With the year still fairly new, it’s a great time to look at technology trends for 2018. Tech is an ever-changing industry that has a dramatic effect on all businesses that surround it. Our services at Ideas Unlimited are driven by improvements in technology. Because of this, we keep our finger on its pulse as much as possible. We have compiled some of the predictions for the coming year that interest us the most. These tech forecasts could be what change your business dramatically.
First, let’s look at a hot-button issue. Issues with cybersecurity plagued 2017. Ashish Datta was quoted as saying, “From ‘WannaCry’ to the massive Equifax breach, the year has been consumed by negative news about companies failing consumers in ways that consumers are just starting to understand.” One of the technology trends for 2018 that we can expect to see is a public conversation about how to best protect our businesses and our clients.
Next, let’s talk about how technology is getting smarter. Sridhar Iyengar reported that automated chatbots that respond to users’ questions will become more mainstream. “Unlike human customer service and support reps,” he wrote, “chatbots don’t have the physical and mental inconsistencies that can degrade service levels. Moreover, AI-powered chatbots are learning how to respond to customers and predict what they want.” More businesses may wish to consider developing their own chatbot with human-like responses.
3. Big Data
Third, we’re looking at data. Technology has been used to understand human behavior and interactions for a while now. This coming year, there will most likely a big shift in how businesses think about big data. “DataOps will emerge as a top initiative as AI and machine learning projects shift from ‘proof of concept’ to ‘enterprise critical,'” explained Michelle Ufford of Netflix. We can expect to see a reimagining of concepts such as data quality, data management, and workflow orchestration.
What do YOU predict will be the biggest technology trends for 2018?
2018: A New Era of Customer Service – Are You Ready?
Your business relies on good customer service for its success – far more than it used to, in fact. According to IT research company Gartner, 89% of market leaders anticipate that customer experience will be their primary business concern, as opposed to four years ago when only 36% did. This signals a fundamental change in the role and function of businesses.
While the products or services that the company offered used to be the main concern, now the excellence of your customer service will be the thing that sets you apart from the competition. After all, there are very few businesses out there that can afford to alienate their clientele because their products or services are good enough to keep people coming back regardless of their experience.
With this rise in the importance of customer service, many companies are going to have to do a massive overhaul of their current methods. This is because the support systems that companies utilize are becoming increasingly reliant on social media compatibility, 24/7 service, and mobile-friendly options. If your company doesn’t keep up with the modern standards, you will likely be faced with losing clients and thus revenue.
So what exactly should you be aiming for in terms of customer service?
Live Chat & 24/7 Support
If you haven’t already set these up for customers, you are already behind. Most medium to larger companies have already ensured that someone can always be reached in case customers have questions or concerns, and smaller businesses are upgrading their systems, too. Live chat is one of the newer options, to be sure, but it has quickly become ubiquitous.
Social Media Options
Many customers now prefer to contact companies through multiple channels, some of the most popular of which are their social media accounts. There should always be an easy way for customers to use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and etc. to contact your company. These channels should also be easy to switch between in the event that the user wants to employ several at a time.
Since so many people consider texting to be the preferred mode of communication, it makes sense that your company should have some form of it enabled on your site.
Remote Secondary Access for Tech Help
When your customer can’t figure out how to do something on your site, having an IT professional try to figure out what to do through verbal means is rather like flying a plane blind. Having an option for them to get remote access to the customer’s computer (with their permission, of course) is one of the best ways to sort out the problem quickly and effectively.
No Automated Menu
People are sick and tired of automated menus and trying to interact with recordings. If you want to truly please your customers, offer them a real human being to talk to. It proves almost automatically that you care more about their concerns and are willing to pay someone to listen to them.
Virtual assistant services can help you to manage most, if not all, of the above tasks. This is especially good for growing businesses that don’t generally need around the clock support in-store. You will never have to turn away customers, and can even get extra help around the holiday season. These assistants can perform a wide variety of tasks, from answering phones and emails to scheduling and data entry, and practically anything else you need.
These are just some of the customer support services that are becoming the norm for businesses. Implement these and you can practically ensure customer satisfaction – and keep them coming back!
Our Top 10 Blogs from 2017
Over the course of 2017, we have provided a lot of information for our clients, contacts, and friends. Our blog has been packed with tips and tricks to make work easier. As we look back on the past year and start preparing for 2018, we started re-reading our blogs and collected the ten blogs that we thought were the best. These were the posts that showed how we continued to lead in business management and in business solutions. Check out our retrospective on the old year with this list of our ten favorite blog posts.
Our Top 10 Blogs from 2017
- Time Management: How to Save 4 Hours Today – Time management skills can help you get more accomplished and find more freedom.
- Avoid a Customer Service Horror Story – Customer service mishaps and disasters can be avoided with a qualified, hard-working team.
- 5 Hard Truths Every Business Owner Needs to Hear – Hear these hard truths, and they will help you thrive as a business owner.
- Reduce Your Stress, Enjoy Your Home: How Senior Home Buyers Can Find Help with a Big Move – Thank you to Jim Vogel of ElderAction for this guest post.
- 3 Reasons Why Being an Affiliate is a Great Side Income – An affiliate job is a win-win…you get money, and so does the business you support.
- Content Moderation: Saving Face, Saving Your Business – Content moderation can now be conveniently handled by any type of business.
- Watch Our Favorite Business Documentaries on Netflix – These business documentaries are sure to entertain as well as educate.
- What’s the Best Way To Prepare for Employee Leave During the Holidays? – You don’t have to dread the holiday season when your employees go on leave.
- 5 Women in Business Who Will Inspire You – These five women in business will show you that success could be just around the corner for you!
- 8 Useful Websites to Make You Better at Your Job – Check out these eight useful websites to improve your performance at work.