There is no denying that technology is transforming every element of our lives – we get to travel across the globe, communicate long-distance, while exotic items have become easily available. The business world has always been an arena but perhaps nowadays it is even more so because everyone is on the lookout for that one gadget or software tool that will turn the tables to their advantage.
Technology that was a competitive advantage yesterday has become a mandatory element today so this dog-eat-dog race is never-ending, just as the progress of technology. The predictions for the year 2020 don’t emphasize any ground-breaking novelty in this field but offer a transformation and expansion of already available elements. With that in mind, here are some suggestions about technology that your business will need in 2020.
The versatility of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been the talk of the town for some time now and some people are vehemently against it because they instantly imagine androids enslaving humanity. Business people, on the other hand, know the real place that AI has in the business world as well as the future potential.
One of the first applications that is slowly becoming a standard is in the area of customer service, that is – chatbots. They can provide customers with answers to many standardized questions or forward them towards the relevant page and the inquiry is escalated towards a live agent only if it is atypical. Chatbots are therefore both a time-effective and cost-saving solution. Their ability to identify patterns and predict outcomes by analyzing substantial amounts of data makes AI applicable to the recruitment process and cybersecurity, and also the tool you need to try out in 2020.
Taking project management to the next level
Each entrepreneur knows that the importance of project management is unquestionable. The success of your business relies heavily on each segment of a project being finished on time and in accordance with the agreement that was made with the client. Otherwise, you risk one bad client experience to damage your reputation which is not unimaginable in the era of the internet.
This is why you need to take your project management tools to the next level, that is, to the cloud. Many businesses trust cloud project management software to track time spent on each task and ensure data are kept safe on the cloud. In addition to that, they can keep track of the project’s progress via a timeline which allows them to make changes on time if need be. Having in mind your clients are just as busy as you, they will also appreciate you being able to quickly produce reports and real-time feedback.
Utilizing user reviews as guidelines
Online communication, especially via social media, has shown us that there are plenty of like-minded people out there. However, it also made us realize that we are not as unique as we thought we were. This is why customers crave for the feeling of getting special attention and services and business owners strive to find ways to personalize their experiences.
Therefore, in 2020, be wise and leverage the one segment a lot of entrepreneurs forget – the user reviews. In general, users trust the reviews they see online which means they shape their reputation but more importantly, those reviews can be accumulated and analyzed through different software tools. They can point out the need for creating new products, enriching your content with certain topics or correcting certain oversights regarding product descriptions or the purchase process. Using software to analyze online reviews will make the entire user experience more personalized.
Automation is extending its reach
Some time ago the entrepreneurs realized how much time and money they can save on automating certain processes. Many an employee has almost fallen asleep performing repetitive tasks that can be done without much cognitive power. One of the most common results of such practices are mistakes of smaller or larger importance but caused by employees.
This is why such repetitive tasks should be automated via a software solution and your employees should be placed on tasks that are challenging and ask for creativity and critical thinking. This is a trend that is still going strong so if you aren’t on board, you need to give these solutions a try in different areas, especially in accounting, email marketing, social media, and data management. For instance, you can allow your employees to schedule email and social media campaigns and this is how you will reduce the chance of human error.
Multichannel customer support
Technology brought us a sea of different communication channels and nowadays, customers have grown accustomed to being able to reach brands and get help on pretty much all of them. While it can be tempting to take the easy way out and rely on chatbots to answer all of your customers’ questions, it’s not always the most effective solution. Although chatbots can be available 24/7, some people simply prefer to interact with real humans.
Luckily, new communication channels haven’t stoped the technological innovations for the old ones, so you can make the more traditional means of communication like the phone more effective by switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Some of the best VoIP services offer features such as voice queueing, voicemail to email, call monitoring, and can easily be integrated with CRM in order to provide the best possible experience to your customers.
For a small business owner, the course of action is simple: you need to embrace the technology that will make your business more efficient and your products more competitive. Of course, there is the question of your budget, but having in mind the overall improvements that these investments bring, they are well worth investing in. So, analyze your budget and business processes and if you see an opportunity to introduce some of these useful software solutions, you should definitely give them a go.