Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It is estimated that the average enterprise-level organization uses over 75 tech tools, on average. Clearly, organizations are recognizing the potential that this can have for their growth — even if they’re getting a little overzealous in adopting it.
If you’re still not sure how today’s options can impact your business for the better, understanding some of their chief use cases can help you recognize its potential.
One of the most apparent ways that businesses are using technology to fuel growth is through automation. These tools take over both the mundane and essential tasks that don’t require as much thought or insight from your team. They give employees more time to focus on higher-level activities, while at the same time reducing the risk of human error that can slip in when doing a repeatable, low-level task.
For example, research shows that utilizing marketing automation tools can increase sales productivity by 14.5 percent while simultaneously lowering overhead by 12.2 percent. Marketing this software helps increase leads by enabling marketing professionals to better recognize qualified leads and helping them improve the nurturing process.
Automation can assist with other tasks that aren’t so directly customer-facing. From processing invoices, or time-off requests, to syncing scheduling for setting up meetings, it can take care of countless “behind the scenes” tasks that streamline your work, fueling productivity.
“[This leads to] not simply the removal of workers from the equation, as has been wrongly suggested in the past, but to aid workers by passing off the ‘tedious’ aspects of their work to technology, leaving them in a place to concentrate on more important tasks,” writes, Darryl Seland, for Quality Magazine. “It is far removed from the notion of pressing a button and letting the machines do all the work, although the advancement in technology can make it seem that way.”
Improving customer service
Positive brand interactions can make all the difference in building lasting loyalty. Research from Microsoft indicates that 69 percent of consumers feel that customer service is essential for securing their brand loyalty.
As a blog post from Envision Consulting further explains: “It’s becoming more and more common for businesses to have online chat functions on their websites, allowing potential customers to speak with a representative directly. The interactive nature of online chat can help customers to get their questions or concerns resolved much more quickly.”
The right tech can also result in more personalized experiences that make consumers more likely to buy in the first place. Tracking user interactions on your website can provide insights into purchases a customer is considering. This can then be used for email or social media campaigns that are more directly targeted to a user’s interests and behaviors.
Better data means better decision making
Without sound information to back up your decision-making, you could take your company down the completely wrong path.
Once again, technology can drive growth — this time, by helping leaders make data-backed decisions. Not only do tech resources help gather and aggregate data, but many tools also provide analytical insights based on this information to help guide your decision making.
Notably, in a PwC survey of over 1,000 senior executives, it was found that organizations that are “highly data-driven” were three times as likely to experience major improvements in their decision making processes when compared to their less data-driven peers. Quality research can help you become more proactive in enacting needed change and have greater confidence that you’re taking the right course of action.
Tech tools that collect and analyze data can also help break down the information silos that often pop up in larger enterprises. This gives your entire team a more complete view, while also enabling stronger collaboration across departments. When everyone has access to information that can help them do their job better, you ultimately become more productive and deliver better customer experiences.
The time is NOW
A recent poll of 2,000 American adults via Propel Software found that inconsistent product information was the number one deal-breaker for consumers to “break up” with a brand they use.
There is no denying that the right combination of tools can significantly streamline your operations. Even activities that don’t seem to directly contribute to your bottom line can fuel growth by helping you become more productive and better able to meet the needs of your customers.
By evaluating your needs and the available options, you can find tools that help you take your business to the next level — and achieve the massive growth you’ve been hoping to achieve.