Maintaining your Competitive Edge using Technology
In today’s ever evolving business environment, maintaining your company’s competitive edge gets more challenging every day. One way to make sure you stay ahead of the curve is to embrace technology solutions that increase efficiency or improve the customer experience. This involves maximizing the digital components of your business such as social, mobile, web, cloud, and analytic technologies. Here a few ways you can leverage the digital components of your business to help you and your customers:
- Security: Customers want to feel safe when they do business with your company. Make sure they know you’re a trustworthy organization. Provide information on your company’s history and its key executives. Respond politely and in a timely manner to negative online reviews or complaints. Respond even quicker to positive feedback! Make sure it’s crystal clear you’re the real deal. With regard to technology and security, you’ve got to make sure that any personal information your customers provide is safeguarded against attacks. Check with your software and IT vendors to make sure your customers’ information is stored as securely as possible. If you’re using any cloud-based services, ask for a thorough explanation of the provider’s security measures. Develop security policies and procedures for your employees, making sure they use secure passwords that are changed often, that they don’t click on email links or attachments that look suspicious, etc.
- Customer Support: Providing easy access to customer support can definitely help separate your business from its competitors. Consider using a VoIP or hosted PBX phone system that can automatically route customers to their assigned account manager. Your customers and your staff both save time! Use a web-based support portal where customers can submit their issues; the portal can log those issues, automatically create a support ticket or task and assign it to the right support team. Customers are able to see the status of their request; your team stays organized and saves time they would otherwise spend taking incoming calls. In addition, social media can assist with brand building as well as providing an outlet for customers to engage with you and give feedback. Make sure your team is quick to respond and help customers solve any issues so that your trustworthiness increases with every interaction.
- Make Ordering Easy: The simpler it is to place an order with your company, the more likely it is that your customers will come back over and over again. If you take online orders, make sure your website is mobile friendly (test your website’s mobile friendliness) so that users can easily buy from any device. Simplify the checkout process as much as possible. The fewer steps, the better! If certain items are frequently purchased together, bundle them together at a discounted price. Offer your customers the ability to create an account so that they don’t have to re-enter all of their information every time they place an order.
New technologies are being developed constantly. Thorough research can be critical in finding a product or service that fits your business and helps you achieve your growth goals. Leverage social media networks and popular online media resources for information on new technology products and services.