We’re now well into the first quarter of 2018, some might even be starting their financial year. Here are the top key ideas, trends, and predictions to keep in mind in order to make the most of 2018 for business success.
It is a misconception to think of artificial intelligence (AI) as dehumanising interactions. There are fundamentally three levels of machine learning of AI. First, AI where machines perform tasks normally performed by humans. Second, machine learning, where the machines learn on their own, and third, deep learning, where machine learning chains together for rich learning.
Leading companies are embracing AI to perform repeatable, redundant tasks and to process large amounts of data as to not to avoid human interaction, but to compliment it. Take for example, machine learning, which will play a bigger role in sales and customer support in 2018. Lower costs and increased availability of speech analytics tools mean more businesses will record and monitor calls within their contact centres. Instead of simply guiding callers through prompts, speech analytics will help to categorise them and analyse responses in terms of what you say and how you say it. Insights like these will be used to guide agents, in real time, to get the best results from each interaction. Companies will look to incorporate AI to gain a competitive advantage for business success.
Marketing and Advertising
Modern marketing tools are making personalisation possible and it is on the rise. While email marketing has traditionally been a one-to- many medium, it’s a great example of this trend being brought to life as we continue to see an increased focus on more customised messaging. A major catalyst behind this shift toward one-to- one has been advances in personalisation technology, especially segmentation of email lists. Personalised email marketing is especially valuable because small businesses often have a variety of products, yet not every offering will necessarily appeal to every customer on an email list.
In addition, top companies realise that building great communities online using social media presence channels produces long-term brand loyalty. However, what is being noted here is that nothing drives strong communities better than in-person and live interactions. Even live video engages better than recorded video. Take note of the popularity of Facebook Live for better business success.
Smart companies realise social media and technology do not replace the need for personal interactions, however social media can actually make in-person interactions more valuable. Since consumers are already connected in the virtual world, in-person relationships can be built at a rapid pace because consumers already feel as though they “know” the brand.
The workplace is evolving as we know it. The physical workspace has been significantly changing and this change is set to continue. Businesses are getting smarter about how they use space to drive productivity and adapt to new employee behaviours and technology tools. Larger companies will also look to reduce their real estate commitments and move to more flexible desk solutions. This is especially the case as more employees work away from the office, while staying connected to it by making use of better tools that help them do their work more effectively. This change will foster a continued increase in the number of remote workers just over 30 percent of employees spent all their time working in, or at their office in 2017.
With all the key trends and ideas encompassing use of technology, it is more important now than ever to increase cyber security. This is a trend that will continue to grow. With business success in mind, the company needs to protect their customers’ personal data and preserve its reputation. With the use of more people working away from the office, company data needs to be protected too.