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How will Artificial Intelligence Aid Business Growth in 2021

Artificial Intelligence (AI) investments among big businesses are on the rise. Currently, the percentage of businesses using AI grew by 270% from 2014-2019. Most of these businesses are large companies, but small to medium-sized businesses are also adopting AI technologies. 

Whether people are aware of it or not, Artificial Intelligence permeates most of the services and applications they are using daily. 

Current AI investments among big companies include the following AI applications

  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Machine Learning
  • Machine Vision
  • Natural language Processing
  • RFID
  • Robotics
  • Touchscreens
  • Voice recognition

AI is also extensively used in the medical industry – for diagnosing and recommending treatment actions for patients. These data-centric business solutions enable medical specialists to give accurate and more personalized recommendations. 

In addition, AI serves a crucial role during the pandemic. It is used for proper screening and predicting the current and future patients, early detection and diagnosis of the infection, developing drugs and vaccines, and reducing healthcare workers’ workload.

Personalization in Business Interactions

Approximately 85 percent of consumer interactions in 2020 were done without the involvement of human beings. Chatbots and other platforms became more dominant as the pandemic raged and they include online sales and delivery, automated retail, and touchless engagements

Many facets of eCommerce are affected by AI today as it quickly detects trends and clusters in consumer behavior, purchase patterns, and other commonly occurring data. In fact, AI now makes it possible to detect millions of such purchases per day, generating a customized experience for a single user.

More than 33 percent of marketing leads are lost due to a lack of follow-up. By effectively retargeting new clients, AI stops this from happening.

With the sales processes moving beyond time-consuming methods, consumers are now influenced by different media types. Using artificial intelligence integrated into CRM systems enables businesses to personalize solutions and communications that target the right consumers at the right time for the proper purpose.

Source: cio.com

AI-Powered Email Marketing

AI has been playing a significant role in email marketing for years. Email marketing generates steep revenues at $38 for every dollar spent.

Since most businesses have moved online, the competition for the market’s attention has become more cutthroat. However, intelligent strategies powered by AI solutions can level the playing field. 

You need to start using data-centric email marketing plugins, allowing you to create unique email marketing strategies that yield the best possible results. If you are already using email marketing, upgrade to AI-powered plugins to stay competitive in 2021

Those who could retain their brick-and-mortar stores start collecting customer email addresses using a POS (Point-of-Sale) system. Just make sure you do all your lead generation in keeping with privacy laws to avoid issues for your company. If you’re exclusively an eCommerce retailer, you can collect email addresses as visitors land or leave your site. 

Modern POS systems and retail platforms can be linked to email marketing apps such as MailChimp. This way, you can create and manage a subscriber list, automate email campaigns, and generate detailed reporting. 

Source: pinterest.com

Cashless Payment Solutions

A more straightforward way to go touchless amid the global crisis is to use cashless payment solutions. More and more consumers now use E-wallet payment platforms and apps.

A Mobile E-wallet helps you keep money and move funds to your bank account by scanning a QR code. It may be linked to a customer’s debit or credit account, depending on the business’s preference. To be vigilant, you can top up or fill just the cash you need on your E-wallet. 

Any aspect of the transaction, including billing to receipts, is digital, regardless of customers’ devices. Cashless payment is also possible for microbusinesses in small communities through online payment apps.

Source: prnewswire.com

Contactless Sales and Shipping 

Contactless delivery is the new normal. 

Drop-off delivery options are now a standard among logistics companies like DoorDash, Postmates, Instacart while eCommerce sites like Amazon, Shopify have long offered this feature. 

Sales and shipping has dramatically increased during the pandemic as people observed social distancing and lockdowns all over. We will continue to see contactless delivery options rise in 2021. 

For instance, self-driving vehicles and robots for grocery and food delivery are emerging around the world. Meituan in China, Walmart in the US, Ocado in Europe, and Rakuten in Japan are just some examples of AI-powered vehicle solutions helping businesses thrive in the pandemic. 

We will see more companies comply with human touch preservation via artificial intelligence-based applications.

