As January comes a close, businesses are evaluating their strategies for 2018. Some are recommitting to their resolutions, looking forward to progress in the new year. Others, however, are dragging the same ineffectual tactics into 2018, unsure of what to change or how to do it. If your company is the latter, or you just want to make sure you are on the right track, consider this trends for 2018 business success:
Customer First Business Models
You know that saying, “the customer is always right?” And how most businesses address this with half-hearted surveys and sporadic customer appreciation days? Well, this will not fly in 2018. Consumers expect personalized, intuitive service from companies. This means deep customer analysis, more tech-oriented solutions and a company-wide commitment to customer satisfaction. Businesses must create communities. It is not about just selling to customers but adding real value to their lives. You need customers to buy in, which means your company must buy in too.
Employee First Models Also Matter
Customer satisfaction hinges on employee satisfaction. And just like customers, employees appreciate personal interactions. According to Susan Pinker’s The Village Effect, just 15 minutes of social interaction between co-workers increases performance by 20%. Those with close work friends are 50% more satisfied with their job. This means less employee turnover. Training and education are also important. It costs less to train existing employees to use new technology than to acquire new ones. Another trend is the increase of self-employed workers. More people are choosing this option for a better work-life balance. Employers need to create more flexibility for their workers or risk losing them. Additionally, customers care how employers treat their employees. The happier your employee, the better for customer growth and retention.
Company Workflow Must Be Streamlined
Antiquated entry methods, cumbersome communication systems and a lack of technological solutions must be eliminated in 2018. Companies need workflows that are automated, adaptive and accessible. Consumers want their needs met by whoever they contact, which means increased collaboration and integration. Cloud services can help with this, allowing companies to amass and share data that contributes to growth. Artifical intelligence is also more accessible, which means more opportunities for automating repetitive tasks.
Content Remains King
If your business model does not include content marketing, 2018 is going to be a hard year. Addressing customer concerns is not enough. Customers want to feel engaged with your brand. Content marketing is crucial to business growth, with a strong emphasis on video. The rise of live video has made it easier than ever to immediately connect with customers. It also humanizes your business, providing that personal touch customers crave. Other trends like 360 video and virtual reality offer an immersive experience for customers. Figure out what works best for your business. Commit to stepping up your content game and experience massive growth in 2018.
These are just a handful of trends predicted for 2018. Use this article as a guide to inform your future strategies. Change is inevitable. The sooner your company embraces that, the sooner you can achieve true business success.