Someone who has expressed interest but is yet to make the purchase.
Chat bots and real-time support
As part of the customer experience, as a business you have to respect that the lifestyle of customers have changed over the years. Busy commitments mean that sometimes the contact side of things isn’t possible during working hours. This is when chatbots and AI integration into your website can make a binge difference. They can be on hand to answer frequently asked questions and offer real-time support to your customers when it is needed no matter when that may be.
The business positives
There are many different positives that you can take from the technology advances that we have seen in recent years. There are benefits that include making your business more efficient, there are drawbacks that mean that you can then become complacent and rely on different options rather than still remaining proactive. Here are some of the major positives that a business can benefit from when it comes to using different technology advances.
An optimised website
Most things are done online these days, and so having a website is a must for most businesses who want to succeed in today’s world. Most people will search online to find what they are looking for, so while having a website is a benefit, you will also want to ensure that it is optimised. Using keywords and SEO can help to ensure that your website stands out and is brought up in search engine results. Further to that, you will want to ensure that your website is quick loading and full of the relevant information. If you are going to take advantage of this, then you will want to make sure that it is right.
Thanks to technology, it is now easier than ever to stay in touch with your employees and people on all corners of the globe. No matter the time difference, no matter the logistics, video conferencing can make it happen. This has massively increased the chances of keeping connected and also help to improve the communications within business. Further to that, video calls can be used with customers as well if your line of business deems it appropriate.
Email and digitised documents
There is a lot of focus around being environmentally friendly and having a more eco approach to running your business, and now with technology advances it is easier than ever to digitise your paperwork. Email makes communication simpler and fast, but you can also use this to have contracts signed digitally, to store receipts and invoices in software systems and even thinking about keeping records online rather than having physical files.
Faster and efficient payment options
The last thing that helps you as a business is making payments real-time and efficient. Technology advances throughout the years means that it is easier than ever for your customers to make their payments for your products or your services. PayPal as a website has made things simpler and protected for customers, but you can also appreciate that online banking has made transactions instant, that you can use things such as contactless payments or even take payments over the phone with credit and debit cards. The process is much easier now, which allows a business to be able to deal with things quick and efficiently.
Ease on your staff
Finally, technology has made things so much easier as a business for you to keep on track with your employees and your staff. There are so many different ways that you can not only track their progress, but also keep up to date with their efforts and productivity levels. As a staff member these technology advances can help them to improve and make some positive changes moving forward. Here are some of the ways that technology makes things easier for your employees.
Learning on the job
One of the first things that you can expect is that an employee can now learn on the job. Thanks to the advancement in different systems, online courses and qualifications that can be taken from home or in their spare time, means that they can constantly develop their skills and improve in many different ways. It can also be such a positive for a staff member, as they can begin to see real results and change. As a business owner, you can also track performance and productivity levels. This can then help you to analyse if there is any need for training and improvement, and also highlight some of the strengths of your team. Which could help you to make wiser choices when it comes to their career progression.
Finally, communication for staff is so much easier now. Internally, you can have a messenger service that will enable you team to sent instant and direct messages to other members of the business in terms of voicemails, calls and information. There is email, and text communication, that can help you to stay in direct contact with them if they are away from the office or out on call. Video can also make things easier and allows your staff members to not only communicate better with their team, but gives them a varied option to communicate with their customers.
Let’s hope these tips help you to encourage the technology advances that your business can benefit from.