If you are asking ‘how digital technology can be used by my business’, you might want to sit back and consume this post. From business objectives like customer communication, business development, business security, business process efficiency and business culture, this blog post will show you what technology you need for each objective.
Jumping right into it,
Knowing what your customer wants or expects helps you know what you need to do in order to meet those expectations. Another thing to factor is ‘how do my customers communicate their needs or expectations with me’. If you are asking ‘how do I use digital technology to know what my customers want?’… there are tactics and digital tools at your disposal that will help you collect these expectations.
Market survey: Run a poll asking questions about your brand or product.
Feedback form: On your website or inside an email.
Rating & reviews widget: On your website or inside an email.
Social media channels: Ask on a poll or during a live stream.
Social listening: Track mentions of your brand on the internet
Sentiment analysis: Are your brand mentions positive or negative or neutral?
Self service channels: Can customers find solution to their problems by themselves or they need to go through a customer support.
Email: Set up e-mail for your brand. Use a self explanatory word. i.e. email@example.com
Website: A website is a must for any brand. It represents your brand on the digital space. Make sure you have a feedback form or reviews widget on it.
Social Media channels: Use social media as pipes connecting your brand with your customers on the platforms where they spend time.
Google trends: See how customers are searching within your category or industry. This allows you see trends and prepare yourself for change in customer preference.
Live chat/Chatbot: Digital consumers nowadays want attention from their brands the very moment they ask for it. Livechats help you answer your customers as soon as they land on your website or social media channel.
Telephone: Maybe not new, but telephone is still one of the best ways to communicate with your customers.
Business process efficiency
Your business needs to continually improve on how it serves its customers. The process of delivering on your brand promise must always be optimized so you are always in position to innovate, change accordingly or seize new opportunities.
Implement automation: Let repetitive tasks run automatically. This will give you time to focus on more important tasks and also reduce human error in your processes.
Customer Relationship Management(CRM): If you currently don’t have one, implement one now. A CRM will help you know your customers. It is a software platform that keeps all necessary details about your customers and allows you segment them for analysis and for brand communication.
Cloud technology: It is here to stay. Enterprises are moving their core operations to the cloud because of the flexibility and ease of access. The ability to make decisions in real time is another added benefit of migrating business processes to the cloud. Remember to start small, test, and optimize.
Task Management System: A TMS will help you manage your staff as well as resources. It will help you align staff with tasks suited with their skills and also help your business triangulate personnel short-comings.
Mobile forms/apps: Use mobile forms and apps to automate repetitive processes like approvals, supply requests, leave requests, process approval
Mailchimp: Email automation ensures you always send out important emails when you’re suppose to. You can use other email service providers like SendinBlue, MailerLite, etc
G Suite: From email management to cloud storage to calendars to reminders and even virtual meetings, G Suite by Google has been developed for most of your business process needs.
Zapier: Zapier makes it easy to automate your processes by connecting stand alone applications you might be using. For instance, you can automate the process of procurement, by letting a mobile form add a new request for a laptop to a Google sheet, this new entry is sent to a manager who approves (by signing on a mobile device, anywhere in the world) and goes to the procurement team. From here, the process can be linked to an email service provider (like Mailchimp) which uses a template to send the request for a new laptop to a 3rd party laptop merchant. All this can be done automatically, thanks to Zapier.
Office 365: Similar to G Suite, Office 365 is well equipped to serve and optimize your business processes.
We will stop here for this week, our next post will cover use of technology in business development and business security. Do you have comments or questions, ask them in the comment box below.