Source: istockphoto.com

Business Automation 

The rise of AI technology has led to work automation marking the new-age business revolution. The theme remains constant, from robots working in factories to automated hotel bookings and property technology – incorporating AI systems for business automation. The only difference is the AI applications employed. 

With a growing trend in the automation of routine work, AI is quickly automating several routine business processes.

AI is one of the fastest-growing and popular data-driven technologies being used worldwide. From governments and large organizations to small online businesses, AI is being used by multiple entities across the world to automate routine operations, making way for human resources to focus on high-quality tasks.

Streamlining operations through AI solutions is a smart move for businesses to cope with the demands of a new normal economy. Artificial intelligence statistics from a recent survey show that more than nine in ten top businesses surveyed are already investing in AI technology.

Companies’ growing use of AI shows plenty of benefits, at the top of which is business productivity. 54 percent of business executives claim that AI adoption within their work led to an increase in productivity. Such effective use of AI also helps with better and more accurate decision-making within organizations. 

Source: acom.com

Distributed Teams and Remote Operations

Remote working has been around even before the pandemic. However, the crisis pushed remote working and distributed it into the forefront in 2020. From government offices to private companies, everyone had to adjust and find ways to keep operations ongoing. 

The reason for this is because the pandemic remains to be controlled. 

Another reason is the dramatic decrease in revenues for most companies affected by the lockdowns. 

A third reason is that distributed teams cost less than a full-on, on-site staff. As the economy begins to recover, more and more businesses discovered a remote work setup’s glories mention they will keep these newly-adopted work setup. 

Even employees and freelancers themselves find the remote work setup most suitable for them when preservation of health and safety is critical. Mobile apps to increase productivity at home multiplied to answer the demand for remote working. 

Video conferencing has thus become a norm – Zoom rose rapidly as a videoconferencing platform, outranking Skype, Google Meet, and other messaging apps because of its features that were quickly able to accommodate the exodus of professionals and students coming its way. Although it experienced security and technical issues with the sudden jump of its users, it bounced back real quick and made the app more secure, able to accommodate even large-scale webinars from around the world. 

Many new ventures are emerging in the remote working sector. Startups Bluescape, Eloops, Figma, Slab, and Tandem have all provided 

Visual collaboration platforms are also on the rise, enabling teams to interact, create and share content, monitor projects efficiently, conduct online employee training and run virtual team-building activities. Such examples include startups Bluescape, Slab, Figma, Eloops, and Tandem. 

Micro-SaaS companies in the new normal economy are also increasing, most of which integrate Artificial Intelligence and machine learning solutions to improve modern businesses

Source: mdsny.com

Conclusion:

The growing use of AI isn’t just widespread in businesses. As the technology goes mainstream, consumers worldwide have become more receptive and accepting of it.

Businesses need to work on communicating how they’re using AI within their organizations – despite the growing acceptance of AI, many consumers remain wary of how businesses are using the technology. Only 54 percent of consumers claim they trust companies to use the data collected from AI in a way that’s beneficial to consumers. 

To boost small businesses, owners must be open to AI adoption and integration – the increasingly widespread use of AI is boding well for SMEs (small to medium enterprises) because it is becoming more accessible and affordable in many ways. 

If customers are willing to use AI-powered solutions for a better experience, then all the more the businesses should. 

Keep up with consumer demands and maintain their edge amongst their competitors. 

5 Outstanding Leadership Solutions to Manage Your Remote UX Writing Team

We do not usually expect that distance will significantly affect our work relationships, but 2020 made many of us reconsider this misconception. However, despite its challenges, working from the office is getting increasingly less popular.

Today, businesses are increasingly accepting this trend, realizing that they can hire the best specialists from different countries. It’s no secret that remote employees are profitable for business as they allow for both a reduction in office maintenance costs and an opportunity of choosing the best employees. 

But with this comes a new responsibility of managing remote teams. As a remote leader, your job is managing, guiding, supporting the team members, which is extra challenging when they don’t inhibit the same office space. This is particularly true for work that requires constant cooperation, depending on good team relations, such as UX writing.

