Technology Is Your Tool For A Better Business
Technology is just one more tool for business. But its a tool that can enhance every aspect of your product and the customer experience, according to Irving Wladawsky-Berger. This is Part 3 of a series on this evangelist for business technology, native of Cuba and adviser to the worlds biggest corporations.
Part 1: The Visionary
Part 2: The Best of Times
Irving Wladawsky-Berger is one of the world's leading proponents of business technology, but even he says technology alone does not create a successful business.
It is just one ingredient in a mix that must include superior customer service. But any business that does not employ technology will find itself to be lacking, in customer service and in other areas, he says.
"The one thing people have less and less of is time," he explains. "Therefore, anything you can do that will save them time and save them aggravation they will value. They will value doing business with someone where everything goes smoothly, goes very fast. They will value the business that has gone way out of its way to make it really easy to buy from them. And that's customer service. If you cannot offer this because you do not have access to technology, you're going to be less competitive, and pay a price."
The power of technology isn't just limited to tech-oriented or Web companies, either. Professionals in any line of business can put information technology to work, Wladawsky-Berger says. "Let's assume you are a plumber, whom you don't tend to think of as a digital technology-intensive business," he illustrates. "But more and more, people look to their plumber for efficiency in the usage of water and heating. A lot of these businesses now involve tools that have software and other sophisticated controls, especially for boilers and stuff like that, and the ability to get on the Web and research different mechanisms and learn about them. These tools put plumbers at a totally different level. And it makes them able to not only do more for their clients, but also to charge more, make more money, and keep up with advances. And that's just one example."
There is more to technology than efficiency and cost reduction, Wladawsky-Berger says. Technology offers new ways to engage customers and build markets.
"It's critical is to stay in touch with your clients and keep up with your markets," he says. "Your competitor may be able to provide better customer service because they have better tools to communicate with their clients. They may have better tools to get the latest information on what's going on in the marketplace, where can they buy something as part of a job with a client for a reasonable price. I really believe customer service is everything in today's world. Everything. And technology lets you provide your client with the best possible customer service at the most affordable cost. That's why every company needs to pay attention to technology."