10 Ways Mobile Apps Help Grow Businesses

How often do you browse Amazon listings via their mobile app or place an order through the McDonalds app? As the digital era goes mobile, companies get into the groove of building their own mobile apps that enable customers to stay connected and get things done with just a few taps on their devices.

How-Mobile-Apps-Help-Grow-Businesses

Your business doesn’t have to be as big as Starbucks or Nike for apps to be considered valuable to your growth. If your company has yet to start milking the flow of opportunities that mobile offers, then there’s no time to waste. A look at the following mobile device usage statistics show how mobile app development can benefit your business:

  • 80% of smartphone users are more inclined to purchase from companies with mobile apps or sites that help them answer their inquiries quickly. (Google)
  • 90% of users’ time on their mobile phones is spent on apps. (Flurry)
  • Smartphone users are more likely to purchase from brands whose mobile apps or sites tailor information to their location. (Google)
  • Compared to mobile sites, customers view 4.2x more products per session on apps. (JMango360)

 

Questions to Ask Before Building a Business App

The temptation is reasonable. But before you take the plunge, it’s helpful to check if your vision aligns with your mobile app’s purpose. Here are a few questions to ask before you push through with your mobile app development.

  • Do your competitors have apps? What features do they have?
  • How will it help your customers? What problems will the app solve?
  • Do you want to enhance the experience of your existing customers or bring new ones in?
  • Will you offer a customer loyalty program?
  • Will it simplify processes for your internal team or your customers?

If you have solid answers to all these, then it’s time to start building your mobile app!

 

How Mobile Apps Can Support Your Business

 

  1. Boost brand image

Mobile apps provide awareness through branded communication with consumers. Without one, your brand might come across as outdated. As with distributing stickers or calendars with your brand image, your logo and brand name are constantly plastered on your customers’ device home screens. Your customer’s regular interaction with your app also fosters trust, which conditions them to commit to your brand.

 

  1. Enhance customer service

Customer service and support has evolved from person-to-person interactions to digital channels. Having the ability to access your products and services 24/7 without having to wait for regular business hours is a great advantage for customers. Plus, points for your brand if your app includes a messaging feature where they can reach you directly without leaving the app.

 

  1. Personalized marketing channel

Mobile apps offer various ways where you can diversify personalized marketing campaigns, such as push notifications. You can use them to advertise new products, discounts, special events, promotions, and much more. You can also use it to remind existing customers how long they haven’t shopped with you or when their waitlisted item gets restocked.

 

  1. Make consumers feel more valued

Business is all about give and take. As much as you want to increase your sales, you also want to show how much you value your customers. One way to encourage more conversions is through a loyalty program built into the app.

The more frequent they avail of your products or service, the more points they get, which they can use to claim rewards—exclusive to app subscribers. Seeing how many points they’ve earned and what rewards are on offer without going to your website will entice them to follow through then and there.  

 

  1. Get on that word-of-mouth marketing

One of the most powerful effects of the mobile age is its strong facilitation of word-of-mouth marketing. You can feature a referral program within the app and reward customers who share the app or your content to a friend.

 

  1. Quick access to data anytime, anywhere

With every mobile app comes an array of data analytics features. Like a website, you’ll have access to all the behavioral and transactional data collected by your mobile app. This information can help your brand build insights on your target audience and improve future campaigns.

 

  1. Better productivity

With automation lifting a heavy weight off employees’ shoulders, they can focus on more on their primary function: providing a great product/service. Corporate apps can make jobs more convenient and help produce more quality work. The use of a cloud service can additionally help make decision-making faster and more efficient.

 

  1. Automation of processes

One of the primary reasons why businesses are jumping on enterprise mobility is because of automation. Being able to automate and streamline various tasks with minimal human intervention can save you precious time at work and reduce the risk of error.

 

Summing it up

We live in a fast-paced digital era, and it’s never been more obvious that smartphones and mobile apps have marked their territory in people’s lives. It’s up to businesses to adapt if they want to ride the trends and embrace this digital transformation, which is an excellent way to connect with customers, improve branding, or scale business processes more efficiently.

 

You don’t have to be a tech company to have a mobile app. Every brand deserves to have its own “big idea” when it comes to mobile apps. So, what’s yours?


Technical Support: In-House vs. Outsourced

IT support is a critical aspect in business, especially in these times when the use of technology is so widespread. In your own backyard, you’ll find that a lot of your processes depend on your organization’s IT system and resources. For instance, your IT team is responsible for making sure that your files and data are stored and backed up properly, or that only authorized persons will have access to your internal network.

Technical Support In-House vs Outsourced

Tech support also helps resolve issues and complaints that customers might have when using your product or navigating your site, app, software, and the like. Altogether, these forms of support can offer tremendous value to your business’s growth, which makes it imperative that you invest in excellent IT support for your business.

The question is whether you should build your own team or outsource your tech support. Because both options come with their own advantages and drawbacks, it might not be easy for you to choose one over the other. A good rule of thumb is to use your unique business situation as the basis for your decision.

Here’s a rundown of how an in-house and outsourced technical support stack up against each other.

 

The In-House Tech Support Option

Pros Cons
Your employees’ salary will be the same regardless of the size or nature of the task at hand. You’ll need to scale up your team to cater to a broad range of expertise.
You’ll have a point person on site most of the time, so addressing issues will be fairly quick. You must have an on-call staff to deal with problems that happen outside of regular working hours, on holidays, or when your point person is unavailable.
The team knows your company’s set-up and system inside out. You need to invest in regular training to your IT staff to upgrade their skills.

 

Requirements

Having the right resources can help ensure that your in-house IT support team operates efficiently. It all starts with recruiting network administrators, developers, and technicians with a degree or certification in the fields of computer science, computing, or software engineering. Your candidate should demonstrate skills in troubleshooting, logical thinking, and problem-solving.

Time management is also an important aspect since your IT team will be dealing with time-sensitive service issues and requests. Not to mention the need for good interpersonal skills (they are your support staff after all). Without good communication, you're bound to run into some problems.

There should be a dedicated workspace for your tech support team, too. You’ll need to set it up with the right infrastructure, including the necessary hardware and software. Your team won’t be able to do without internet connectivity, servers, modern computers, routers, telecom equipment, productivity applications, database management system, and the like.  

 

When Do You Need an In-house IT Support?

Here are some cases when it might be ideal to build or maintain your own tech team:

  • You’re developing a product and you need to closely coordinate different aspects of the project with your team.
  • You’ve implemented customized systems that only your team can understand.
  • You’re in the fintech industry, where the technology itself is the main product or unique selling proposition of your company.
  • Your operations involve handling ultra-sensitive data that you’re not willing to share with third parties.

