While politicians use the state of the economy to serve their ends in a US election year, most of us just want things to get better. And, according to some people, things are improving. Steve Higgins, writing for advisors4advisors.com reveals numbers he believes indicate an improving economy. A quick search on Google News shows quite a few positive articles on how and why the economy is doing better. Also, Google Insight for Search shows a sharp increase since December 2011 of people in the US doing searches on the phrase: ‘improving economy’.
While reading articles and posts about this trend, I found this article in the Utica Observer Dispatch about companies using technology and customer service to increase and improve their business. Here’s one example:
At Rome Strip Steel computers are used to track where steel is in the manufacturing process, giving customer service representatives the ability to give customers real-time updates on their orders, said Scott Williams, quality assurance manager at the company.
This might seem trivial. But when revenue is down and money is tight, it would be easy for a company to conclude their systems are just fine if they provide information to people inside the company. After all, they are making the products so they need the information more than anyone else. It might make sense to save money by not paying for systems that enable their customers to get better information more easily.
But maybe thinking like that is just the opposite of what our economy needs. By investing in technology that helps them provide a higher level of service to their customers, maybe manufacturers like these are able to grow their business more than their competitors.
I believe the companies that survive and thrive in the next phase of our economy will be those that have learned to connect with their customers and have improved their ability to deliver what their customers really want. And maybe that’s the best remedy for a soft economy.
What do you think? Can improved customer service and better use of technology help your business do better?