Businesses that once relied exclusively on face-to-face, physical communication are turning to digital technology to make their services more accessible to customers. From small retail storefronts to medical professionals to technology firms that host client operations in the cloud, it’s difficult to find any business not using digital technology to communicate with their audiences.
The interactivity of mobile applications, websites and other technology holds too much potential for businesses to ignore.
Business in the Cloud
The cloud is a virtual space to share and store information. A host of companies provide cloud infrastructure and management services for businesses, and customer interaction management services like Zipwire are becoming more popular for small- and medium-sized companies. Using the cloud to hold and secure company communications is a major benefit, considering that many companies either lack the information technology acumen or staff to handle it themselves. Using the cloud helps reduce the stress on internal IT systems and saves from overspending on IT maintenance.
Doctors See the Benefit of Online
Anyone who’s struggled to find a doctor or book an appointment needs to know about ZocDoc. The free online healthcare-booking company developed mobile applications that let patients search for doctors and book appointments from the palm of their hand.
ZocDoc also lets patients register ahead of time to save time filling out a half-hour’s worth of forms at the office. The app aggregates available appointments from thousands of doctor’s offices, identifying slots that become available due to cancellations. Some users say they’ve been able to book an appointment, map themselves to the office and walk right into their appointment.
ZocDoc claims its objective is to provide easier access to qualified doctors, reviews of medical practices, wellness advice, and information about how people can maximize their healthcare benefits. Not sure if the doctor accepts your insurance? ZocDoc solves that problem, too.
Drones for Delivery
A bag of fresh socks. A couple of paperback books. A chew toy for the dog. In the era of online shopping, not everything needs lengthy shipping schedules or visits to the post office. Why bother, when a robot can deliver it for you?
Amazon, Google and UPS are among the companies that have announced plans to develop door-to-door drone delivery services. The idea is to use small unmanned aircrafts, about the size of a toy helicopter, to deliver small items from shipping centers directly to customers’ homes or businesses.
In some metro areas, it’s completely possible, especially with America’s appetite for instant online shopping gratification. Amazon unveiled its plans for AmazonAir in December, though it hasn’t yet been launched. It will soon.
It’s not “A Brave New World.” This is the business world we live in today.