 

The Outsourced Tech Support Option

Pros Cons
Your customers will have 24/7 access to an IT help desk. There might be communication or cultural barriers between your customers/employees and your outsourced tech support team.
You have lower overhead costs, including those related to infrastructure, employee benefits, and trainings, as well as building leases. You might have limited management control over remote employees.
You have more free time focus on your business’s daily operations and core competencies. You have to set parameters regarding data privacy and intellectual property concerns.

 

Requirements

With outsourced technical support, most of the requirements pertaining to recruitment, training, and IT infrastructure will be the responsibility of your service provider. However, you must determine the level of IT support service to outsource. Here are three possible models:

  1. Break-Fix Support. The outsourcing company remotely fixes any issues with any of your computers or your network as they happen. There will be additional charges for on-site visits or when there are replacement parts needed for your equipment.
  2. Pro-active Support. The goal is for the IT support company to prevent system outages in your network through regular monitoring or updating of your hardware and software.
  3. Fully Managed Support. This involves delegating all of your IT support and maintenance needs to the outsourcing company. If you’re choosing this service model, make sure to discuss key areas such as response times, staff coverage hours, compatibility of applications, hardware warranties, and everything else that might impact the quality of support for your company or customers.

 

When Do You Need to Outsource Your Tech Support?

You may need to hire an expert tech support team in these situations:

  • You plan to use your cost savings to build bigger or better products or services.
  • You’re in an industry – e-commerce included – where you want to focus on what you’re selling rather than how you’re selling it.
  • You have different skill and knowledge requirements for every project in the pipeline.
  • You’re working with critical deadlines for your project, product, or service.
  • Your business is expanding into foreign markets or highly specialized industries.

 

Final Words

There’s no question about the importance of a good IT support for your business. While choosing between having an internal IT help desk and outsourcing to an expert tech support team may depend on your business priorities, it’s worth noting that outsourced IT support offers several long-term benefits for your company. These may range from reduced operational costs to a wider pool of IT experts and access to on-demand services.

As a result, your product or service model becomes more efficient and satisfying for your customers while providing overall growth for your business.

 

Find out how the experts at Intelligent Bee can make technical support a breeze!


Android vs iOS: What Platform Should You Build Your Mobile App For?

Now that we live in a society that’s heavily reliant on mobile technology, mobile app development has seen a boom over the last few years. As smartphones get an upgrade with each brand’s release of their flagship device, apps become more advanced. They dish out more features that not only help users but also businesses to expand their operations through this platform. Apple has even trademarked the catchphrase “there’s an app for that” to let users know there is one that can actually help with just about any particular task.

iOS vs Android Apps Development

According to an App Annie report, the mobile app industry earned a whopping US$41.1 billion in gross annual revenue and according to Statista, it’s projected to hit US$101.1 billion by 2020. With the population of smartphone users growing each year, the market is far from saturated.

Internet on-the-go is clearly a necessity for many users, and there’s nowhere to go but up. More companies are starting to jump into the mobile app arena after regarding smartphones as a catalyst that can grow their business. The mobile app platform has become a channel to boost sales, increase brand awareness and deliver content through branded apps.

But how do you jump into the fray? Like all things technical, there’s a process you need to go through. Here’s how it currently goes:

 

  1. Choose an initial platform for the app

There are two giants that dominate the current smartphone market: Android and iOS. To find out which one has more users, a study by Gartner found that 87.8% of smartphones sold in Q3 of 2016 globally were Android. In contrast, Apple only had 11.5%. While there is a huge difference, that doesn’t mean going for Android is the better choice.

 

  1. Test and get feedback

Once you’ve developed your app on your preferred platform, you will need to beta test it to an intended audience and collect feedback on how it works. During this process, you will know if everything about how the app is designed works perfectly. You will also find out if there are bugs you need to fix and improvements that would make your app better.

 

  1. Make iterations and expand features

After zeroing in on the bugs and identifying what you need to improve on, you can release new versions packed with all the new features. This is a continuous process; as your business improves, so does your app to deliver the best user experience you can offer.

 

  1. Build and release the app on the other platform

You will eventually be able to figure out how everything works on your initial operating system. The next step is to widen your reach, so your next move is to release your app on the other platform.

But for your initial development, testing, and optimization processes, you should be able to address the question: Which platform should you go for? Let’s weigh up the differences.

 

Android

The Pros: With its open-source software, Android offers app developers a low barrier of entry and allows the use of crowd-created frameworks and plugins. This results in a platform that’s more flexible, which gives developers the freedom to play around with their app’s features and functionalities. This kind of technical environment enables them to modify apps to make the necessary improvements.

As mentioned earlier, Android operating systems have a huge monopoly over the smartphone market. Although this makes Android look like the obvious first choice, there are many other factors that come into play.

The Cons: Although Android’s open-source nature is favorable for developers, it’s a double-edged sword. Android app development is more complex, taking more time to master. And while the OS covers a wide variety of devices and iterations, this benefit causes a large amount of fragmentation. This results in varied user experiences across all devices.

With its highly-fragmented platform, developers are faced with a real challenge as apps need to be optimized for various screen sizes and operating systems. This leads to a lot of compatibility and testing required, ultimately increasing development costs. For this reason, app development takes longer than those on iOS.

 

iOS

The Pros: iOS offers a more stable and exclusive platform for developers, making the apps easier to use. Apple designed it to be a closed platform, so the company can design all of their own hardware and software around it. This gives them the authority to impose strict guidelines, resulting to a quick and responsive platform where apps are designed well with less piracy involved.

Since 2016, over 25% of iOS developers earned over US$5,000 in monthly revenue, while only 16% of Android developers generated the same amount. And when it comes to monthly revenues earned by mobile operating systems, a Statista study estimates iOS earns US$8,100 on average per month, bumping Android to second place with US$4,900. But despite these numbers favoring iOS, a third of developers prefer Android.

Compared to the thousands of devices using Android, iOS runs on a mere 20 devices. And with both resolution and screen size playing a smaller role in the app development process, it’s quicker and easier. This results in significantly less device fragmentation.

To put things into perspective, developing an app compatible with three of the latest iOS version covers about 97% of all iOS users. This makes it a fitting choice for first-timers in app development.

The Cons: Due to its restrictive nature, developer guidelines offer a fixed set of tools to build an app, making customization limited. And with the frameworks used to build an app, many of them licensed, development costs could increase.

Additionally, iOS is widely regarded as a more mature operating system than Android, with established rules and standards. These can make approval from the App Store more difficult, taking 4-5 days for an app to be granted one.

 

Cross-Platform App Development

The Pros: Essentially, cross-platform app development allows you to develop two apps---both for Android and iOS---at the same time. The tools you can use reduces the time and costs related to app development on both platforms. One of the most influential frameworks currently out there is React Native.

React Native is the brainchild of Facebook with the goal of having a framework for smooth and easy cross-platform mobile development. This means no more creating apps separately for Android and iOS. All it takes is one codebase and you’ll be able to create awesome apps that work on both platforms without compromising user experience or interface.

