Best business trends to take your company to the next level

by Guest Author on January 31, 2018

in Articles, Guest Posts

Your competitors are not taking a “vacation.” They are busy looking at the latest business trends and incorporating them into their short- and long-term plans. You may have had a good few years, but congratulating yourself and getting a bit complacent is a recipe for being “left in the dust.”

Don’t be that business. Take a look at these latest business trends and see which ones relate to you and how you can embrace them in 2018.

1. Data Science and Business Intelligence

Several years ago, a new high-tech innovation was born – data science. In short, high-tech pros developed algorithms that could gather data from all over the place, crunch and categorize that data, so that businesses could get solid factual information on trends in customer behaviors. Instead of just looking at what has been in the past, this new science is allowing businesses to engage in “predictive analysis,” in order to get out in front of customer wants and needs, and to develop products and services that will be relevant and in demand going forward.

At first, this was an activity in which only the “big boys” could play, because data scientists were few in number and expensive to employ. Now, however, there are data science firms and tools that even small and mid-sized businesses can use to get the same information. Businesses cannot ignore the value of big data – it will provide them with the information they need to decide on product/service changes and improvements.

2. Honoring Non-Native Customers

There is no a country in the world that does not have a diverse population in which multiple languages are now spoken. What have you done to “honor” these consumers and bring them to you? Even if you do not intend to physically expand into other countries, you should be focusing on those population groups whose native language is different from yours.

You can expand into foreign markets with your website. Using a website localization service, your site can be translated into a foreign language and be made available to non-native demographics in your own country as well as in others. Multilingual websites benefits cannot be overstated in today’s markets, and creating multilingual websites has never been easier. There are plenty of business translations services out there to do this for you, and at a pretty reasonable cost.

You may be leaving a lot of customers “on the table” for your competitors to scoop up, simply because they have found good certified translations services to present their products to a much larger audience.

Take a look at the language demographics in your own country, and start there. In the U.S., for example, there are large Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern populations. And if you want a global reach without moving, you can pick and choose among countries, have your site localized and market to those audiences.

3. Content is Changing

You may have a business blog. You may have a strong presence on social media. But know this. Given the preponderance of mobile device used for almost everything, you will need to look at trends in content marketing. Videos, interactivity, and even AR/VR will be the new methods of spreading your brand and getting your brand message out there.

No one wants to read walls of text about the value of your products or services. They want to see that value, and they want to be entertained as they see it. Creating new visual and interactive content has never been easier, given the newer tools that are now available.

4. Customer Service Will Reach a New Level

The focus is now on “customer success.” This means that all of your customers will meet with success whether they need to return, exchange, or get more information about your products or services. Call centers are old school and inconvenient. And email does not provide the speed with which customers want help and answers. As 2018 roll son, there are some definite trends that should be incorporated.

  • If you do not already have it, set up a live chat function. The beauty of live chat is that your customer support agents can work with more than one customer at a time, and the customer gets immediate responses.
  • An entire customer history should be in a system that allows any agent to access it. This is a part of personalizing the customer experience.
  • Get proactive. Once you have a customer’s purchasing history, use push notifications to present additional products or services that customer may find valuable. Take a page from Amazon’s playbook here.
  • Ask for customer feedback every chance you get. And use that feedback to improve your products and services
  • Respond immediately to any customer comments on your social media pages – good or bad. This proves that you care and want to serve your customers well
  • Provide as much customer self-service as you can. If you ship a product, have the return label in that packaging or at least on your website, so that they do not have to make manual contact with you to return or exchange an item.
  • Consider using chatbots. This is a budget-friendly and fun way for your customers to interact with you. Check out Tacobot for some ideas.

The keys to customer service will be speed and convenience. Do all that you can to meet those needs.

Final Thoughts

You are in a race of sorts. You want to out-maneuver your competitors and become the “go-to” place for consumers who want or need the products/services you offer. When you can use big data to predict customer behaviors; when you expand your reach to a larger, non-native audience; when you can create content that is engaging and fun while being informative; and when you can provide a customer service experience that is fast and convenient, you will have made major progress in capturing your share of the marketplace.

Guest article written by: Margaret Reid is a freelance writer who is seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Currently she`s working in the company The Word Point and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. Margaret is an experienced and self-driven specialist who cannot imagine her life without writing.

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