Archive for March 2020

6 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Communication

6 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Communication

Communication has evolved rapidly in the last few decades and even just the last few years. But, many small businesses aren’t getting the most out of customer communication — and that can impact both customer satisfaction and sales. Here are six ways small businesses can improve customer communication.

Chatbots can help deliver instant answers to FAQs.

What if your business could respond to a customer instantly? Chatbots make that kind of interaction possible. Working with chatbots is simply a matter of programming the most frequently asked questions and their answers. When a customer types in one of those questions, the chatbot can answer. Besides giving the customer a quick response, chatbots can potentially free up staff time. Social media networks like Facebook Messenger has chatbots, while there are many other ways to integrate chatbots into your website or social platforms. Be sure to regularly check for messages that couldn’t be answered by the chatbot.

New platforms can help encourage more customers to reach out.

Communication is no longer just mail and phone. New social media networks arrive on scene regularly, and businesses should at least keep an eye out to see which ones might cater to their target audience. WhatsApp is a major communication platform that only recently opened up to businesses, allowing customers to chat directly with your company.

Data can drive more tailored communication than ever before.

Technology has long been able to insert a name into an email — but technology can now do much more. Many platforms can now offer more data, such as where the customer is located and the last products they browsed on your website. Look to see if your email communication service offers more than what you are currently using, or if it’s time to switch for even more potential.

Communication should be a process, not a one-and-done deal.

Customers often need to hear a business’ name several time before they actually make a purchase. Communicating with customers is a process. Along with reaching out regularly, work to reach out more than once during the purchase process. Send out emails for customers that haven’t checked out with the items in their cart yet, for example. Follow up with customers that reached out via chat. The more effort you put into communication, the more results you will see.

Communication should be meaningful and authentic.

Chatbots can be great tools, but customers will easily cringe at obvious robot communication. Make sure that your electronic communication sounds authentic and personal. Then, be sure to follow up with actual human interaction for the communication that bots can’t cover.

More is not always better.

As you up your communications game, remember that more is not always better. Customers will often opt out of emails if you send them multiple times a day. Be sure that all the communication that you are sending out is valuable for the customer and don’t overfill subscribers inboxes.

Communicating with customers is essential to running a successful business — in 2020, business owners should give their communications a check-up to see what can be improved with the newest technology and the newest ideas.

4 Things We Learned From CES 2020

4 Things We Learned From CES 2020

The year always starts with a look at the latest tech at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Now that the dust has settled on the annual show, the tech announced at the show is starting to trickle out into the real world. And several of those new announcements could be ideal for the small business owner. Here’s what we learned from CES 2020.

Wearables are getting weirder.

Sure, you’ve heard of smart watches, but what about adding a smart belt to your business attire? The Welt Smart Belt Pro will measure the usual things that a smartwatch does, like step count and how much time you spend sitting. But, the waist-bound design also introduces a few other new features. The app will help monitor your waist size and eating patterns, while the smart belt also has an option to help prevent falls. Finally, Welt offers a way to track how much you sit at your desk for those who hate wearing things around their wrist.

But wearables are also getting smarter.

Smart belt not your style? The traditional smartwatches are getting smarter. The Suunto 7 is a new smartwatch with a unique feature, the ability to bring up a map of your location right on your watch. The watch will also control your music through your wrist and track your heartbeat. Oh, and it’s stylish enough to go with any business attire.

Laptops are getting more powerful — and foldable.

Laptops are simultaneously getting more powerful while also getting more portable. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook was a CES crowd favorite with the latest Intel Core processor and a 4K touchscreen that flips either way.

But the folding capability of some smartphones could also make a big splash in the laptop category. The ThinkPad X1 Fold is sort of tablet-laptop with a folding screen, a magnetic add-on keyboard, and touchscreen pen. The unique portable device will use Windows 10.

Another interesting laptop for small business — or anyone, really — is the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus. The laptop has an e-ink display built into the top, so open, it’s a laptop, closed, it’s an e-reader that’s not as hard on your eyes.

Wireless charging is here — and built into the most convenient devices.

Wireless charging has slowly been entering the fray — but why just have a charging centre when it could be part of something more convenient? The Citation Oasis is an alarm clock that has a built-in wireless charging pad. Imagine getting ready for work in the morning with your smartphone on hand without any wires. Made by Harmon Kardon, the smart alarm clock also has Google Assistant built in.

Technology can help make the lives of small business owners simpler — and there’s no place to get a better glimpse at upcoming technology than at CES. Weird, smart wearables, folding laptops, and smart alarm clocks were among the devices we can’t wait to see.