As we wrap up our final article on the Mintel 4 consumer trends for 2018, we look at technology and how it brings our lives in sync in this modern world. There is no doubt these trends will affect small business owners and the way you do business, so we are going to help you stay at the forefront of business and planning by delving into them for you.
Trend No. 4 – Technology and Life in Sync
According to Mintel research, in an increasingly hectic world, consumers are looking for technology that can help make life more manageable. Over recent times our ability to have information at our fingertips has made life immeasurably easier.
Think about it – can you imagine having to stop your car and search through the old map book to find out where you are going?
Or having to read through a newspaper to find out what movies are playing?
Nowadays we have ability to use our voice and images to not only share our lives with loved ones instantaneously, but also to have any information at our fingertips, all the time.
What does this mean for Business Owners?
Your customers expect technology to work for them, and if you’re not doing this effectively then your they may well go to a competitor that does. It’s important to be at the forefront of technology in your industry to provide the best possible service and outcomes for your customers. Here are some things to keep in mind across your website, online, and customer service:
- Customers want to be able to find information easily on your website, so make the navigation easy and the site visually appealing;
- Your website needs to be responsive, that means that it the technology responds and makes your website look good if opened on an Ipad, a phone or a desktop. This is a must in 2018 as more than 50% of consumers search on their phones;
- Provide informative download tools and resources for consumers to download from your site – more and more consumers are expecting a certain level of content for free, and are happy to join your database to get it;
- If you have an online shop it needs to be easy to navigate and intuitive to suggest other purchase options for customers. You should also at a minimum be using an “abandoned trolley” tool, to remind people to go back and purchase if they left throughout the purchase process;
- Have “live chat” available on your website, so when visitors come to your site they can speak to someone online immediately;
- Join your community on social media – you need to be where your customers are, and that may be on facebook, Instagram, snapchat or twitter, or all the above. Even if you don’t get direct sales from social media, that’s where you will grow your share of voice and your social proof;
- Use social media to conduct customer service – This is a good tool but requires some setup and monitoring – here is a good article on how to do it.
- Set up an online system to allow customers to make bookings online or log issues that need addressing. Here is a recent list of the top complaint management software tools for business.
- For larger businesses it can be a good idea to have an Interactive Voice Response system (or IVR) to filter customer queries. When a customer call through they get an automated voice directing them to the relevant area or department. This can be an effective tool to ensure calls get answered promptly by the correct person, however needs to be implemented carefully to ensure customers find it easy to navigate. Here is a list of the top IVR systems for comparison.
Have you got the balance right in your business? If you could use help across any area of your business including Management, Marketing, Operations & Finance contact us at Action Centre. We’ll go through your current business structure with you to see how you’re tracking, and show you on our system where your business needs focus and give you the tools to help you get there.
You’ll find having an Action Centre business coach is just like having a marketing manager, sales team leader, trainer and recruitment specialist - wrapped in one - all for one nominal investment. We are the business partner you need without sharing your profits - with over 60 years of collective coaching experience to keep you on track and accountable for your own success.
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