Running a business, irrespective of its size or scale, is no mean feat.
It is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
It takes a lot of courage to put your business out there amidst competition from other businesses with some bigger and more established than yours.
Fortunately, technological advancements have made it easy for all businesses to operate on a level playing field.
Here are 5 must-have technology updates every business should integrate into their business strategy to keep up with the competition and facilitate quicker growth.
1. AI for customer service
It is said that customers are the lifeblood of any business; this means that every business needs customers to survive and grow.
With the many factors a business has to handle on a daily basis, it may be necessary to discover the right tech tools to enable you to juggle this aspect of your business.
An artificial intelligence (AI) system will do a good job of getting the necessary data to assist you in understanding your customers’ needs and help you interpret it, while effectively eliminating any form of guesswork from your customer service process.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of computer programs and chatbots that make use of artificial intelligence to carry out intelligent conversation with humans. Business owners can equally harness the power of chatbots to facilitate their customer service.
Microsoft Bot Framework provides a good starting point as it allows businesses to build bots that can connect and interact with users across multiple platforms, including Facebook Messenger, websites, Skype, and others.
2. Social media
It is no longer hot news that social media has affected virtually every aspect of our lives. If used correctly, these platforms can boost your business significantly and help it grow.
Studies show that people spend as many as 9 hours of their time on different social media platforms every day.
At last count, there are more than 2 billion people with active social media accounts.
This is a veritable goldmine of a market for any business.
A vibrant social media presence can help you boost your brand’s visibility, putting it in the face of millions of potential customers.
However, the secret is knowing the right platform or application that will help you reach your target audience quickly and cost effectively.
It goes without saying that every business should include social media in their marketing budget, as this has been known to bring in high returns.
3. Monitoring and analytics
To keep your business booming, you need to constantly monitor patterns and trends that show your customer’s lifestyle and habit changes so that you can be better positioned to meet them.
Fortunately, business intelligence is no longer the sole domain of any one business or large corporations.
Analytics also help you monitor the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, so that you can know where you need to put more effort and where the impressive results are coming from.
There are actually tons of analytics programs on the internet. Some of them are free, while there are those you have to pay for.
4. Cloud hosting
Cloud hosting allows you to deliver your business opportunities to a wider market without any restrictions.
Not too long ago, you had to have a website located on a server in the country where your target market was.
But with cloud hosting, this is no longer necessary.
“What cloud hosting does is provide a level playing ground for businesses to compete equally in any market, local or international,” says Brenden Wilde of www.openhost.co.nz.
“Many businesses can now enjoy patronage from markets that they would otherwise not have access to,” he added.
If, as initially pointed out, customers are needed for any business to grow, then putting your products and services in front of millions of customers regardless of location or language will definitely speed up the process of your business growth.
5. Mobile apps
The world has gone mobile, and everyone knows it.
Already, mobile devices have become the tools of choice for consuming content on the internet.
Customers are using their smartphones and devices to access information about the products and services they need, along with business locations and other forms of information.
While having a responsive website has its place, a well-designed app can put your brand in your customer’s view every time they use their phone and devices.
Furthermore, you should also optimize your website for mobile devices to enable customers access what you offer from anywhere.
There are hundreds of technology updates and tips that can help speed up the growth of your business, the above 5, however, are a good place to start.
By implementing the ideas explored above, you will be able to generate sales, reduce costs, and put your business in a good spot to expand exponentially.