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Technology has always had a big impact on business. From the printing press revolutionizing the publishing industry to the combustible engine forever changing transportation, technology’s mission is usually to improve efficiency – to make or move things faster. But sometimes, advances in technology go beyond efficiency; sometimes they fundamentally change the way we do business altogether. Welcome to telecommunications 3.0.
In recent years, it has become possible to buy a car without ever stepping into a car dealership. For those familiar with the traditional car buying process, which begins with approaching the lot and browsing the window stickers, it can be a nerve-wracking process. A salesman comes over to start the ritual courtship that leads to a test drive, a promise of a great deal, a cup of coffee, and several hours of intense, drawn out negotiations between you, the salesman, and the manager. The process is intentionally long and tedious in order to make all parties feel too invested to back away from the table. Fortunately, those days are nearly over.
Current trends in telecommunication have turned this process on its head. Now, you can visit a dealership’s website, look at virtual window stickers, compare prices from other local dealers and message the salesman with an offer in a matter of minutes, all in the same browser window. The new rules of the game incorporate concepts like convenience and transparency. Customers want to be able to make transactions quickly, and with no hidden fees.
Developments in broadband and cloud computing have improved the sales experience for both the customer and the seller. Now, a business like a car dealership can spend more time on marketing and driving people to their website instead of just patrolling their lot. They can direct their efforts towards generating better promotions and retaining current contracts. Technology has essentially raised the bar in customer relations, where service availability is valued just as highly as price and product features.
To keep up with industry trends, businesses must create stronger identities for themselves. And with services like VoIP, employees can connect with their clients anytime and anywhere without sacrificing personal privacy. After hours calls can be routed seamlessly to a representative’s personal cell phone. This kind of perk allows companies to seal a “cannot wait until Monday” deal on the spot, since the customer could easily go with another vendor for the sake of convenience if they’re unavailable.
Businesses’ websites can also do more than take orders through e-commerce; they can also become avenues of information. Both of these functions rely on dependable up-time. But dedicated cloud services prevent problems like the classic in-house server failure, rendering the friction for business owners and their customers waiting for a technician that comes the day after tomorrow to fix the issue obsolete.
Telecommunications systems, driven by technology, in turn drive how businesses operate. Will your business be ahead of the curve?