Since cross-platform app development has a ‘write once, run everywhere’ approach, it greatly reduces costs and development time. This means there is no need to learn multiple technologies; all you need is to master a few and you can set things in motion. Initial deployment for your app will move along much faster due to its single codebase nature.

Additionally, any changes needed to be done on the app can be implemented simultaneously without making separate changes on each platform. In terms of business, it’s ideal to develop cross-platform apps to reach a wider audience, which would ultimately lead to higher revenues.

The Cons: Compared to Android and iOS, cross-platform apps do not perfectly integrate into their target operating systems. This results in some apps failing to perform at an optimal level due to erratic communication between cross-platform code and the device’s Android or iOS components. This may also result in failure when it comes to delivering optimized user experiences.

 

Conclusion

Your choice will entirely depend on your business goals and budget. Each of these platforms has its strengths and weaknesses, but to help you decide, you should know what’s going to work for your business. After careful consideration of your costing, the time of release, and the reach/target audience you’re aiming for, you may have a clearer picture as to where you would want to build your app.

 

Looking for a pro to help with your mobile app development project? Contact our seasoned experts at Intelligent Bee to learn what we can do for your business!


Software Development Outsourcing Mistakes

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Software Development

It’s true that every business process takes time to learn, execute, and grasp—but they are essential steps, nonetheless, and thus should be meticulously done to keep the company going.

Software Development Outsourcing Mistakes

However, it’s also true that all businesses aim to be the best in their industry and to achieve that, they need to focus more time and effort in the activities in which they intend to be experts. When you become the best in the field, you become more globally competitive, giving you an edge against other companies.

But that would mean abandoning other activities which may still be necessary. To solve this dilemma, outsourcing some businesses processes can help, especially with things like IT-related tasks. Outsourcing software development and other functions will allow you to focus your resources on your area of expertise, so you can have more time to modernize offerings, give better customer service, and increase profits.

Rising demand for software developers makes this a more competitive playing field, so it helps to know the best practices to take:

 

The Selection Process

Now that you’ve decided to get into outsourcing, it’s time to find the right partner. Keep in mind that not all software development services are created equal, so you need to be on the lookout for considerations that fit your needs. Due diligence can make or break the quality of the software, not to mention your business relationship with your third-party service provider.

Some factors to consider include:

  • Location and distance of the outsourced company
  • Experience and qualifications—including communication skills
  • Technical expertise
  • Cultural considerations
  • Rates
  • Legal, physical, and technical protection

 

Costly Mistakes When Outsourcing Software Development

 

  • Not doing market research

Before even attempting to outsource software development, do a bit of market research. Understand the hurdle that you want your solutions to overcome, then find the market for service providers that address said hurdle.

Identify what solutions your competitors are using. Look at some of the more successful brands in your industry. What are they offering? How do they execute their strategies? Don’t worry too much about the negative perception with copying your competitors’ strategies because without market research, you will fail even if your idea is original.

 

  • Poor selection process

As mentioned, a thorough selection process can help you find the best service provider. In essence, not considering the factors (perhaps, just choosing one because it’s cheap) is a recipe for disaster. Conduct research and analysis on your prospects, including cost-based and non-cost-based factors, operating model, and get an understanding of how the market functions.

You can also check reviews and feedbacks from previous customers, read their portfolio, website, blog posts, and social media accounts, or learn their company values and culture.

 

  • Unclear requirements and vision

Without details of the project, your outsourced team won’t be able to work on anything, and things can get worse if your details are incomplete. You first need to know exactly you want to create to form the idea and implement it through the software.

Along with a vision for the project, you need to have a plan on how to see it through. More importantly, communicate it clearly to the team—everyone from both sides must have a deep understanding of the project and should ask any questions if anything is unclear.

 

  • Putting hourly rate ahead of everything

Rates will always be a consideration when it comes to outsourcing, but the problem occurs when hourly rates become the main determinant when choosing a team. What many businesses don’t realize is that, in the long run, they could be spending much more on fixing the mistakes made by their badly-picked team. However, it’s also true that high hourly rates don’t guarantee high-quality work.

Instead, pay attention to the hourly rate but don’t consider it as the most critical consideration, as low prices don’t guarantee savings. Have a range of hourly rates that you’re happy to work with, filter the potential candidates by this factor, and then continue checking for other necessary elements.

 

  • Resisting knowledge of modern trends

There are a few reasons why some software development teams are not able to keep up with the newest techniques or trends in their industry. The problem lies when your work requires those modern ways to come into play. However, it’s also never a good indication when an outsourced company fails to learn new solutions to obstacles using the latest technology trends.

 

  • Ignorance of cultural differences

This often happens when the outsourced company is located abroad, or a country that is not of your own. Even if there’s no language barrier (as long as both parties speak proper English), discrepancies between cultures will always be evident, whether it’s through the gestures, speaking intonations, traditions, and customs.

When not appropriately handled, differences may cause communication breakdowns and process inefficiencies. Therefore, it’s also important to get acquainted with your partner’s cultural norms and orient your own staff about them.

 

  • Not considering the difference in time zone

Another problem that may arise when getting a partner abroad is the difference in time zones. Communication is essential when working with an outsourced company to ensure that the process is going smoothly. However, a difference in working hours may be a problem when progress gets halted due to delays that are the main consequences of different work schedules.

Despite this, there are ways to stay productive and keep the work going. May it be adjusting schedules as necessary or overlapping work hours to give both parties a chance to align, you need to sidestep this hurdle and work with this time zone difference in the best way possible (if applicable).

 

  • Poor communication

Contrary to what you may think, having a partner in a different country isn’t the only root cause of poor communication between teams. After all, there are tools like email and instant messaging that can make remote staffing work. It’s merely because, for some reason, there are teams who refuse to collaborate or stay informed about what’s going on.

Utilize multiple channels, so you have a backup just in case one doesn’t work. Make sure to respond promptly when questions or concerns are raised. Having regular meetings to keep the teams up to speed about any problems or what needs to be done next is also important. Orient the team, as well, on how to appropriately respond to emails or messages.

 

  • Not hiring your own in-house developer

You may have a solid team of software developers as partners, but who will supervise their work? This is where an expert can help you. Someone who has at least some degree of knowledge in software development can look after the quality and aptness of work. This employee can also set clear-cut requirements for the outsourced team to follow.

 

  • Not considering security and protection

Privacy is essential when it comes to many things, including software development. Different countries have different legal systems; therefore, it’s likely that when you get a partner from abroad, you are not automatically bound by the same intellectual property rules.

Before you hire an offshore vendor and trust them with potentially sensitive information, pay close attention to the contract management. Have a legal expert on staff so you can properly set a non-disclosure agreement with all areas clearly defined to protect your project as your intellectual property.

