Although it can be all too easy to get caught up in the day to day running of your business; ensuring that you respond to customer enquiries, packaging and distributing products and managing your employees, it is equally important that you look into ways to ensure the ongoing survival of your company. The bigger picture, so to speak.
However, if the thought of thinking long term brings you out in a cold sweat, because let’s be honest, it can be simpler to just focus on immediate and tangible goals, you will be pleased to know that there are several new and innovative technologies that will make this process a lot more straightforward, not to mention less time-consuming.
You should be.
Therefore, if you want to not only ensure that your business is still trading in five years time, but maybe even have the opportunity to expand your brand, then keep reading to discover three ways that technology can help future proof your business in 2020.
1. Go virtual
If you haven’t already embraced virtual reality technology, both for your customers and for your employees, then 2020 is the year that you should.
The virtual reality industry is expanding, with it set to have a market value of over $19 billion by the end of the year, and it’s not hard to see why this technology is gaining popularity in a wide variety of industries including entertainment, healthcare, property and advertising, to name but a few.
How can you utilize virtual reality to your advantage?
In terms of your own team, virtual reality provides you the opportunity to offer your employees flexible and remote working, saving you money and making you a more attractive employer for retaining and recruiting the best talent in your specific industry.
However, if you would like help procuring the right team for your business and building a successful company culture, a digital consultant who specializes in business growth and team performance can offer you advice and support.
For your customers, virtual reality can be utilized in a number of ways to enhance their user experience with your brand and the products or services that you provide.
Virtual reality technology can be used to:
- Showcase a product or service
- Attend conferences
- Interview candidates
- Developing a new product or service
2. Embrace mobile technologies
People are using their mobile phones more than ever before, with 96% of Americans owning a cell phone of some kind and 81% owning a smartphone. Furthermore, an increasing number of consumers are using their mobile to access the internet as well as to make online purchases. Therefore, it is vital if you want to continue to run a successful business that you ensure that people can view your website on a number of different devices, and in particular, on their mobile phones.
The simplest way to do this is by using responsive web design. If you are not familiar with this term, responsive web design involves creating one website that can be viewed on any screen size but maintain its usability and user-friendliness. A creative web design agency such as Digital Silk can help you with all aspects of the web design process and ensure that your site is mobile-friendly.
Other mobile technologies you may wish to utilize include:
- Contactless payments – allowing your customers to pay for their purchases with their mobile phones
- BYOD – bring your own device, which allows your employees to work on the go and be more self-sufficient. Although, you need to ensure that you have strong security measures in place to protect your business.
3. Utilize customer service tech
If you own a small or medium sized business, then you will know how important good customer service is when it comes to attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. That being said, as an SME, providing consistently high-quality customer service can be a challenge. Not because you don’t have the desire to help your customers in the best way that you can, but simply because you don’t always have the time.
Fortunately, that is where the beauty of technology comes into play, as there are now new advancements available that can help with all aspects of your business including:
- Your website
- Your emails
- Your outbound communication
- Your internal software
Customer service technology which can help your business in 2020 includes:
- Chatbots or virtual sales assistants
- Artificial Intelligence
- Video voicemails
- Real-time messaging
Although you may be wary about investing in a new technology, especially if you are a relatively small business, it is worth remembering that you need to “speculate to accumulate”, with never a truer phrase being coined in terms of embracing new technologies.
The world is moving forwards, at an extremely fast pace, and the needs of consumers are changing constantly with today’s shopper being more reliant on e-commerce, and now increasingly m-commerce, than ever before, and sadly, if you fail to adapt as a business, you will get left behind.