How Hasnít Technology changed our lives?
What do the wheel, compass, printing press, telephone and Internet all have in common? These technological advances are among the most significant we have seen in human history.
By our very nature, we are a curious and truly ingenious species. From bashing rocks on the ground to make tools to landing a man on the moon, several key advancements have particularly revolutionized our world, including the way we do business.
The wheel permitted us to transport goods over land to and from markets. The compass allowed maritime navigation through oceans and improved the ability of countries to trade with one another.
The printing press enabled the sharing of large amounts of information to many people, information that was previously unavailable to the masses. With access to this information, lay people learned new skills and gained knowledge facilitating more rapid technological advances and inventions.
The telephone sped up business enabling complex messages to be delivered immediately that otherwise were ill-equipped for the telegraph and previously could only be transmitted through snail mail.
And then there was the Internet.
It’s no secret to anyone that the Internet revolutionized not only business but our entire society, and it did it in years rather than decades, centuries or millennia.
The Internet made all types of communication, from written to verbal to visual, instantaneous. More and more businesses today have customers around the globe. They no longer have to depend on a local customer base. Employees can telecommute instead of wasting away in a cubicle, allowing people to work from anywhere with an Internet connection. Now, more than ever, the average person can start her or his own company with as little as a computer and the Internet for startup costs.
But, the Internet also brought about bigger changes to business.
Technology and society meet.
About a decade or so into the Internet revolution, we started to see a natural progression of technology and society merging. With their joining, social media was born. While it started out with college kids connecting with their peers, it quickly evolved into something much more.
The pace of social media provides an ideal opportunity to engage in a business context. Real-time interactions and feedback from customers help businesses to understand the market, communicate with their customers, and fine-tune their products and strategies.
Social media may not initially have been born with the intent of a business tool; however, businesses have by and large caught on to its potential.
Businesses find value in social media.
It is clear that each technology previously described, including the Internet, has changed the way we do business. The Internet did something else unique, though. It turned business social. Fewer businesses today can sustain themselves through purely hard or direct selling.
We can see, just by reviewing the average sales job posting, the transition away from the “Glengarry Glen Ross” motto of ‘Always Be Closing’ to demand for social selling skills. Businesses today must engage and connect with their customers, and not just talk about the products or services they would like their customers to purchase.
Savvy companies are using social media more than to merely advertise their products. It’s used to build loyalty and trust by communicating with customers about topics that are of value to them. Social media has turned into a new, and for some, the main avenue for businesses to build all-important customer relationships.
These strong relationships result in the engaged prospect or customer being more comfortable and likely to purchase a business’ service or product.
Love it or hate it, we must learn it.
As you may have caught on by now, this month’s issue of Parking Today is all about technology. It has changed our industry. Some technology improves and enhances legacy parking products and services such as new parking meters and access and revenue control equipment.
Other technology has resulted in new types of products and services that are both intended to improve the customer parking experience and run parking operations more efficiently and sustainably. Because these technologies have revolutionized almost every aspect of our industry, we all need to learn and understand the technologies available, how they work, and how they work with one another.
The same can be said about social media. It is here to stay. As business professionals, we must keep up and continue to evolve with the technology to stay competitive. PTT