A good user experience should be a priority for all online businesses, but unfortunately, it’s not the case. 2020 statistics show that over half of companies ignore their resource’s user-friendliness and don’t occupy themselves with clear optimized texts for their websites. Crazy, right? 

Unfortunately, for effective UX writing team management, classical managerial skills may not be enough. 

So, how does one ensure effective remote teamwork? Read on to find out!

Ways to Keep Your Remote UX Writing Team in Check

1. Build Trust.

A leader needs to trust their remote UX writers much more than the team that they share in the same space with. But why is that? 

Firstly, you can spend a lot of your time wondering how effective the remote work of your employees is. While in the office, 10 minutes would be enough to go around, keep tabs on people’s assignments, but managing teams remotely can make this process time-consuming.

Secondly, one can easily resort to remote micromanagement instead of efficiently using their team. This can happen if you don’t fully trust your remote employees. It is a common leader’s issue, but one that requires immediate resolution.

You should select future team members as carefully as possible – when hiring your remote UX writers, remember that ability to think independently, cooperate, self-organize one’s work is just as important as professional skills and experience.

It’s important to build trustful relationships with your customers as well as your employees – this is what UX design can help with. You can use certain tips to make your UX design affect users, even drive their decision-making. 

When visitors have a great customer experience with your website, they develop more trust for your brand and often engage with your resource again.

Source: quickbase.com

2. Facilitate Effective Communication.

As a remote leader, it’s your job to find an accessible, easily understandable communication system. You need to find a task manager that is convenient for everyone and it is important that tasks are not confused, lost, or duplicated. 

The program should be simple, transparent, without any extra functions that your team doesn’t need. Next, you need to create a single information space where general documents, everything that is necessary for comfortable and efficient work will be stored, allowing employees to be productive at home. There is a multitude of software that facilitates remote cooperation. If you can’t find a suitable program for your needs, order a custom one in advance.

As a result, you will have a permanent system of managing tasks, keeping your remote team in check. A common information space, plus a summary of accepted tasks will help you ensure that everyone speaks the “same language” – the language of your business.

Source: inspiremessage.com

3. Motivate.

Mission and values ​​are the main things that bind a remote team. 

Such a team really needs motivational meetings and the support more frequently than an in-office team: all participants must understand what the company’s current goals are and what difficulties it faces. 

Be sure to support your employees, ask their opinions and encourage dialog. 

Practice shows that only an employee who understands and shares the company’s mission and values ​​can work effectively remotely. Define, clearly articulate your goal, mission, objectives, make sure everyone knows, understands, shares them. And don’t forget to praise your staff. 

Remote employees need more careful guidance and frequent attention than in-office employees. 

You can learn some psychological tactics to carefully motivate your staff. Such techniques like cognitive psychology theories can also be used by your staff, including UX writers and designers, to guide website users to take action.

4. Provide Appropriate Tools for Remote Work.

Modern-day companies rely on software a lot to handle various operations and effectively provide various services – different tools, apps are used to take orders, communicate with clients, handle financial operations, etc. 

Thus, it is not surprising that managing your office requires the use of technology too. Providing appropriate software solutions is crucial if you want your remote team to operate like clockwork. To make remote teams efficient and productive, companies need to use the right tools. 

For example, UX writers need to work in close contact with UX designers, so your remote workers will need effective collaboration tools, software for effective UX writing and editing, video conferencing solutions, etc. Well-known tools for running a successful remote UX workshop are Miro, Sketch, Visio, Mural, Zoom, G-Suite tools (Slides, Docs, Sheets), etc.

Source: createdigital.org

5. Give Clear Tasks and Requirements.

Confusing tasks and poor ability to prioritize assignments are common issues for remote employees. By working remotely, team members have more freedom, but it may cause confusion and reduces work efficiency. Lack of visibility and control over your team is among the top fears of remote leaders. 

