So here we are in the spring of 2016. We’re now a full six months further into the future than even Michael J Fox went in Back To The Future Part II.
It’s quite funny how most of the predictions in that film came true. With the notable exception of hoverboards that actually hover, of course.
So now that we are living in the future, why are so many businesses still residing in the past, as if it’s 1985 all over again? If you want to succeed truly in business, it’s essential to harness the right technology. Here are some ways technology can change your business for the better.
Understanding Your Customer
In 1985, it was very costly and difficult to capture all the necessary information to describe your client base. In essence, it was a process of trial and error. Companies would put out a new product (after a long development cycle) and wait and see if the product stuck. Yes, they would conduct customer satisfaction surveys, but they never had the tools to go into adequate depth.
Now, though, understanding your customers has become par for the course. If your business has a website, which it almost certainly does, you’re able to track customer preferences to a fine level of granularity. Software like Google Analytics tells you what sites people have come from, what towns they live in and what pages they look it.
But some programs go even further. Some will do things like produce a heat map of cursor clicks, so you can see exactly what buttons are popular and which aren’t. All of which allows you to react quickly and alter your offering accordingly.
Use The Cloud
The cloud is no longer a buzzword. It’s really here, and there are many services to choose from. Get your business off to a flying start this year by selecting to go cloud-based. Service like Dropbox and Google Drive allow you to connect your employees to a single platform.
You can also get cloud solutions that come with managed IT support. This is useful if your business is dependent on sensitive data or you need custom applications to work in the cloud.
Adjust Your Scheduling
Most companies are still using a phone and a diary to organise scheduling., But this is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Now you can get scheduling apps that can be embedded in your website that automate the process.
Apps like Schedulista provide a vast range of functionality. But they also allow customers just to click a time and a date when you’re free and arrange an appointment. You can then connect the app to your Google calendar, and it will update it automatically. Sweet, huh?
Use Instant Payment
Invoicing can be a long and arduous process. And often, invoices come through late. However, you’re more likely to get paid straight away if you provide the option to pay instantly with the invoice. Companies like Wave now allow you to send invoices with card payments embedded. It’s a win for both you and the client.