Matt B, Marketing CoordinatorDec 9, 2015 @ 11:26PM
In the Digital Age, no industry is safe from the toppling effect of technology. From Uber overturning taxi companies to Airbnb eclipsing the hotel industry, a wide array of businesses have been transformed through technological advances. From all of this progress, one thing remains perfectly clear: no industry is safe from technological disruption, including the home services industry. As the future approaches, service business owners can either choose to adopt technology and ride the success wave, or fight against technology with previously prevailing strategies and get completely crushed by the inevitable technological disruption that is sure to take place. Failure to satisfy the needs of tech-savvy modern consumers runs the risk of being left in the dust.
Advantages of Adopting Technology
At this point, you might be thinking "Ok, I get it, but how can I be absolutely sure that technology will help and not hurt my business?" This is a perfectly common concern shared by many, so it is important to break the answer down into main points. The primary role of technology for your business is increased efficiency. I can see how this result doesn’t sound particularly exciting on the surface, but trust me when I tell you that technology will help your business run more quickly and smoothly. Increased efficiency will save you hours upon hours of time, which in turn will save you a lot of money. Technology will also help you identify bottlenecks in your business, leading you to discover opportunities to improve processes and save even more time to make even more money.
Even if you are confident that your current methods still work, continuing to operate the same way will eventually take its toll on your business as competitors adopt newer, more efficient technologies. You may be wondering to yourself why technology is necessary when your business is functioning just fine, but the reality is that the world is changing faster than ever. Although the service industry is only slowly catching up, it is wise to be proactive and protect your business from extinction before it’s too late. As technology drives society forward, you need to reach your customers where they are; which is online and on mobile devices. Establishing a digital presence is essential to meeting the needs of the modern market.
Exploring the New Frontier of Mobile Applications
How important is it for businesses to have a strong digital presence, really? The truth is that it is essential to connect to customers, even if you do not sell directly online. Beyond simply having a website and social media profiles, it is also becoming more and more vital to embrace mobile technology. Digital Trends reports that, on average, Americans spend 4.7 hours on their mobile devices every day. Of that time, 85% of it is spent using mobile apps, according to TechCrunch. This means that businesses without apps lose out on reaching consumers where they spend a significant amount of their time.
For small business owners, the idea of building a mobile app can seem daunting. According to eMarketer, 78% of small business owners said their business did not have an app, although 71% responded that they felt having one would benefit their business. Developing an app from the ground up is discouraging because it requires a significant amount of engineering power. Unless your small business can afford to hire a team of engineers, you may feel inequipped to enter the world of apps. Fortunately, tapping into mobile app technology is more accessible than ever because of all resources available to assist you in overcoming this barrier.
Fighting the Fear of Technology
Fear of technology can be paralyzing, and it prevents many businesses owners from reaching their full potential. Skepticism of technology itself plagues service business owners, as they are overcome with concerns of the supposed dangers of digital tools. Many simply do not see how advantageous technology can be because they turn a blind eye to its benefits and get overtaken by sensationalized fear of breaches in data security.
Just as debilitating as the fear of technology is the fear of actually learning how to operate a new device. Teaching oneself to use technology can be overwhelming, especially for older adults. Pew Research has found that that 77% of senior citizens would need assistance if attempting to delve into a new type of technology. Humans are habitual creatures, and it can take up to 66 days, this study reports, to develop a new habit. Putting in the time to become proficient is challenging when you do not feel comfortable, but luckily you do not have to go it alone: there are already tools out there to help you boost your tech-savviness.
Taking Advantage of the Available Tools
To ease the strain of learning how to operate unfamiliar devices, there are plenty of resources available to guide you along the way. Take advantage of all of these tools to make your educational experience easier:
. Since most technology companies realize that adopting technology is a problem, it is now a common practice to design with ease of use in mind. Overcoming the fear of learning new technologies is as simple as diving in and exploring for yourself. You may find that the learning curve is not as high as it seems once you take charge.
. Customer service representatives are almost always available to answer your technical questions. Many tech companies offer live chat with their customer support team so that your issues are solved quickly and seamlessly. Search for a chat bubble, which will often be featured in the bottom right-hand corner of screen, to see if help is available.
. When you have a question about technology, there is a good chance that you’re not alone. Someone else has probably encountered the same thing, which means that there is also a good chance that an answer to your question is already featured on an FAQ page. Check out these helpful guides to commonly-asked questions each time you face a challenge.
. Beyond static FAQ pages, there are also even more in-depth, interactive databases of information. Knowledge bases are dynamic resources that often possess artificial intelligence to offer extensive support whenever you need help.
. Blogs have exploded in popularity in recent years, which means that anything you can think of, there are probably a whole bunch of blog posts about it. Search the web to find content created around any topic you are interested in learning more about, and it is almost guaranteed to be waiting for you.
Tutorials and Video Content
. For visual learners, video tutorials are an excellent way to discover how to get the most out of technology. Along with the helpful tutorial videos, there are a wealth of videos with the purpose of teaching you how to do anything and everything imaginable.
is a wonderful resource to find videos to help you in all of your pursuits.
With all of these resources available at your fingertips, learning to use technology can be a breeze. Since the opportunities of technology are limitless, you have everything to gain and your business to lose. Service business owners are making a mistake unless they embrace the digital tools at their disposal. As the service industry catches up with digital times, small business owners that resist innovation will watch their business become obsolete.
In conclusion, it is important to realize that you can always take baby steps along your road to technology adoption. If you look at the big picture from the beginning, you will likely be completely overwhelmed. Yet if you simply break your business down into small sections and optimize for each, you will soon see just how much your business can benefit from digital tools. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your business. The most important thing you can do is to try.