When it comes to remote team management, two factors are critical: transparency and accountability. To ensure them, you need to adhere to the following tips:

  • Establish clear roles, tasks and responsibilities;
  • Check the quality of work, organize proper proofreading – you can outsource editing to a trustworthy academic research paper writing site (check out this trustmypaper review, for instance) or simply facilitate in-house proofreading;
  • discuss goals with each team member, so that you were on the same page;
  • determine working hours, holidays, meetings and other basic common rules of remote work;
  • frequently communicate with your team – hold obligatory common weekly meetings as well as individual meetings when needed;
  • track progress of all projects every week, ensure cross-department communication.
  • you can check out other remote work tips that will benefit your team – there are plenty of them online.
Source: selectsafetycommunications.com

Final Word

Great remote employees are a secret weapon of many successful modern companies. Rather than relying on people close to the office, they hire the very best talented people from around the world to help the company move forward with its mission.

Some companies prefer to have their entire office work remotely, which has its complexities as well as benefits. Others prefer managing both in-office and remote workers for optimal results. Managing remote, as well as resident teams, can be challenging. We hope that our tips will help you guide and inspire your remote team, ensuring their effective work!

ZESIUM Records a 5-Star Rated Review on Clutch

With mobile device usage increasing during this unprecedented time, mobile applications have become more popular than ever. Whether it’s for playing games or paying your bills, mobile apps will have a use for someone. 

If you’re a business owner, you should take advantage of this fact and take your business to the next level with a mobile application developed just for you.

Finding the right developer is the most crucial step in the process – understanding the technological stack and processes can be difficult for entrepreneurs without tech backgrounds. Therefore, you should find a development partner that will take care of your project professionally without you having to look into everything.

At ZESIUM, we are experts with a clear mission to utilize the latest technologies available to improve your business results. We are a team of flexible professionals that can adjust our development process to your specific requirements.

Source: clutch.co

With over 17 years of experience, we’ve delivered over 100 successfully implemented projects across different industries for our clients all over the world.

Our main focus is developing bespoke solutions such as native mobile applications, software/web app development, IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) implementation. 

We’d like to acknowledge our clients who have entrusted us with their projects as we appreciate the trust and confidence that they’ve accorded us. 

We’re proud to see that our services have made a big difference in their businesses. 

We’ve recently received a review on Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews platform

One of our clients, an IT startup CombMe, needed a native task management mobile app developed.

Source: clutch.co

We helped our partner and designed and developed the mobile app upon a thorough consultation with the client about their requirements. Ultimately, we delivered a mobile application within an intensive timeline.

“After more than 20 years of project experience in major European projects, our expectations have been more than exceeded by the progressive and innovative approach of this team” – Gordana Lowenkamp CEO & Co-Founder, CombMe GmbH

Aside from this wonderful feedback, ZESIUM is also featured on the Manifest, a B2B research guide and a sister company to Clutch. The Manifest is also an awards and projects listing website where companies can browse and find the right service providers to partner with.

We’d like to thank all of our clients for such a wonderful feedback and we’re proud to see them succeed.

Let’s get in touch! We’d love to hear from you!

5 Mobile Technologies Helping Businesses in the New Normal

Mobile technology is proving useful in keeping business momentum amidst challenging times – the pandemic causing an upheaval in the world’s economy forces businesses to innovate to adapt. 

For example, mobile apps have taken center stage to improve modern businesses in the new normal and provide new avenues for businesses to keep their revenues despite the circumstances. 

A new wave of mobile apps helps businesses facilitate distributed teams of both in-office and remote workers. Some mobile apps help consumers access necessities despite stringent lockdowns, enable homeschooling with educational mobile apps, and keep people connected while maintaining social distancing.

Source: smallbiztrends.com

In addition, focus is now on touchless solutions and other technologies so businesses can keep up in this new normal economy. Also, mobile apps can even boost small businesses in 2021

But even before the pandemic started, there was already a boom in digital technology affecting business and the economy. As necessary infrastructure was already in place, businesses quickly adjusted and switched most of their operations remotely.The scope of mobile technology development will continue to increase and integrate with Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, and similar technologies to minimize human-to-human interaction, simplify processes, and improve efficiency the need for social distancing.

