Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the business world has seen a major facelift- led by changing dynamics in buying behaviour and the digital era.
Today, these forces have truly evolved and transformed the business landscape. These emerging forces are characterized by: A shift in workforce demographics, the digital revolution, the prioritization of the customer experience, and the rise of the virtual marketplace.
The purpose of this article is to inform you about these four emerging forces to future-proof your business and turn these challenges into opportunities. Let's delve in.
A major shift in workplace demographics
There are major changes happening within the workplace demographics. Baby boomers are retiring and more than 50% of the workplace employees will consist of millennials and gen Z by 2030:
Baby boomers have different demands and ethics,- such as prioritizing money over meaning while millennials and gen Z still prioritize compensation, they want money to flow from meaning. Millennials are also referred to as the 'woke' generation and they aspire their employer to promote social responsibility and provide a healthy work-life balance. Did we mention they demand the flexibility of remote work?
With applications like conference calling and video chatting, creating a productive remote work environment is feasible; Some businesses have even invested in laptops instead of the old clunky computers.
So far, remote work has led to a work-life balance, enhanced productivity, and a healthier lifestyle. If you require your employees to be present in the office, here is a tip: Create a positive environment, learn about lighting psychology( brightness, hue and saturation), and have snacks on deck to motivate in office work.
Another major shift in workplace demographics is that immigrants will supply the lion's share of population growth by 2032. To acquire top-of-the-line talent and get a head start, network with immigrant communities through business associations- such as private venture capital firms like Arete who are creating programs to attract new technology talent.
The Digital Revolution
Today, customers feel empowered by the digital technology in their pockets- their mobile phones. They can schedule appointments, fill out documents, pay for services, see their doctor, and explore the world from the palm of their hand. This digital era is ongoing and eventually, AI and cloud computing will transform industries such as manufacturing and agriculture.
As many platforms offer a variety of powerful tools for operations and improved customer service, automation of business activities is your gateway to a digital revolution. If you are a service-based business, business management software can boost great benefits for your operations. Adapting to such technologies will grow your business, cut costs, and improve productivity. These transitions in a business are often referred to as paradigm shifts.
Chances are you already use CRM software to manage customers and for its secure, digital record-keeping. To provide dynamic customer service, utilize your CRM software to its full potential by tracking buying and behavioural patterns.
In the next section, we will talk about the importance of the customer experience and why it is a major force in acquiring customer loyalty.
Prioritization of the customer experience
Customer service is becoming more important by the second - knowing your customers and creating a connection to capture their engagement will set you apart (and above) from the competition. Aimee Lucas, the VP of a customer experience research company quotes, 'Customer engagement is highly correlated to customer loyalty.' The more personalized the customer experience is, the more loyalty you gain.
In fact, based on an American Express survey conducted across nine countries, 72% of respondents are willing to spend 16% more on average due to a positive customer service experience. The following image illustrates the better the customer service experience, the more your customers are willing to spend with you (based on their location):
Customers know what they want, the question is do you know what your customers want? Listening to your customers' needs and feedback can be extremely resourceful. Investing in focus groups and creating surveys via electronic forms (for your clients to fulfill immediately after servicing them) is vital.
Remember, you need to do more than solely capture feedback,- be prepared to make changes, even if it means re-educating your staff or adjusting your culture little by little.
Virtual marketplaces on the rise
The Internet and mobile devices have completely transformed our shopping habits - we want lots of options and we want them fast. An online marketplace is designed to give businesses a centralized place for online selling (Amazon is a great example of this).
If you are not a retail or service-based business, a virtual marketplace can still immensely benefit your business. Various fields such as travel, healthcare, professional services, and even e-learning have created their own virtual marketplace to efficiently connect people and businesses online.
If you build a digital ecosystem today, your business can gain a competitive advantage. How? Customizing your online presence, integrating e-commerce competence within your social media networks (such as an online book button), and making sure your website is mobile-friendly (and fast) is an excellent starting points.
There is a major shift in workplace demographics- baby boomers are retiring while Millennials and Gen Z are taking over. You should be ready to make changes to your corporate culture in order to recruit the right people.
Automating your business processes with Business Management Software will allow you to participate in the digital revolution and offer dynamic, customer experiences. Prioritizing the customer experience leads to a major boost in customer loyalty. Last but not least, the rise of virtual marketplaces can help your business grow and create a strong network.
By applying these four major forces, you increase your chances of future-proofing your business and thriving.
Author's Bio: Taraneh Nasseri is a product marketer and content creator in the software field. When she is not delving into the creativity of research and writing, she loves to play tennis and study data visualization.