Let’s talk about avoiding new technology for your business because you don’t understand it, or have time to figure it out yourself.
Whether or not you think using new technology can help you manage your business, you have probably been told you should, but what hasn’t been made clear is How, or Why.
While you may use common technology tools every day - your computer or laptop and mobile phone for emails, calls, messaging, social posting, banking, and calendar, tech tools for business often require a different level of focus and understanding to use properly.
Research done last year helps us understand the How and Why of using three specific types of technology that are crucial for helping us achieve the success we want from our businesses, especially when we don’t have many resources like time, money, or people to help.
The three to focus on are the Internet of Things (IoT), Intelligent Automation (IA), and digital platforms. Let’s look at each one to see how your business - and you - can benefit.
IoT: Your New Helper
Why: Think of IoT as a helpful new team member. It watches how customers interact with your business and handles payments smoothly.
IoT also makes sure your appointments are well-organised, and you have enough product, parts, or materials available to service customers. This technology is clever and improves your customers' experience. Happy customers mean they'll likely come back to your business.
Smart thermostats in your shop that adjust the temperature based on how many people are inside.
Cameras that count how many people visit your store each day.
Payment systems that let customers pay with a tap of their phone.
Inventory tracking system using small sensors or RFID tags that alerts you when supplies are running low so you never run out of essential items.
IA: Making Every Task Matter
Why: Intelligent Automation (IA) does the boring tasks for you. This gives you more time for things you enjoy, like being with family, friends, hobbies, sports, or focusing on your customers.
Chatbots on your website that answer common customer questions.
Email sorting tools that organise your inbox and highlight important messages.
Software that schedules your social media posts for you.
Digital Platforms: Your Organising Partner
Why: Digital platforms help keep your business in order. They organise your social media, keep track of important customer information, and help you work more efficiently and in a way that's tailored to your customer's needs.
Social media management tools that help you plan and post content on platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems that store customer contact information and purchase history.
Online calendars that help schedule and remind you of meetings or events.
For B2B service businesses, using these tools is particularly crucial. That's because how people experience being a customer of your business can set you apart. Using smart technology helps improve it.
Consider how these technologies can fit into your strategy.
Are you using IoT tools to know what is important for customers?
Is IA smoothing out your customer interactions?
How are digital platforms helping you stay organised and focused?
Remember, running a successful business today goes beyond just offering a service. It's about being adaptable, innovative, and always ready to evolve.
These technologies aren’t just tools; they help you do more with less time, money, and people.
So, keep learning, keep experimenting, and let's use these technological advancements to drive our businesses forward.
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Source: Kowalkowski, C., Wirtz, J. and Ehret, M. (2023), Digital service innovation in B2B markets, Journal of Service Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-12-2022-0403