As emerging technologies explode and market expectations shift with them, professionals and entrepreneurs look to smart tech to improve the quality and efficiency of their operations. However, keeping up on all the industry options can be a bit overwhelming and sometimes confusing. Here, we’ve compiled a list of five smart tech suggestions to help your business stay on the cutting edge.
1. Streamline Your Productivity
The less time you and your employees have to spend on monotonous tasks, the more you can spend on bigger goals and projects. Platforms such as IFTTT and Zapier are versatile tools that allow you to create a wide range of automation processes, from writing and sending emails, to generating leads based on specified triggers. Other services help you to trim the fat from the workplace environment. You can use tools such as Microsoft Teams to centralize communications, or modernize collaboration with something like Microsoft SharePoint. Other widely-used project management apps include Trello, Asana and Basecamp. These allow you to conduct all communication, work progress and evaluations in one place.
2. Automate Your Marketing
Utilize marketing software and services to automate data collection and analysis, simplify social media and discover more effective ways to target and engage with your audience. Platforms such as Infusionsoft, Marketo, HubSpot and Yodle are robust tools that can process inbound marketing, manage leads and sales, and perform complex analytics, as well as automate repetitive micro-tasks in platform maintenance. You can also opt to focus on using tools that do very specific jobs. Sites like HootSuite and 99 Dollar Social can do your social media posting for you. Newsletter tools like MailChip and Get Response are designed specifically to manage your email marketing campaigns.
3. Telecommute and Work Remotely
With the advancement of technology, you no longer have to go to the office to get work done. Work remotely with cloud-based solutions that let you access job-related information and documents from any location. Cloud storage services like Zoolz, JustCloud and Mozy support heavy file-sharing, including large multimedia files, provide back-up protection and data security, and give you flexible sharing and access options for sending data between employees or directly to clients. Communicate more efficiently with Skype or Google Hangouts, so you can teleconference face-to-face with ease and collaborate effectively even with team members who live halfway around the world.
4. Upgrade Your Customer Service
AI customer service is the wave of the future. An Oracle study reveals that 80 percent of businesses have already installed or plan to utilize AI customer service solutions by 2020. While the cutting-edge technology is still in development, AI integration has already modernized the way customer service functions. Chatbots are able to handle front-end queries by themselves, so they’re a good way to free up employee time by getting basic information from the customer. Other AI options work to support human operators, so they can assist customers more quickly and efficiently with more complex situations. Products like the Amazon Echo, designed for home automation applications, are also great for streamlining task organization and information gathering using voice-searches and AI algorithms. These tools could even be used in other departments to make research and data analysis more economical.
5. Utilize Mobile Software
As society moves increasingly toward on-the-go systems and online communities, businesses must keep up by maintaining a strong mobile presence. More than half of the traffic going to a website now comes from a mobile device. To meet evolving customer expectations and behaviors, create mobile-friendly website designs and take advantage of business-oriented mobile apps. Make paying easy with payment options like Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Paypal. Implement a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to engage with your market throughout the day, including profile-building and touch points that track and reach your audience wherever they spend the most time.
Technology is an industry that challenges businesses to evolve at an ever-quickening pace. However, it’s a field that also offers increasingly versatile tools that allow you to adapt swiftly and even improve the way your business operates. By taking advantage of smart tech gadgets and services, you’ll be able to run your business more efficiently and more effectively than ever before.