How to Grow Your Small Business With Technology
Updated: Jun 6, 2020
There was a time when it was only the big, market-dominating businesses that were able to benefit from the latest tech. However, now we are seeing more and more small and medium companies embrace technology. New technology can be intimidating for those who don’t work directly in the tech sector, but if implemented can create significant opportunities for your business. To help you get started we have put together a list of four technologies you should consider trying out to help grow your business.
Chatbots are software tools that are used to carry out conversations via text chat with your potential customers. They are used in place of direct communication with a live human agent. For an example of a chatbot in action visit our website and you’ll see the chatbot pop-up in the bottom right-hand corner. Thanks to advances in natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence, these bots have stronger conversational abilities than ever before. Chatbots can help drive more leads and sales. In fact, 21% of customers see chatbots as the easiest way to contact a business. Unlike human employees, chatbots are always free to help customers. They can help customers solve issues on their own. Chatbots can provide customers with quick answers to common questions. Instead of having to scroll through your website or wait for a response via email or over the phone they can instantly retrieve answers to simple questions. Overall, implementing chatbots can boost your average order value, accelerate your customer's buying journey, and reduce customer service costs. An example of a great Chatbot software is Intercom, which we use at Vxt!
Inventory management tools
According to 2015 State of Small Business Report, 46% of small and medium businesses do not track their inventory. Having a poor inventory system is one of the biggest reasons why businesses fail. You have to think of your inventory as cash sitting on shelves! The main benefit of having an inventory management system is cost savings. Keeping track of your stock can help minimise storage fees, insurance, and you are less likely to under/overestimate stock levels. Additionally, tracking your inventory successfully has positive effects in multiple areas of your business. For example, customer service and satisfaction will be a lot higher if you are not disappointing customers by advertising products which are sold out. An example of one of the highest-rated Inventory Management Software is Cin7, check out their website to request a demo!
Communication is at the heart of all business operations, so it is no surprise that new communication tools can be crucial to growing your business. Communication software exchanges messages in text, audio, and video formats between computers and users. An example of communication software that we use is Discord. Discord is an application originally designed for gamers. It allows people to communicate via text, image, video, and audio. We have been using Discord during lockdown as it allows us to speak to each other directly, on the fly as if we were sitting next to each other in the office. This means we can ask colleagues questions and get answers immediately. Vxt is also a great tool to have in your communications arsenal. Vxt helps you manage your missed calls by converting your voicemail to text, forwarding them to email, detecting urgent messages, and more. Vxt gives you the opportunity to respond to customers and co-workers faster. Full disclosure, this one was made by our awesome team here in Christchurch. We’re especially aware of how important it is to save your valuable time given the current climate where we’re constantly bombarded with news and Vxt can help with that. You can try Vxt in your browser or download our mobile app for iOS or Android.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
CRMs help you manage all your business relationships, and interactions with current and potential customers. They provide you with a clear overview of your customers as you can see everything in one place. CRMs record a customer’s history with you, the status of their orders, any outstanding customer service issues etc. CRMs tend to be used by salespeople, as knowing more about your customers gives salespeople clear visibility of opportunities or leads. They can create substantial gains when embedded into multiple areas of your business including HR, customer service, and supply chain management. A great example of a CRM system is Pipedrive. Pipedrive is a CRM platform developed by salespeople for salespeople. They help you manage your leads, track communications, and provide insights and reports.
New tech is making business easier. Even if you are not experienced with tech yourself, there are heaps of tools to help you grow your business. In the words of Johnathan Miller of Callaghan Innovation “You don’t need to develop the tech yourself. Let the big companies develop it and then be fast adopters.”.