5 Mobile Technologies for Businesses in the New Normal

Let’s look at five mobile technologies that are rescuing businesses today: 

5G Connectivity

5G (5th generation) technology is a brand new set of mobile network infrastructure that can revolutionize mobile networks’ operation. It leads other technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Although 5G devices are already available, the complete infrastructure for 5G mainstream still needs to be established globally – there are some countries at the forefront of 5G technology, but others need to follow suit for 5G to be mainstream. 

As a result of the pandemic, the global rollout of mobile 5G will be earlier than projected. Businesses and schools have raised their need for bandwidth due to connectivity amid social distancing and lockdowns. 

We will see more 5G networks set up in 2021. Deployment of 5G technology is also crucial to IoT (Internet of Things) users. According to 51 percent of businesses using IoT today, the technology has strengthened their understanding of customer expectations and behaviors.

Source: sofvire.com.au

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

User experience is also improving due to Artificial Intelligence (AI) – an engineering technology that allows robots to behave and respond to commands as humans will.

Mobile technology now integrates AI systems and solutions to automate computing and make analysis tasks smart. AI makes way for accurate, data-centric business decisions and powers Machine Learning in mobile technology, so that emerging solutions and apps can respond to new stimuli, store big data, identify data patterns and carry out human-like tasks. 

As competition is stiff in the mobile technology industry today, Artificial Intelligence can boost UX (User experience) for apps, websites, and the like. It can help businesses improve user engagement through consumer behavior analysis and tracking purchase history. 

Through AI-collected and processed data, mobile app developers can get better customer insight to improve their app or branch out into other mobile app solutions. Through Artificial Intelligence merging with the mobile technology industry, mobile apps can be created that genuinely cater to consumers’ current and most pressing needs in different target markets.

Applying AI to mobile utilities like transportation, accounting, shopping, healthcare or administration, also improves customer experience. Personal Assistant AI (PA), or chatbots, are also becoming a staple across different mobile platforms. 

Chatbots reduce operational costs for businesses, thus increasing revenues further. It also ensures that you can provide 24/7 support through AI-powered chatbot technology without hiring additional customer service employees.

Source: motocms.com

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT and mobile applications are taking on new roles in the new normal as part of technological solutions to track and manage the mobility of people, vehicles, and equipment to ensure public safety. In addition, technologies for personal and health monitoring will be in high demand as the pandemic is projected to be part of our lives in the coming years.

It is possible social distancing will remain part of our everyday lives in the years to come. To help preserve the human touch, several companies have developed solutions to make it easier to regulate and implement basic health protocols.

The countries that managed the epidemic successfully did so using a mix of community monitoring, stringent observance of social distancing, technology-based testing and contact tracing, swift health intervention and efficient public awareness.

Technology will play a pivotal role in the post-pandemic world to ensure public safety prevention of future outbreaks. For instance, we will see more and more smart buildings moving towards a unified smart-buildings platform. 

It allows various sensors and devices from different building networks to communicate with each other. There will also be increased adoption of wireless solutions to keep us all connected despite growing environmental risks. 

Source: sofvire.com.au

On-Demand Mobile Apps and Instant Apps

Any business (hotels, aviation, transport or any other), they all face unparalleled losses due to the global pandemic crisis. 

But aside the sad reality, we see breakthroughs coming out of the mobile app industry, particularly on-demand apps and instant apps. The growth of brand positioning campaigns across mobile applications reveals that it is now part of our new normal, long before the pandemic started.

On-demand, instant, and touchless solutions helping us with our daily tasks will just continue to multiply in the years to come. 

If people’s physical and geographical mobility is limited, how can they get the products and services they need where they may be? How can we stay connected with the target market and continually serve them and engage with them? 

