Companies that at one time thought they were immune from technology innovation now must decide when, where and how to incorporate such advancements to meet ever-growing consumer expectations.
Evolving to meet customer needs and demands in order to retain and attract buyers is essentially the bottom line for all successful businesses — and today that inevitably means incorporating technology.
Businesses not typically associated with heavy technology use — contractors, plumbers, mechanics and mom-and-pop shops — now must have a pulse on innovation in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Those in service businesses often have relied on their skilled labor and quality, coupled with a healthy dose of advertising and word-of-mouth referrals to stand apart.
Tap into new technology
Although these tactics and differentiators are still essential to success, organizations increasingly must tap into technology in new ways to attract consumers.
Consumers are gravitating in greater numbers to businesses that make processes simpler, efficient, more accurate and less costly.
Technology incorporation can be minimal or vast. It all depends on the needs of your customers and business capabilities. So, when and where should your business incorporate technology to better serve clients and end users?
- Communication. How can you improve communication? Perhaps an online option for service requests, a downloadable phone app, real-time updates or enhanced follow up are in order.
- Automation. Can any current processes be automated to improve customer service? Examples include leveraging technology to determine and send promotions based on past purchases or schedule email follow-ups based on service dates.
- Organization. Can you help customers manage or access information seamlessly? Customers may appreciate having secure access to their service history, work orders and records through an online or mobile platform.
- Accuracy. How can you ensure higher quality? Technology may be able to help provide more precise measurements, detailed records or even aid with scheduling.
- Cost. Both the business and consumer can see the return on investment from technology. Time equals money, and technology can help save unnecessary efforts across multiple facets of your business, including your end product.
Technology doesn’t have to be out of reach. There are many services and products available to help your business better meet customer demands. Marketing agencies and technology consultants can help you build customized solutions.
But if you can’t afford these services, there are relatively inexpensive options out there. Tap into your local chamber and small business association for access. Or leverage turn-key platforms like MailChimp and Salesforce for automation and communication needs. Your business and your customers both will benefit in the end. ●
Leo Ruberto is president of the Columbus-based residential and commercial exterior solutions company, Feazel Inc. An advocate for customer service, Ruberto developed the online portal ServicePoint™ to empower Feazel customers to easily track, organize and request services in one secure location. For more information, visit www.feazelinc.com.