From Silicon Valley to Silicon Alley, major changes are in store for tech startups in 2017. To stay relevant, companies will need to adapt and excel. Now that the scene is getting crowded, here are the trends that will separate the best from the rest.
The Rise of Digital Payments
Traditional payments are becoming a rare occurrence. Companies like Airbnb and Uber have changed cash and credit industries traditionally into something else entirely. No longer do you need to take cash, checks, or even your credit card whenever you go out. Websites and apps now let you order cars and rent apartments with the swipe of your thumb. You can even pay for your double-caramel latte with the help of your smart watch. Payments are gradually going digital, and in 2017, more and more companies will be devoted to keeping this trend stronger than ever.
Our Future is Mobile
Right now there are over 2 billion smartphone users in the world and counting. By the end of 2017, this number will increase by more than 10%. So it comes as no surprise that more and more companies are putting an emphasis on the mobile experience. Websites are no longer resized in a one-fits-all manner.
Mobile versions are redesigned and fine-tuned to immerse the consumer in the product or service on a much more intimate level than possible with traditional desktops. Mobile apps have become much more than an extension of their full-size counterparts changing the way we wake up, go to work, or even watch tv. The mobile wave is only getting bigger, so tech companies would be wise to make a plan on how to become a part of it.
Big Data Will Become Even Bigger
Something really concerning has been going on for the past couple of decades. Machines have been studying us. From your search history to the length of time spent behind your computer, intelligent systems are constantly recording, analyzing, and interpreting your actions. Enter Big Data – gigantic sets of data that are analyzed to reveal patterns and trends of human behavior.
First used by technology giants such as IBM, Oracle, and HP, Big Data has now begun to play a major role in the infrastructure of the most promising startups. Knowledge of trends in customer behavior can be invaluable for companies that want to step up to the next level, and there is no better way than to amass huge amounts of data that can then be processed and evaluated for the greater good… even if it sounds evil.
Customer Support Will Become Deeply Interpersonal
In an age when Twitter bots can help a reality-tv personality to become president, and computer programs pretend to be users on Facebook, the need for human interaction is at its highest. Suffice to say that customer support needs “real” people more than ever before. And in this case, “real” people are not just emotionless grunts answering questions, they are live people who have passion and personality, able to convey a sense of familiarity and sincerity.
Customer support is the face of your company and can easily become what builds your relationship with a customer, as well as what breaks it. With a new generation of customers who are more socially active than ever before, the need for true interpersonal communication is obvious. Startups looking for an edge must take their customer care to a new interpersonal level.