Professional services technology trends are shifting with customer expectations because life as a customer is going to be so much simpler in the next decade. The 2000’s version of the Roaring 20s will be filled with on-demand, always accessible, customized products and services that come with a “not happy, walk away” guarantee.
The challenge of the professional services industry is to live up to these consumer expectations. But the challenge is already being answered. Technology is already trending toward a customer-centered view of the world, and every day more businesses are adopting digital, internet-powered solutions to impressing customers and earning their loyalty.
Here then, are five professional services technology trends that will shape the next decade of business. Get prepared now because it’s a rapidly changing world.
It’s All in the Cloud Now
Cloud computing has passed the fad test and is now established as a central piece of the professional services industry. It is estimated that 90% of companies now use cloud services and that 60% of all workloads are running on remotely hosted platforms – last year it was just 45%.
The appeal of the cloud’s functionality is a mixture of accessibility, cost, and low risk. By shifting the necessary data and hardware into a remote, central location that is available to anyone in the internet-connected world, companies and customers alike can tap into applications, workflows, and digital communications from whatever combination of devices bet suits their working needs.
There’s no need for extensive IT budgets as the storage, maintenance, and even upgrading of the software is the host’s problem. And, with service providers aggressively competing for a quickly converting client pool the majority of services are offered through subscription, opt-in/out, on-demand agreements that reduce upfront investment and encourage customers to seek highly personalized solutions.
If you’re not cloud-based, chances are you’re easting time and money.
It’s a Customer-Centered Marketplace
It has been reported that almost a third of customers will desert a brand after just one bad experience. That’s how powerful customers have become, and how important the customer experience is to the success of a business. The on-demand nature of the digital marketplace has empowered customers to expect a personalized, responsive service or feel free to walk away.
The resulting professional services technology trends are toward customer-focused, customer-centered solutions. The real value lies not in a single sale, but in earning the loyalty of customers who will repeatedly renew their subscriptions and buy into new product features.
The customer conversation now begins with “What is your goal and how can we help you achieve it”. Providers have to offer multiple ways of consuming their products, and flexible solutions that can be shaped to suit a customer’s unique situation.
It’s a Data-Driven World
When your business future depends on keeping your customers happy, it goes almost without saying that you need to understand everything you can about them. This need to please has generated a new wave of emphasis on customer monitoring and behaviour analysis. Professional service providers need to know how their customers are using their products, and how they could better use them to see more ROI.
This understanding allows you to create unique offerings for your customers, bundling products together, customising pricing and entry points, and creating multi-level variations on core services.
Once you understand what your customer wants, you have to be flexible and resourceful enough to deliver.
It’s an Integrated Service Industry
The world’s first digital natives are about to take over the workplace. It is estimated that Generation Z, those of us born between 1995 and 2010, will make up more than a third of the workforce by 2020.
This generation is the first to have grown up entirely within an internet-powered world, and they have developed a passion for solving problems themselves – growing up with search engines, smartphones, and on-demand everything from food to taxis to movies will do that to you.
As this generation starts flexing its buying power professional services providers will have to start developing products that can be integrated with related apps and software that allow the user to go about their business on their own. The new generations will want us to give them the tools to solve their own problems.
It’s an Online Order Retail Reality
Even those of us that didn’t grow up surrounded by the internet have by now grown accustomed to its convenience. As a result, one of the most profound professional services technology trends currently shaping product delivery is the surge in eCommerce and online ordering. In the year 2000, online orders accounted for just 1% of retail sales. Now they make up 16% and are far outpacing traditional bricks-and-mortar purchasing. If your business isn’t able to let customers access your wares online you are on the wrong side of the trendline.
Online ordering makes your company accessible to a poetically unlimited audience. Even businesses that are anchored to their immediate areas, such as restaurants and food outlets, stand to increase their clientele by making it easier for people to find them and try their products with a minimum of fuss.
All of the above professional services technology trends have a common trait – they make it easier for customers to find, access, and customize the solutions on offer. Success in the next decade will depend on our ability to give customers what they want, whenever and wherever they want it.
The business solutions on offer at talech will help prepare you for the next decade of internet-powered consumerism and changing professional services technology trends. Our cloud-driven, highly customizable devices and software can be shaped into whatever form best suits you and your customers. With built-in analytics, inventory tracking, and online ordering tools we’re confident our product can help you to maximize yours. Sign up for a free demo today and get ahead of the leading technology trends.