 

Get Outsourcing Right

In general, the right outsourcing company is one that is equally motivated as you are because you share the same vision, especially if your requirements are bespoke in nature. Having a working partner also entails building and maintaining a good relationship. After all, you’re basically working toward the same goal, and it’s a lot easier to meet the objectives when working in harmony.

 

Looking for an outsourced software provider to enhance your business' IT capabilities? Look no further than your expert team at Intelligent Bee!


Simple Guide to Understanding Tech Support Jargon-Banner

A Simple Guide to Understanding Tech Support Jargon

If you’ve attended a meeting before with an outsourced tech support agency or with professionals in the industry, then you’ve probably encountered someone blurting out tech terms incomprehensible to others outside the field. During these situations, someone almost always ends up saying, “In English, please.”

Simple Guide to Understanding Tech Support Jargon-Banner

This familiar image rings true to customers talking to tech support specialists and support specialists working with anyone outside their department. It’s like a conversation with two people speaking in two different languages.

It can be quite overwhelming for people who aren’t technologically well-versed to explain a complicated issue to a specialist. In the same way, it can be difficult for experts to find and offer solutions if that person is unable to communicate the problem clearly. The future success of technical support depends on how well your team is able to overcome these "language barriers".

 

Get in the Know With the Technobabble

To anyone but a tech specialist, jargon and error messages may appear like just a hunk of gibberish. As an IT worker, business owner, or professional in a technical industry, it’s your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these terms in case you encounter them. More importantly, ”talking the talk” will help in keeping a smooth flow of communication between you and your outsourced tech support team, allowing you to build a more productive working relationship with them.

What you need is a glossary of no-fuss, snackable definitions of technical jargon to wrap your head around unfamiliar terms quickly. To help you bridge the language gap, here are 40 tech terms broken down for everyone’s understanding. It’s time to crack the code!

Simple Guide to Understanding Tech Support Jargon-Infographic

 

Tips to Ensure Your Tech Support Conversation Goes Smoothly

Communication is a give-and-take process—working with a tech support specialist is exclusively about that. When you encounter an issue way beyond your knowledge and control, there goes your tech team to the rescue. You have to work together to make the job a little less complicated to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Here are ways to make your conversation with your outsourced tech support specialist a more pleasant and less painful experience.

 

  • Be Prepared Before Making the Call

Before you ring them up or message them about your concern, make sure that you know what to say. The more prepared you are to explain the details, the less time you’ll have to spend going round and round about the problem. Here are a few things to observe before you pick up the phone:

Timeline: When did the issue turn up? How long has it been occurring since?

Troubleshooting: Have you tried fixing the problem yourself before? Whether it made the problem worse or held it off for awhile, you need to let your tech staff know if you’ve done anything already.

Error message: For instance, System Error Codes, Browser Error Codes, Blue Screen of Death (BSoD)

If there are no error messages, write down exactly what’s going on (e.g., screen freezes every time you open a specific application). Saying “it just stopped working” won’t help.

Write these down before you call for help. Not only will this help your tech support better understand the issue, but it’ll give then more time and possibly less effort to find a solution.

 

  • Explain the Problem Clearly

When it’s time to report the problem, you can’t just point to the screen and shrug your shoulders implying you have no idea what happened. You need to give them more than “the internet doesn’t work.”

Vague: “The internet stopped working.”

Clear: “Chrome stopped working, but Firefox works fine.”

Explain in full detail what you did before and after the issue arose. Don’t hold back any information. You wouldn’t know which are irrelevant and which aren’t, so telling them as much detail as possible can help speed up the process.

 

  • Follow the Instructions

Before you ask “are you sure this will work?” Test it out first. Make sure that you follow all the steps.

If your tech support asks you to check something, you need to follow the instructions to the letter. Even if you’ve tested it before and found nothing, do as they say—they know what they’re on to. There’s a reason why they’re walking you through this, so it’s crucial that you follow their lead. If you don’t understand the instruction, don’t be afraid to ask.

 

  • Repeat the Details

One way to prevent miscommunication is by repeating after what they say. For example:

Support specialist: “Go to menu A, look for X then click Y, then select Z.”

You: “Okay, I found menu A, I clicked on X, then I clicked y, and then z.”

Doesn’t this sound clearer than “Okay, done”? Repeating what they’re saying as you go through the steps—being more specific—both of you will feel confident that you’ve completed the instruction. This proves that you understood each other.

 

  • Ask for a Ticket Number

Also called a reference number or incidence number, a ticket number refers to your tech support’s ticket management system which records the problems they receive.

They are required to track the details of your call in the reference number so if another specialist has to take over, he or she can pick up from where you left off. This especially helps if you need to call again.

 

TL; DR

Don’t let the language barrier become this huge, thick wall between you and your tech staff. You’ll misinterpret some techy terms, but don’t worry. This just means you have to be more patient and mindful of the gap—and find ways on how you can both meet halfway. Brushing up your knowledge on some technobabble and avoiding costly tech support mistakes is a good start.

Support specialists are always happy to help and solve mysteries. Having an excellent outsourced tech support in your team to walk you and your customers through any technology crisis can help you get back to work in no time, keeping your business operations running ever so smoothly.

 

The tech support world can be difficult to navigate without the right support staff. Find out how the experts at Intelligent Bee can help improve your business today!


Examples of Corporations Creating Awesome Mobile Apps

9 Examples of Businesses Creating Awesome Mobile Apps

Businesses that venture into the mobile app industry have better chances of interacting with users of their product or service straight on their smartphone. It’s an effective way of engaging consumers, especially since it’s said that an average smartphone user has more or less 17 to 18 apps installed on their phone. Hours spent among smartphone users are also leaning heavily toward app usage, with 90% of time spent in-app.

Examples of Corporations Creating Awesome Mobile Apps

Indeed, trends state that corporate mobile apps can help companies achieve their objectives – whether that involves building a base of loyal users or finding an extra source of revenue for the company. With multiple ways of monetizing their apps such as download fees, subscription, in-app purchases, advertising, more companies are willing to invest their time and resources in building mobile apps that can establish their brands as industry leaders.

 

Mobile Apps by Businesses That Set the Standard for Awesome

Here are some of the best examples of corporate mobile apps out there, courtesy of companies that are dead serious about bringing their business on mobile and innovating the way of doing things for customers:

 

  1. Amazon

Amazon Mobile App

Amazon has become a household name, and its mobile app has a great deal to do with the status it has established. As the leader in America’s online retail industry, Amazon raises the bar with the way its app works for customers as well as for its own business.

The app’s push notifications are very useful for customers, who instantly get alerts when Amazon starts shipping their orders. Customers don’t have to keep checking their account to know the progress of their expected deliveries. This kind of awareness reduces the anxiety and frustration that customers feel before receiving their parcels, not to mention that Amazon’s brand name stays on top of customers’ mind.

