Companies plan to spend more on emerging technologies next year. Technologies attracting these expenditures include IT automation solutions, advanced security solutions, cloud services such as online backup and managed hosting, and emerging technology such as the Internet of Things, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Smart companies are spending more on IT because they recognize the importance of technology for staying competitive in today’s market. If you’re looking for ways to drive your company’s business growth, consider using these tech upgrades.
Business Intelligence Tools
In an age where business decisions are driven by big data, reliable business intelligence (BI) is vital for gaining an edge on your competition and growing your profits. BI tools enable you to visualize information about your company, your customers, your market or other key sources of big data analysis. You can use BI tools to spot market trends, optimize your sales, boost your operational efficiency or improve other aspects of your business.
Applying business intelligence yields measurable results. A Nucleus Research study says that using BI to automate report generation generates an average return on investment of 188 percent. Using BI analytics to drive tactical business decisions generates an ROI of 389 percent. Strategically deploying ROI throughout your organization generates a ROI of 968 percent.
Some business intelligence applications require specialist support, but today’s BI tools are increasingly designed to be accessible for self-service by management and workers without analytics backgrounds. Now anyone in your organization can request a customized report or query displaying the desired information without having to go through your IT department.
Smart Customer Relationship Management
One application of business intelligence which can yield a high return on investment is smart customer relationship management (CRM) tools. CRM tools allow you to mine marketing and sales data to spot market trends, identify hot prospects who are most likely to buy, track customer buying history and personalize sales offers to appeal to individual customer preferences. CRM platforms can also be used to optimize deployment of your sales team, providing data that lets you know who your best sales reps are, who’s available to close deals and how to best match your sales reps to prospect profiles. A Forrester study states that a properly integrated CRM tool can generate a return on investment of 245 percent. Today’s cutting-edge CRM tools and platforms integrate artificial intelligence with CRM, significantly enhancing capacity to analyze sales data and automate your sales process.
Digital Customer Service Support
Another technology investment that can grow your business is digital customer service tools. In today’s smartphone-oriented, omnichannel shopping environment, one of the best customer service technology investments you can make is adopting a cloud contact center. Moving your contact center to the cloud provides your team with a central platform for delivering seamless support to customers across all service distribution channels, streamlining your workforce efficiency, reducing customer wait time and boosting customer satisfaction.
For example, a customer who begins a ticket on live chat can initially have their inquiry screened by a chatbot to see whether it can be handled automatically or if it requires a human representative. If it determines that human support is needed, the chatbot can hand information already collected from the customer off to the human agent, eliminating time wasted from repeating questions the customer has already answered. If the ticket moves to the phone, the same information is available to the agent handling the phone call.
Today’s best cloud contact center platform integrates customer service data with sales data so that your representatives can pursue upsell and cross-sell opportunities personalized to appeal to individual customers. For example, the 8×8 Virtual Contact Center integrates contact center support with data from your CRM solution so that your representatives can make offers geared toward your customers’ buying history.
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