Factor Four: Technology Driving Growth and Behaviour
by Kevin D. Crone
(from the 14 Factors that Could Prevent You from Growing Your Service Business)
From our research, using technology can drive your growth and productivity …. or not, it’s up to you.
Technology such as social media, cloud, big data, smart, stack, and the early days of Jarvis, are driving the future of business and business models. Client’s buying behaviour has changed as described in last week’s mentor. Icloud eliminated costly and complicated systems. “Smart” is showing up everywhere, TVs, cars, phones, etc., and they are all connecting. Soon, they will be telling us what to do.
It has been said that 11 trillion new value streams will be created in the next ten years with cloud and smart technologies alone. We’re becoming a “we” connected world through a rapidly developing digital ecosystem. We’re in an “outcome economy”, not caught up in being paid for activities or hourly billings, but paid for results. We’re into the development of an intelligent enterprise, with people listening, sharing and thinking and a re-imagined workforce.
Every business is becoming a digital business and it will be the driving force of how you grow. Even old traditional businesses like John Deere, Samsung, and big IT giants are stretching themselves and becoming digital businesses engaged in big “what if” questions such as:
• How do you sell insurance to owners of a smart driverless car?
• Are we selling TV’s or creating smart homes?
These organizations are re-shaping markets and defining new roles in them.
How do you leverage your digital advantage? One way is to leverage your expertise with the power of digital technology and combine it with others expertise to see what’s possible. 70% of companies are using social technology and only 3% are maximizing its full potential. Only 45% of small service businesses are into social media at all. Yet there are two billion members of on-line communities that bring speed, scale, and economics of the Internet to social interactions. Yes, people still want to be part of something and be involved, from sharing updates on Twitter to organizing political, social and business causes. Those who pay attention are unlocking productivity, value and sales. 900 billion in new value is predicted from the improvements in communications, and collaboration within and across service industries.
Service organizations are a collection of highly skilled and deeply specialized individuals who come together to create value for clients by drawing on and combining their expertise. The core activities involve interacting with other professionals, support staff, clients, outside experts and finding and using outside experts, content and knowledge efficiently and effectively. All of this, while still creating new services and products, new marketing, improved sales development (helping clients see more insights into growing their business) talent recruitment and management. You can expect a 1% to 2% growth in each core area per year through the use of social media technology.
No other sector will benefit more than the service sector. Here are some examples:
1) You can reduce your costs in developing new services by up to 25% by employing intimate social interaction with clients. Sharing information and insights as we shared last week, client acuity is an up and coming strategy. Crowd sourcing is used for product ideas and to co-create new features. Social is a feature, not a product. A ‘like’ or ‘comment’ button can be added to any IT enabled interaction.
2) You can help clients grow their social media methods and strategies to grow both businesses.
3) You can develop an internal portal based resource centre which could be used to train, teach and engage your employees. You can reward them points for money, for their posts, blogs, what they have learned, their comments, sharing project designs, and instructions for repeatable actions.
Engage and reward your experts in the development of new services and proposals that work, especially in higher margin, higher value services through this internal centre. Also, you can extend the organization by inviting outside experts into the conversation. The system could tell you who is engaged and why, which helps with matching expertise with the talent required to grow.
4) Social media can help you with operations, for example, co-creation of products; and create forecasts, to distribute internal business processes. It can drive relevant and compelling marketing and insightful sales. For example, development of customer insights that inform and get attention, can advise on the preferences and trends in the marketplace, help develop on-going marketing/communications and manage interactions and generate sales leads.
5) You can reduce the time of knowledge workers writing emails, searching for information and collaborating internally (up to 28 hours a week) by the streaming of information and increase in collaboration. You can release all the information that is locked up in emails and free up about 25% email use. As an added benefit, you could lower the barriers between silos. You would become a transparent and trusted organization.
6) One-third of all consumer’s buying is influenced by social shopping like what diet to use, which movie to go to etc. Business to business purchasing isn’t too far behind.
7) You can improve customer service through a customer care social tool.
8) You can improve internal collaboration and communication on behalf of the business strategy and the client’s business strategy.
9) You can have a central diary to coordinate projects. You can upload drawings, project plans, and it could be used to notify clients immediately of changes. Reviews by everyone could lead to timely revisions and project improvements.
10) You can use crowd sourcing of professional talent shows. You can do talent scouting. You can develop a talent matrix matching expertise with the project.
11) You can increase your reputation and become thought leaders in your market for trends, sharing other expert’s posts, create blogs, stimulate debate, increase public awareness with white papers, case studies, podcasting, micro blogging etc. And you can manage public perception.
12) You can become more of an engaged, collaborative organization servicing clients in multiple locations without increasing your overhead costs and subsequently reduce your prices. You can even hire freelancers, one job at a time through the co-creation of documents and improve them in real time. Small businesses can now get in on any deal or opportunity.
These are just some of the ideas, actions and outcomes available when you grow with technology. Being open to the idea, being willing to be transparent are the requirements for getting in on this revolution. Hope you can see some opportunity.
• What is an insight that occurred to you?
• What are you going to do?
Have a great week. Next Monday: Factor Five (it is very important).
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
(905) 826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032
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