To initiate sales, the Amazon app also comes with a wish list feature. Amazon users can share their wish list on their social media pages for their family and friends to see, increasing the chance for Amazon to make a sale.

 

  1. Domino’s Pizza

Domino's Pizza Mobile App

In the case of Domino’s Pizza, the company similarly uses tracking technologies to inform customers about the status of their pizza order – whether it’s on the preparation stage or in the process of delivery. Not only that, as customers can use the app to create tailored takeaway meals from Domino’s standard menu. It’s a perfect example of delivering a personalized experience based on the actual preferences of customers.

 

  1. easyJet

easyJet Mobile App

EasyJet is a British airline that enables travelers to manage their flights directly on its app. The easyJet mobile app serves as a one-stop travel shop where passengers can search for and buy tickets for domestic and international destinations. The app also allows adding of seats, online check-in, and downloading of boarding passes, making every transaction as convenient and as worry-free as possible.

easyJet customers can also track the arrival and departure for all flights and even get live updates from the airline’s Control Centre. Beyond these functionalities, the carrier’s mobile app is hailed for reliability, accuracy, and timeliness of service.

 

  1. iFood Assistant by Kraft

iFood Assistant Mobile App

iFood Assistant is Kraft’s corporate mobile app that offers a wealth of dish recipes based on Kraft food products. Users who want to cook up a particular dish can easily create a shopping list within the app, paving way for Kraft to suggest using ingredients that are manufactured by the company. What’s even better about the iFood Assistant app is that it offers coupons that users can use for groceries or other promotions from Kraft.

 

  1. L’Oreal Makeup Genius

L'Oreal Makeup Genius Mobile App

Cosmetics company L’Oreal ventured into the augmented reality (AR) space to give customers a chance to try out its products through the Makeup Genius app in 2014.

Using advanced facial mapping technology, the app allows users to virtually apply makeup on their face and turns the users’ smartphone camera into a virtual mirror, allowing them to see the results of their makeup session in real time. This makes product testing a lot more convenient and enhances the customer experience as a whole.

To make this happen, Makeup Genius scans the users’ face, chooses suitable L’Oreal products, and applies them virtually on the users’ eyes, lips, and other facial contours. The app is smart enough to follow the head movements of users, so they can see how the makeup looks on them from various angles.

 

  1. MLB.com

MLB.com Mobile App

Baseball fans will never miss out on what’s happening in the sport league, thanks to the MLB At Bat mobile app. The app allows users to watch and listen to the games in real time. Users can also check the app’s archives and follow their favorite team as the app shares the latest news, game standings, and other stats. The app caters to Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone users with the same functionalities across platforms.

 

  1. Midland Medical

Midland Medical Inventory App

Businesses that regularly perform stock inventories can follow Midland Medical’s lead in tapping digital technologies to its processes. As a distributor of medical supplies, Midland Medical needed to speed up its inventory receiving process, so it could respond to customers’ queries with just a quick look at its database.

To achieve this goal, the company took advantage of readily available tools, such as mobile devices and Bluetooth scanners, and went a step further in mobile app development by going for a custom-built software application that enables warehouse personnel to automate the addition of new inventory into the company’s database. In addition, they opened up the customer side of things

 

  1. MY ASICS

My Asics Mobile App

Corporate mobile apps can also be a way for companies to interact with the communities they’re serving. ASICS, an equipment and apparel company, does this by offering customized training plans and helpful content that users can take advantage of on the MY ASICS app. In turn, ASICS receives valuable insights and feedback about the kind of products or services that fitness enthusiasts want.

 

  1. thetrainline

thetrainline Mobile App

The thetrainline mobile app is for users who prefer to book train tickets in advance. Once they have a confirmed booking on the app, they can just pick up their tickets across UK train stations. The app also gives users a chance to find the best fares and save their favorite journeys to make it easy for them to book their next trip.

On the business end of things, the app also shortens the time it takes to buy a ticket. The reduction in transaction times for train companies simply means more efficiency and more savings in the long run.

 

Wrap-up

There’s not a doubt that the business landscape looks bright for companies who are venturing into mobile app development. Mobile apps can help enterprises capture a significant share of one of the fastest growing segments in the global economy.

If you haven’t ventured into the mobile app industry, it may be time to do so. You don’t have to focus on the selling aspect through and through, when you can be creative enough to incorporate information about your products or services through other features of your app.

Moreover, you should be ready to experience some challenges along the way—such as finding the right mobile app development company. Just make sure your mobile app development partner truly understands your business model and designs the app accordingly so your company will run more efficiently.

 

Want some help developing your next mobile app? Contact the team of experts at Intelligent Bee today!


Tech-Support-Gone-Wrong

10 Brilliant Examples of Tech Support Gone Wrong

Most businesses these days rely on stable internet connections and complex computer systems to handle their daily operations. So when something goes haywire in your network or device, who you gonna call?

Your amazing tech support team (nope, not the Ghostbusters)!

Tech-Support-Gone-Wrong

These trained professionals are your front liners against a multitude of issues. From network connectivity problems to DDoS attacks, your tech specialists can help you get back to work in no time and safeguard your business’ best interests.

But sometimes, conversations with your tech support team don’t go the way you expect it to. The same narrative happens when support reps chat with customers. This can be frustrating since it can create inefficiencies within the company that incur additional costs.

 

When Tech Support Goes Wrong

Tech support professionals are people, too, and they make mistakes just like any regular joe. Problems arise, and things go wrong—that’s part of the business. But there are ways to prevent and correct these mishaps. Take a look at these chat support blunders and see how each one should have been resolved.

 

  • Over-automated responses

Canned responses make operations easier for businesses and assure customers that their inquiry is acknowledged. But it doesn’t resolve customer problems right away.  Customers want personal conversations. Automated responses just won’t cut it.

1-Over-automated responses

Solution: Using chatbots is more common nowadays, but it would have been more effective if the bot redirected the customer to a real person after the initial greeting. This would’ve solved the problem faster and given the customer a smooth experience.

 

  • Failing to inform customers you need time to resolve their issue

Tech support specialists aren’t always available to address a problem right away. Maybe they’re on break or dealing with internal tasks. But this shouldn’t be an excuse to leave your customer hanging.

2-Failing to inform the customers you need time to resolve their issue

Solution: If the tech support needs time to look into the issue, a response like “I need a few moments to resolve this issue. Do you mind holding on while I look into it? Really sorry for this inconvenience, [customer’s name]!” You can also ask the customer to leave their contact information followed by: “If you’re in a hurry, I’d be more than willing to email you with an answer.”

 

  • Not letting go of customers

It’s sad to see your customers go. But when they’ve made the firm decision to end the contract or unsubscribe from your services, the best approach would be to provide them a great service until the very end. Below you’ll see a clingy representative who refuses to give up on the customer.

