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9 Aspects of Business that Are Moving to the Internet

HomeEducational9 Aspects of Business that Are Moving to the Internet

Perhaps no single invention has changed the way businesses operate more than the internet. In fact, the use of the internet in day-to-day business practices is so vital that it would be virtually impossible to run a business today without it. While there are many ways the internet has transformed business practices over the years, here’s a look at the top nine business processes that are moving to the internet.

Hiring

Thanks to the emergence of online job boards and social media sites, employers can handle a large portion of the hiring process through the internet. While some business owners fear that online hiring will take the human aspect out of recruitment, you can use the internet to improve candidate engagement.

Also, the internet allows potential candidates to apply online which can help increase your applicant pool significantly. Other online tools, such as application tracking systems, pre-hire assessments, and background check services can help you identify qualified candidates faster and more efficiently.

Dispute Resolution

Like it or not, today’s customers want to initiate complaints online. These complaints might come in the form of a private email or a public online post. Either way, it’s essential that you handle the dispute resolution process at the convenience of the customer, which often means online. Online dispute resolution has its pros and cons.

On the one side, the internet makes it easier for customers to make a complaint. On the other hand, online dispute resolution can preserve business relationships, and lead to a mutually satisfactory outcome for all parties. When handled on a public forum, you may be able to change some consumers opinion about the company. In fact, studies show that 70 percent of people change their opinion of a company after reading a reply to an online complaint.

Sales

While there are still plenty of brick-and-mortar stores, it’s nearly impossible to run a business, especially a retail business, without providing an option to buy online. Even service companies are finding it necessary to offer customers the ability to schedule appointments online.

The primary benefit of online sales is that it can boost profits and grow your customer base, by making it more convenient for consumers to do business with your company. The downside is that you now must track these online purchases and appointments. To maintain this business practice, you will likely need to invest in inventory management or scheduling software to keep up with the demand.

Customer Support

Before the internet, customer support consisted primarily of phone inquiries and in-store support. While these types of customer services still exist today, they are not enough to satisfy most consumers. To remain competitive, business owners must offer multiple channels of support, including email inquiries, online chat support, social media requests, and online content support, such as FAQ pages.

The good news is that multiple communication channels allow you to put more information about the company into the consumers’ hands. The bad news is that keeping up with customers’ requests can be overwhelming. Tools, such as automated messaging systems, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, and customer support service companies can help handle some of these requests for you.

Data Storage

Companies no longer need to store boxes and boxes of customer records, payroll information, and other pertinent business data on-site. Instead, business owners can rely on cloud management service to store this data right on the internet. The upside is that businesses can store massive amounts of data, obtain real-time analytical reports, and have remote access to their business records.

The downside is that business owners must make data security a priority. Just one breach of customer data could destroy a company’s reputation. Also, some countries are starting to implement strict guidelines, such as GDRP, for the collection and storage of customer data. Companies could face stiff penalties for not abiding by these rules and regulations.

Communication

The internet has drastically changed how businesses communicate with their customers, vendors, and employees. Now that more than 80 percent of the American population has smartphones, business communications can occur anywhere and at any time. Companies can now host live events on social media to engage with the customers, instantly communicate with vendors, and host video meetings with remote workers. The one downside is that customers have come to expect fast and efficient communication, but with multiple marketing tools available this is easier to accomplish than it was years ago.

Supply Chain Management

Inventory control is a key component of operating a business. Thankfully, the internet has made this whole process a lot easier.

First, online inventory management software makes it easy for you to track your supplies and it offers accurate real-time data. Secondly, the internet allows business owners to order supplies right online versus ordering supplies by mail or over the phone. Not only does this speed the process up, but it also reduces errors in the ordering process. Finally, when you order online, you will instantly know if the item is in stock and when it’s set for delivery.

Invoicing

The internet also allows companies to offer instant invoices to their customer. This process is extremely beneficial to the service sector because it enables them to provide the customer with an instant invoice even when out in the field.

While not all companies have made the shift to instant invoicing, it is becoming increasingly popular and more and more customers have come to expect it.

Banking

The internet makes banking and tracking financial records easier than ever before. Nearly every bank, if not all banks have online banking services. Through these services, business owners can check account balances, transfer money between accounts, verify payments, accept payments, and more. In addition, most accounting platforms now offer internet access.
Many of these platforms also allow you to connect it with your bank, credit cards, and online payment platforms like PayPal. This consolidation makes it easier to track your financial records, run reports, and reconcile your bank statements. The downside, of course, is the security risks associated with online banking.

The reality is that it’s impossible to turn back the clock to a time before the internet. Consumers have come to expect the efficiency and speed the internet has to offer. The good news is that the internet can help improve business efficiency, increase productivity, provide branding tools, boost customer satisfaction, and most importantly positively affect your company’s bottom line.

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