Want to Keep Your Customers? Update Your Tech
If you had to guess what issue 91 percent of your customers might leave you over, what would it be: Poor customer service? Shoddy products? A sudden price hike?
The correct answer is none of the above. According to a recent poll by Microsoft, nine out of 10 consumers said they would stop doing business with a company that appears to lag behind in the technology department.
On the flip side, roughly six out of 10 people surveyed said that up-to-date technology could turn them into repeat customers, FOXBusiness reports.
What Constitutes “Updated” Technology?
Survey respondents cited cutting-edge websites with good encryption as essential, because many are unwilling to enter personal contact or credit card information via a site that looks outdated.
Operating systems and software are also a chief concern: Some 60 percent of survey respondents said OSes and computers that are five to ten years old give them pause about a business.
The consumers surveyed also identified mobile technology as key to keeping up in today’s marketplace. Customers like placing orders and making appointments via their smartphones. Savvy use of apps and advanced functionality, such as remote medical imaging, can convey that a company is competent, efficient, and even cutting-edge.
Is Your Technology Up to Snuff?
If not, Inc. suggests creating a “technology plan” as part of your business plan. Choose your systems wisely when you start up, selecting hardware and software that’s flexible enough to accommodate your needs as your company grows and develops.
Thankfully, that doesn’t have to mean the products with the most bells and whistles. “As much as possible, choose technology that, while meeting your needs, is simpler rather than overly complex,” writes Rhonda Abrams, author of Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies.
Next, make sure to keep your systems current, so that your original setup doesn’t become a liability over time.
Katherine Gustafson is a freelance writer based in Seattle, Washington, who loves writing about small business and entrepreneurship. Her first book, Change Comes to Dinner, explores the way entrepreneurs and other visionaries—from greenhouse innovators to no-till wheat farmers—are changing the business of food.