3-Not letting go of customers

Solution: When a customer decides to discontinue their relationship with your company, it’s best to give them what they want. You’d want to keep the conversation professional yet friendly enough to comply with their request and bid them goodbye. Because the last thing you want to do is make them feel like they’re being taken hostage.

 

  • Taking complaints personally

You can’t please everyone. That’s the hard truth. You get compliments and complaints. If a customer didn’t like your service and takes their frustration to social media, respond professionally.

Here, you’ll see a brand taking a blow personally: @mentioning the complainant along with a defensive and incompetent message—on a social media channel—where things like these go viral quickly.

4-Taking complaints personally

Solution: No matter how unsightly and unpolished the complaint is, it’s best not to stoop down to that level. There are cases where it’s better to stay silent than say anything at all. And if you’re ever going to respond, remember to always keep your words chewy and sweet, in case you have to eat it afterward.

 

  • A customer mistakes you for another company

Customers make mistakes, too. This isn’t that big of a deal and when it does happen, see it as an opportunity to win their service.

5-Customer reaches out on the wrong company

Solution: Instead of snubbing the customer or simply saying “Sorry, wrong company!”, be a good Samaritan and point them to the right direction.

For example, if someone contacted us, a software development company, thinking we’re a kindergarten school or a learning school (for some reason), we would respond like this:

“Hi, [customer;s name]! We’re afraid you reached out to the wrong company! We’re a software development company based in Delaware helping companies streamline their ideas. You can find [Intended Company] here: [link]. Let us know how we can help you in the future!”

 

  • Undertrained support representatives

Some bad tech support experiences stem from undertrained support representatives. If the negative experience causes the customer to share it online, like what happened to Amazon a few years back, this can hurt the brand.

6-Undertrained support representatives

Solution: The best prevention to this is dealing with it early in the process. Make sure that you hire a reputable outsourced tech support team that are trained in their field. Also, encourage your support team to regularly exercise their knowledge about your brand, services, and products. Enlighten them about their responsibilities as well as the functions of other departments. So, if they encounter an inquiry beyond their capacity, they know who to coordinate with.

 

  • Lack of empathy

Empathy is a soft skill that is difficult to teach. When a customer reaches out to you asking for help after some kind of tragedy struck them, the least you want to do is stress them even more.

7-Lack in empathy and sensitivity

Solution: You want to treat your customers with compassion. For cases such as this, you may offer to review suspicious activities from their account and provide them with the best help you can.

 

  • Asking the customer to switch channels

You may have different channels where customers can contact you. But if one decided to reach out via your website’s live chat, and you ask them to send an email instead, then you’re on the running for bad customer service.

8-Asking the customer to switch channels

Solution: If a customer reaches out via phone or however method they choose, respect that decision. It’s their personal preference. If the issue can be resolved through that channel, then walk them through it via that same platform. 

 

  • Irrelevant upselling attempts

Customers get turned off at the sight and sound of inappropriate attempts at selling them other products or services.

9-Irrelevant upselling attempts

Solution: They already contacted you due to service interest or request, which means your brand already got their attention. You obtained a new customer! So answer their inquiry directly. Is your monthly subscription plan a fixed price? Yes, or no?

 

  • Making the customer feel stupid

You should never make your customer feel stupid or at fault. That’s a recipe for disaster.

In such cases where the customer is at fault or simply not looking hard enough to find solutions to their problems, go for an empathic and friendly approach.

10-Making the customer feel stupid

Solution: Instead of going the passive route like the example above, try resolving the issue at hand like this:

“Hi, [customer’s name]!

Thanks for raising this to our attention. The new interface got me confused, too, at first, so no worries! On the upside, I’ve found the way around it by [explain the solution].

I hope this helps! Don’t hesitate to reach out for further questions.

Cheers,

Angel – Support Rep”

 

Wrapping Up

Not all customers are created equal. Which makes excellent customer support a vital facet of your company. It’s the one aspect that reaches out to your customers; it’s the voice of your brand.

Outsourced technical support not only helps your business cut back on IT costs but also saves you valuable time while improving customer experience. You can focus all your attention on growing your company, and your tech experts will handle streamlining your operations and keeping your customers satisfied. That’s what having a great tech support team is all about!

 

Learn more about the future of technical support outsourcing or send us an inquiry today!


Bespoke-Software-Pros-and-Cons

The Pros and Cons of Building Bespoke Software

A streamlined operation is a part of what helps businesses achieve their goals. Having an organized process means knowing you have the tools needed to meet operational objectives as a company—and this includes business software solutions.

Bespoke-Software-Pros-and-Cons

Generally speaking, organizations need specialized software that fulfills their business needs. Developers understand these prerequisites and have the tools and skills needed to create the programs. Business software solutions are developed and used for completing complex business tasks and reporting activities in an automated manner.

Aside from streamlining processes, business software has other benefits to companies—it offers better productivity and improved control, lessens the risk of human errors, allows for effectiveness, consistency, and accuracy, and performs tasks in a shorter period to help reduce workload. Some of the standard business software solutions include the following:

  • Word Processors: comes with spelling and grammar checker for error-free letters and reports.
  • Email and Communication Programs: helps in information exchange within and outside the company.
  • Recordkeeping Programs: comes with accounting or bookkeeping features for tracking sales and expenses.
  • Human Resource Information System: handles HR roles like employee management, recruitment, employee record maintenance, training, and payroll.

With advancements in IT not showing signs of slowing down, new software solutions that can support business operations are being introduced daily. You have the option to either build the software with help from your developers or buy ready-made ones. But, how do you know which solution best fits your business’ needs?

 

Custom vs. Off-The-Shelf

A custom or bespoke software is a program that is made-to-order to aid the specific needs of a single company, while Off-the-Shelf software is commercially available to the general public. Custom solutions are made to cater your business’ unique requirements, but ready-made programs will require your business to adapt to its features.

Commercial software can also be packaged, wherein programs are grouped to provide different tools that are under the same family in one software. The applications share a few similar features but make a complete package for the user. The best example would have to be Microsoft Office and the tools under it, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many others.

Since off-the-shelf software is made for the public, it is generally created to be user-friendly. The interface for bespoke, meanwhile, can be complicated since it’s customized for the professional who will use it. As for the price, commercial software is generally cheaper compared to custom since bespoke software is made exclusively for one company.

However, this price difference also entails risk. Commercial solutions may be more inexpensive but may not always have what you demand. You’re assured that a tailored option will fit your needs, but since it means working through custom software development, you would have to cover all the expenses involved in the process. In this case, you may risk paying the high prices but not get what you want in the end.

 

Bespoke Software: The Good and the Bad

Based on these differences, it may seem like bespoke software has a lot more advantages for businesses with unique challenges; but benefits sometimes come with disadvantages, as well. Before you decide on a customized solution for your business, consider the pros and cons of building your own software as opposed to purchasing commercial ones first.

