Three technologies SMEs need to succeed

New technology

As we reach the end of 2016, now is the perfect time to assess your business against its goals. It’s also the perfect time to think about what cost-effective tech to put in place to ensure the goals are reached.

Investing in tech is a smart and simple way to streamline workflows, reduce admin, better understand your customers and ensure your business is working at its fullest potential.

Taking the time to invest in new technology ensures you’ll always be one step ahead, so here are the top three systems you should look at installing to ready your business ahead of 2017.

  1. Live Chat services

For most people, taking the time to walk into a store to resolve a problem is out of the question. Even hoping to talk to a representative on the phone is a huge hassle.

According to one study, live chat carries the highest satisfaction rating for any type of communication. If you’re a business selling any type of product or service, this is a strategy to consider. It’s easy to find a provider, too – common options likeFreshChat and LivePerson have few barriers to entry.

Facebook is now experimenting with chat bots in this area, so make no mistake – it’s a force coming your way soon.

  1. Digital feedback systems

Equally important is receiving feedback from your customers. Collecting instant reactions helps you identify problems as they arise – and identifies problem areas you may not have noticed.

This new technology can be simple, like a form on your website. Others, like the TruRating feedback system, are easy to use and are far more powerful. TruRating allows customers to provide a quick rating about their experience with a business on a scale of 0-9, via the eftpos machine when they pay.

This provides instant feedback from customers at a point when they’re more likely to give an honest assessment. And, because it’s via the payment device, you can see a direct link between how happy customers are and how much they spend. TruRating businesses have been able to quickly pinpoint the areas of their business that need the most work and then directly measure the impact of the changes they make (both on customer perceptions and the bottom line).

  1. Integrated customer service feedback channels

The number of ways customers can contact a business continues to grow. Facebook, email, phone, Twitter – and new platforms are created all the time. But many businesses still aren’t grouping customer service requests through these platforms into one funnel.

Integrated customer service technology (such as Zendesk and Kayako) allows businesses to spot patterns more frequently, and jump on problems as soon as they appear. Tweets, phone messages and emails, along with other messages on different mediums, simply show up in the one request stream for staff to follow up.

This new technology isn’t particularly complicated to install, or even prohibitively expensive, and each solution can deliver significant benefits beyond just cost savings – they will help you gain a better picture of the health of your business. A perfect way to end the year.

Sophie Jillings, Head of APAC, TruRating –