The digital world that we are in is constantly changing. Trying to keep ahead of the curve with every new tool that is being unveiled is like trying to catch a butterfly in a net, once you think you’ve finally cracked it, it inexplicably gets away from you. While the improvement in antivirus tech, cloud storage, and customer relationship management systems continue to ascend, there is another virus, or another story about how data has been leaked, causing masses of fines and a lack of trust from the customer. And it’s not surprising, there are that many more businesses of small, medium and large sizes striving for their bit of the light that there is that much more data and that much more competition. The target of meeting their targets and getting that sale has become the priority over keeping companies secure and protected from the elements. And while the larger companies view the protection of their data as one of the most important elements of business, the smaller companies can now access the same sorts of tech that enables them to compete with the bigger businesses. So where do we go now? What is the future of tech in business? And what will happen as a result of these changes?
A Virtual Workforce Will Come Into Play
It is predicted that by 2022, 60 percent of workers that are office based will be working from home on a regular basis. This will prove a sensible investment for the small business as it reduces the cost to have premises, but what will tech have to do with this? As productivity applications and platforms that enable collaboration become more and more improved, the opportunity to micromanage from anywhere will become a fully-fledged reality. The current trend to outsource is a popular approach when it comes to using companies such as netstar, and as productivity increases, so does the need for companies such as this. But as time goes on, the nature of working at home may see a reliance on these and other apps to work that much harder to cover a wider work area. As apps such as BaseCamp or Slack become more improved, the social media management platforms, such as Buffer, will make it easier to keep tabs on a full team regardless of their location. Relating this to the standard workforce, it makes it so much easier to locate potential talent and overcomes the limits of geography that a virtual workforce is something that will become a mainstay in business.
Software for automated marketing has its benefits in large companies, but small businesses will no doubt benefit so much more when they need to spread their staff duties out among a small number of employees. It also helps to avoid costly marketing agency fees! This kind of platform will be a lifesaver when it comes to productivity, as it allows business owners to state a goal and the software then takes over, it does tasks such as publishing a post to different social media. There are many CRM systems that effortlessly take over the marketing side of things and helps to reduce the amount of tasks from the human perspective. And with the CRMs easy user interface, such as drag and drop functions, this means productivity is increased majorly, and employee burnout in small businesses are reduced immensely.
Digital Customer Relationship Management
Systems such as Salesforce or One Page CRM are ones that are popular and simple to use when it comes to learning more about your customers, and as these systems start to integrate more features, like response rates and demographics of customers, it will make for a much smoothly run business. The more you learn about your customer’s habits, the more you can tailor your marketing. CRM is a vital ingredient in analytics, and even if your business is small, you can use free software like Insightly to integrate with your systems.
The Payment Methods Will Increase
Smartphones have changed how customers pay for their goods. People now pay for almost everything on the go, from car sharing services like Uber, to using PayPal to get paid for freelance work, but now with the methods of contactless payment and barcodes that can be scanned on your phone, there are apps like LifeLock Wallet, which uses your ID, credit card, debit card and insurance details as a barcode that can be scanned. The payment process has become much simpler in the modern age, as smaller businesses embrace this change, it will make payment a less taxing process than before.
The App Generation
The smaller businesses will benefit more from apps, and offering customers their own portal to your business by creating an app is an essential component of the marketing framework in today’s business climate. There are many platforms that help create apps even if you have no technical know-how, such as ibuildapp. The platforms are becoming more sophisticated as time goes on, which will give you the tools to create an app that really stands out. Other features of these platforms also include the ability to embed video chat into the apps, so direct communication with customers is achievable. The goal of getting a one to one conversation with a customer has been on the rise with Twitter or Instant Messenger, and now, you can speak to a customer “in person” wherever they are. Not only can you speak to the customer, but they can speak to each other. As there are many language learning apps doing the rounds, it is encouraging a lot more communication on a massive scale. So how can this be harnessed? Using this to resolve customer issues will help your business go one step beyond the standard contact center approach, and really helps you to speak to a customer, face to face.
These are just a few of the ways in which tech is changing our attitude to business processes in the 21st century. And as tech improves and finds another way of making life a little bit simpler for us, it will work to make business processes more streamlined and will aid productivity.