 

Pros

  • Your Own Solution

Custom software is made for your business’ needs and is meant to be the solution to all of your organization’s problems. Therefore, it is unique to you, and you own the software (though you may have to check your agreement first if you tapped a third-party developer to do it for you). There’s no denying the value of product that purely exists for your company’s best interests.

 

  • Flexible Support and Updates

If needed, you can easily modify and expand your custom software to keep up with the changes in your business and with technology. You can also choose to update and improve your solutions at your own convenience.  With custom software, your company can define the scope of features, the level of support, and overall design to fit your needs specifically.

 

  • No Security Issues

Commercial software can be quite risky. Since you’re sharing software with other users, your company may be in danger in case of a hack. For custom software, you can only be in jeopardy if the hacking is targeted to your software or company. Even then, developers can enhance security by integrating it with another security solution that they have.

 

  • Competitive Edge

Since the software is only made for you, your competitors won’t be able to use the same software, and you don’t have to share it with them. This gives you a competitive advantage that can’t be easily replicated.

 

Cons

  • Takes Time and Energy

Bespoke software is not a quick fix. The development phase, from understanding your business needs to discovering bugs before the actual launch, can take several months. Depending on the nature of your business—and while the process will eventually deliver a great solution—time may be of the essence and undergoing development hell may not be the best idea for you.

 

  • High Upfront Cost

As mentioned, developing custom solutions from scratch is not going to be cheap. However, the substantial upfront investment can result in robust solutions that can reward you with an even better amount of gains in the future.

 

  • Features May Be Limited

Readily-made solutions often cover a wide range of features, which can be convenient at specific instances. Bespoke ones won’t start as feature-rich; it may take some time to gradually make improvements along the way.

 

  • Dependent On Software Provider

Custom solutions need to be regularly updated and checked, which means you’d have to be reliant on your provider to maintain it. However, this can be easily remedied by choosing the right developer or company; one that you already have a good relationship with and are experts in the field.

 

Conclusion

Custom software development services are flourishing more than ever because businesses realize that they can use them to implement their unique ideas and USPs. It’s also ideal for those who want to get the most out of what technology has to offer, as long as you’ve got the time and resources to spend on development.  

Some may even go the hybrid route: buy off-the-shelf solutions but also put in custom applications that can be integrated with commercial ones. This way, they can get both the fundamental features of off-the-shelf products and the unique services of customized solutions.

In the end, the best solution will depend on your business’s nature, needs, and budget. Choose the solution that will answer your challenges and organize your processes without going over your allocation.

 

Looking to build a custom software for your brand? Contact Intelligent Bee today to find out what we can do to grow and support your business!


The-World-Needs-More-Software-Developers

The World Needs More Software Developers!

The rise of technology and digital tools in today’s modern world is evident. Everywhere you turn, you can see a student working on their laptop in a coffee shop or a kid playing games on their parent’s smartphone. The widespread use of smart devices is set to expand in the coming years, until one day, no one will be able to recall what life was like before phones and other gadgets.

Because of this, the demand for technical professionals has naturally increased. In fact, the role of software developer is the reigning “best job” in the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Said survey identified jobs with the highest hiring demand, best work-life balance, and most competitive pay, among others.

The-World-Needs-More-Software-Developers

Programmers aren’t just relevant in software development companies or industries that are “obviously” tech. Demand is growing in practically any industry that needs talented individuals to create digital applications. With the digital transformation many institutions are undergoing today, this growth in demand applies to the health sector, financial service industry, and education, to name a few.

What does this say about the future of software development and the increasing involvement of tech in various industries?

 

The Growth of Software Demand

More and more companies are on the hunt for software developers, but there aren’t enough people to fill the role. In the U.S. alone, there are over 200,000 open jobs for this role, and yet data shows that there are only around 30,000 computer science majors who graduate every year.

Following this trend, there will always be a shortage of software developers in the industry. It could take almost seven years to fill the current open roles. That’s not even accounting for the future projection that there will be about a million computer programming jobs expected to open by 2020.

Companies are understandably frustrated with this situation, but they still try to address the shortage in other ways. They are hard at work to make employees interested and excited about additional knowledge in programming, creating an emphasis on teamwork rather than technical know-how.

This means building opportunities in training workshops on coding, programming, and software development to current employees who might be interested in the field.

Homegrown talent is also a major trend in addressing the lack of qualified software developers.

Bloomberg featured the strategy of two businesses, JDA Software Inc. and Social Tables, who both have programming internship programs. A senior engineer is paired up with a rookie, and from there, the company will decide if a candidate will get absorbed or not.

While these techniques work for some businesses, not every organization is so lucky. There may be a lack of general interest in programming or too little resources to implement a training program, which points back to the need for software developers.

 

Quality Developers are Still Few and Far Between

Just as with any position, having people interested in the job is not enough for them to get hired. There may be existing programmers on the market, but their inexperience may throw off companies who want to hire someone with better skills.

Therefore, it’s not just the question of having a shallow talent pool to begin with, but also the skill level of those who do want to apply. Lack of experience is one of five hiring challenges for software developers, including lack of technical skills, high salary demands, lack of workplace competencies, and lack of formal engineering education.

Besides this, there is also a great struggle retaining talent in the software development industry.

Because of budget restrictions, start-ups have no choice but to hire entry-level programmers, whose skillsets may not quite cover all of the company’s needs. As the company grows, they will be able to afford mid and senior level developers who will inevitably spot the errors of their predecessors and fix it.This issue can get repetitive and tiresome for programmers. Instead of creating something new, they get trapped in an endless cat-and-mouse chase with errors and poor coding.

In effect, some developers willingly exit the industry after over-fatigue from repetitive work. It’s a difficult situation to escape from, seeing as the scenario above can turn into a vicious cycle.

 

Final Words

Here’s food for thought: How can software developers take your business to the next level? Just imagine all the possibilities.

Technology will continue to evolve at a much faster pace than most humans will understand. Even if there are enough software developers in the world, the opportunities that new tech will bring are infinite. There will always be something new to learn, and that’s an exciting thing!

In practically any industry you put them, software developers can help make the businesses more effective. There’s a high demand for them, and this will only grow in the coming years. Supporting educational programs and opening up training for people who are interested are good ways to contribute to the reproduction of software developers worldwide.

 

Are you a prolific software developer? We want to hear from you. Visit our careers page today!


The-Future-Of-Technical-Support-Outsourcing-Banner

The Future of Technical Support Outsourcing: Top Trends and Things to Know

2018 is coming to a close, and most people live, breathe, and eat the Internet. It has empowered consumers to perform a lot of tasks that previously took a lot of time to do, such as shopping, learning, banking, and more. The world has become a smaller place because of this, as the internet allows people all over the world to meet at a common place: online.

