New technologies have always played an important role in driving business development. Just like steam power and the cotton gin ushered and encouraged the Industrial Revolution. Groundbreaking changes, were brought about the way business was done in the 18th century. The internet and a string of high-tech inventions gave different industries a tremendous boost and led to the Digital Revolution which started in the 1950s and which is still underway.
We witness technological breakthroughs daily, and some of them are so huge that they will undoubtedly disrupt the future of business, and help companies improve their productivity, streamline their tasks, cut costs, and be more efficient in general.
But, apart from streamlining the operations part, advanced technologies will also improve customer experience, thus allowing the companies that implement them to stay ahead of the curve.
Artificial Intelligence Technology
Although this technology is still in its infancy, it’s already one of the most popular trends in different industries.38% of consumers believe that AI will make the world a better place and they might be right.
It’s a fact universally known that most people hate when they can’t reach a customer support rep in their time of need. And companies can’t hire that many customer support reps who will be available 24/7 and cover different time zones. This problem undoubtedly creates a rift and frustrates impatient customers.
That’s where AI comes in to save the day. Namely, many businesses have recognized the power of chatbots to help them keep their customers happy and engaged by providing them with non-stop customer support. These intelligent algorithms can answer different questions customers ask about the product and even troubleshoot a problem with the product.
Besides being at your customers’ service around the clock, these smart algorithms will also be able to collect customer information and process it, thus allowing companies to additionally personalize and enrich customer experience.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are all the rage at the moment.
This “incorruptible digital ledger economic transactions” records all kinds of financial and other valuable transactions which aren’t stored on a single server but shared among several computers in a peer-to-peer network. Its great benefits lie in the fact that it’s transparent, secure, and decentralized.
In other words, every transaction can be tracked in real-time, is visible to every member of the network, and can’t be falsified or tampered with.
This practically means that companies and individuals won’t need intermediaries, that is, banks for their financial transactions, which will dramatically reduce their costs and speeds up the entire process. According to some sources, blockchain is significantly less vulnerable to cyberattacks, and that’s another big plus of this technology.
The Rise of Productivity Apps
It’s no secret that many people spend their 8 hours of work slacking off.
But, the proportions of this problem can be fully comprehended only if we bear in mind that the average U.S. office employee spends approximately 5 hours a week on their smartphone on things that aren’t business-related. This translates to $15.5 billion in lost productivity.
That’s why different productivity apps can help businesses handle this issue and prevent becoming a part of this expensive statistic.
All kinds of calendars, to-do lists, project management apps, time trackers, and similar pieces of software can be used both to help employees organize their time as well as allow managers to monitor their performance, spot a disengaged employee, and prevent bottlenecks.
Since managing business finances is another important and yet very time-consuming endeavour, accounting software is a solution that can speed things up and save entrepreneurs from having to spend hours at a bank or with an accountant.
Long gone are the days when marketers used to send emails and follow-ups manually or launch an email blast and reach out to their entire list with the same, generic message.
Nowadays, personalization is a crucial factor of every successful marketing campaign and the latest technologies enable businesses to automate and tailor their outreach.
Fueled by an abundance of customer data, these advanced tools offer different options for segmenting the target audience, creating personalized messages, scheduling follow-ups, or setting up triggered emails.
Needless to say, marketing automation can effectively engage prospects and accelerate the sales process. By automating different marketing tasks, business owners will have more time to focus on other activities and run their businesses.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Most people have encountered these two similar technologies in the entertainment industry – the latest games use VR to create immersive experiences and make players feel as if they were inside the game they play.
But both AR and VR have found their way into other fields, and not be an overstatement to say that they’re true game-changers.
For example, beauty giant Sephora introduced its Virtual Artist, an AR-powered application which allows users to pick the makeup shade or colour by trying it on virtually at home. All they have to do is upload selfie and see how a particular lipstick or eye shadow fits them. This option is particularly important for online shopping because many people hesitate to purchase without being able to try the makeup on.
Different carmakers, including BMW and Audi, started leveraging VR to showcase their latest and upcoming models. Potential customers can pick the car of their dreams, customize it to the tiniest detail, and get the feel of it. Both the interior and the exterior can be observed in three dimensions and 360 degrees, and it’s also possible to take a look under the hood. Realistic light and sound effect also help them make their purchasing decision.
Keeping up with the latest technological trends is a make it or break it factor in business. Companies that are ready to risk, jump on the bandwagon, and implement innovations have better chances of surviving in today’s competitive and saturated markets. Those that choose to play it safe and go with the flow are at great risk of becoming outdated and obsolete.