The-Future-Of-Technical-Support-Outsourcing-Banner

To keep up with the needs of the people, businesses have also migrated to this space. Naturally, each company aims to provide the best products and solutions for consumers globally.

In an ideal world, business operations go smoothly and customers never have any problems or issues at all. Sadly, we’re not living in that world. If your website, e-commerce store, customer support system, or any other online channels break down, various aspects of your business could be compromised. It could even create a negative impression with your consumers or hurt your sales.

So, in a world connected by the internet, social media, and smart devices, it’s in almost every business’ best interest to invest in technical support outsourcing. It’s more than just the digital version of calling a plumber to fix your leaking pipes.

 

Tech Support Outsourcing at a Glance

Companies need tech support for a variety of reasons, and the core focus of the support will depend on what their priorities are and the industry that they operate in. Here are some of the most commonly outsourced tech support functions and how they add value to a company:

Data security – Secure data servers are essential for the business as well as their consumers. For one, company data may contain business plans, financial plans, and any or all tactics that companies use to grow. This is top secret information that should not fall into other people’s hands. On the other side, there’s sensitive information that customers entrust businesses with (credit card details, residential address, etc.) that should also be protected at all times.

Automation – Processes run faster and more efficiently when things are automated—whether it’s payroll, marketing, or inventory management, analyzing and improving the processes that can cut down operation times is crucial.

Customer service – In the age where the customer is king, it’s absolutely essential to add value to the customer experience wherever possible to stand out from the competition. Customer service and support play a huge role in defining the overall customer experience quality. And although it might not directly affect business growth, it more than makes up for it by fostering trust, loyalty, and advocacy.

Software Application Development/Maintenance –  The digital age has brought about an increased number of software projects, which can be costly to develop in-house. Outsourcing app development and maintenance helps reduce overhead costs associated with software implementation and provides the necessary technical expertise to provide high service quality.

Cloud services – The usage of cloud services has been commonly associated with Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) businesses. This involves applications that are hosted by the vendor and made available to customers through a network (the internet). This approach lets businesses create and implement applications without needing to invest in the underlying infrastructure, reducing costs and increasing overall efficiency.

 

The Future of Technical Support Outsourcing

The-Future-Of-Technical-Support-Outsourcing-Infographic

 

  • Technical Support Outsourcing Market Growth

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the technical support outsourcing marketing is growing steadily. It is set to achieve a CAGR of 8% by 2022, denoting that the industry is about to expand due to new technologies and higher demand from businesses.

 

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

IBM reports that 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without human agents by 2020. Customer-centric business practices are here to stay, and chatbots help businesses achieve this. By always being there for the consumer, their questions are quickly addressed in a fast and timely manner.

This opens up new opportunities for the tech outsourcing scene by creating new roles and functions within the industry. IT experts will now have to work with the latest technology like AR, VR, IoT, and the like.

 

  • Cloud Services

Cloud services are not just limited to enterprises anymore. Small-to-medium businesses are set to migrate to cloud computing to optimize their business process, increase productivity, and reduce hardware costs. It is projected that cloud traffic will increase 3.7 times by 2020.

This is easily becoming one of the top reasons why companies outsource IT support. It’s efficient, cost-effective, and these days, they’re a business staple.

 

  • Emerging Markets

IT services are commonly outsourced in India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In the coming years, this is set to change. Studies suggest that new markets in Vietnam, Colombia, and the Czech Republic will compete with existing markets in offering the best and affordable tech support. This signals that demand is rising, and the tech support outsourcing industry is growing.

 

  • Augmented Reality

The adoption of AR can change the tech support industry as a whole by allowing remote teams to help each other more effectively. A great example is Porsche’s AR program Tech Live Look, which allows their tech experts in Atlanta to help on-site mechanics solve issues in various dealerships. They were able to cut down service time by almost half and communicate with other team members more seamlessly while in different locations.

 

  • Predictive Analytics

Data has gotten smarter with predictive analytics. Benchmarking and calculating performance improvements will become more manageable as new tech can now analyze past metrics, customer behavior, and service outcomes. This will allow businesses to focus on their ops and keep all teams aligned with their goals.

 

  • Rising Demand for Cost-Effective Solutions

Having onsite technicians can burn a hole in a company’s wallet. Outsourcing has long been proven to help lessen that cost, and still allow businesses to provide high-quality support internally and to their loyal customers. The rising demand for this service creates a bigger market share for the tech support outsourcing industry.

 

  • Network Security

A 2017 Enterprise IT Services Survey notes that networking security is the number one priority of digital businesses. Almost half (47%) of the enterprises surveyed mentioned they outsource data security more often than any other IT service.

With the recent data breaches from major digital companies (i.e., Facebook and Google) enterprises are now compelled to focus on corporate and customer data. IT outsourcing contracts will include specific clauses to prevent data breaches and manipulation.

 

  • Customer-centric Servicing

Automated customer service is not limited to time zones or public holidays. This allows companies to deliver round-the-clock customer service and resolve issues at a faster rate. In effect, this can increase brand loyalty.

 

  • Online Reputation Management

Companies, whether digital or not, all have an online presence. They quickly realize how pertinent having social reputation management is to their name, whether they tap social media, online PR, or SEO services from their outsourcing partner.

 

  • AI and Robotic Process Automation (RBA)

RBA will continue to lower the cost of outsourced tech support services. Companies will prefer vendors that can provide this versus those that can’t. This makes use of AI workers and robots to automate common and repetitive software development tasks for increased process efficiency and cost-savings.

 

  • Adopting Emerging Technologies

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and machine learning, among others, tech systems face a lot of advancements and updates at a much faster pace. Outsourced tech support agents are usually the best people companies can approach, as they are always updated with the latest tech buzz and innovative software.

 

  • Customer Identity and Access Management

CIAM software can provide a seamless cross-channel customer experience. It’s a rich database containing all information about your buyers. With this, both IT teams and managers identify the best way to market to customers. Yet another function businesses are looking to outsource.

 

  • Closer Relationships with Managed Service Providers (MSP)

The search is on for professional and loyal IT teams. Managers are now keen on the idea of having Managed Service Providers as consultants and business partners, further illustrating the importance of tech support for organizations.

 

  • Complete Integration from Managed Service Providers (MSP)

Companies prefer to have one MSP providing all their outsourced IT functions. In line with making MSPs business partners, this will allow for seamless integration, so that all business functions can work together in sync.

 

Final Thoughts

Thanks to our increasingly tech-filled world, IT services aren’t going out of style anytime soon. Effectively managed tech support and services can pose a lot of benefits for your business, from increased manpower and lowered costs to higher customer satisfaction and retention rates.

With the rising demand and advancing technology, the tech support sector is definitely poised to continue growing rapidly over the next few years. It’ll be interesting to see what other developments come next!

 

Contact us today to learn more about what the future of technical support outsourcing means for your business!