Mobile technology trends like on-demand apps and instant apps are proving to be simple solutions to these dilemmas. In fact, around $57.6 billion spent per year goes to on-demand apps and services. These include the following: 

  • On-Demand Grocery Delivery
  • On-Demand Food Delivery
  • On-Demand Medicine Delivery
  • On-Demand Laundry Apps Solutions
  • On-Demand Doctors Service/doctors on-demand
  • On-Demand Virtual Tutors, Teachers, and Coaches
  • On-Demand Cleaning Services
  • On-Demand Fitness 
  • On-Demand Pet Care
  • On-Demand Grooming Services

On the other hand, download-free apps deliver content instantly. They’re only available for Android and are designed to help users save space on their phones while also connecting them to the unique apps.

Besides a dramatic increase in the app and game purchases during the pandemic, instant apps allow users to try apps or games download-free – it improves brand visibility and engagement because it makes apps more shareable and discoverable. When an app gets users’ attention, the user can choose to download the full app, increasing the adoption rate.

Instant apps also work well with one-time apps that need quick access, like parking meters, travel pass, tickets, and the like. 

Source: sofvire.com.au

Contactless Payment and Mobile Wallets

Contactless payments will increase significantly in 2021 as businesses must offer a safe, reliable, and seamless payment experience for customers, preparing the ground for the Internet of Payments (IoP).

IoP would remove the need for a physical card and enable smart devices to become eCommerce platforms. This process is dubbed “tokenization,” which is converting the user’s account number into a digital credential on their smart device, which handles the payment. 

The technology and network to support this touchless solution are developing at accelerated speeds induced by the global crisis. 

For instance, temperature-scanning solutions will become staples together with metal detectors and necessary security checks. The additional health protocol will be required in transportation hubs and workplaces, schools, residential areas, and places where people publicly gather. 

However, although public safety must be prioritized, there still needs to be a strict observance of data privacy and security. Prevention of data loss should be a priority and immediate data recovery in cases of a data breach. 

On the other hand, the volume of users utilizing mobile wallets is multiplying. Online payment methods are becoming the norm, and mobile wallet applications gain people’s trust even more. 

Mobile wallets integrate multiple payment solutions like debit or credit cards, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and other unique digital payment options. Some of the popular mobile wallets today include Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, and AliPay. Any app that conducts transactions should have wallet integration as a standard feature.

However, there are growing risks involved as well, especially when users are unsecured or using unsecured mobile payment apps. But on the other hand, users are becoming more aware that the benefits of online payments outweigh the risks. 

Source: sofvire.com.au

Moreover, risks can be mitigated and prevented with strong security to safeguard against cyber threats. Users must be proactive in protecting their connections, networks, and devices, especially when using online payment through their devices. 

We need to keep finding ways to avoid unnecessary human contact when it is still unsafe to do so without losing our ability to function normally and continue to perform day-to-day functions such as banking and retailing.

Conclusion

The ongoing fight against a global pandemic demonstrates the value of ongoing technological advancements and our resilience amid crisis. Since most businesses use the most up-to-date technology, they quickly adapt to unexpected changes and it is also pushing smaller businesses and startups to level up to thrive. 

It’s also a good time for professionals and upcoming talents to retrain and upgrade their skills. 

Adopting emerging developments in 2021 and beyond is part of adapting to the new normal.

How To Successfully Overcome Trucking Business Challenges

Although it’s wise to never say never, starting a trucking business usually requires a bit more than getting the appropriate license and purchasing a vehicle. The logistics pose challenges you need to overcome if you want your startup to be a success.

Surmounting those obstacles is not impossible –  it can take time and effort, and perhaps even some grit and determination, but it is possible. If you do it, you’ll find out first-hand just how much the trucking industry has to offer. 

Below, we’ll explore the biggest challenges in the industry—challenges that startups and many established businesses face. We’ll also share a few tips that can put you on the right path to overcoming them.

Trucking Business Financing

In 2019, the initial cost of getting a trucking business up and running ranged between $10,000 and $20,000 and those figures haven’t changed too much since. Of course, it’s best to seek professional guidance if you want to keep the cost manageable, but even then, financing can be a challenge.

Thankfully, it’s one of the easier challenges to overcome and there are several ways you can do so. Consider approaching a business financing company or applying for a lending product at a bank or other financial service provider.

Some loans you can apply for include:

  • Startup business loan;
  • Unsecured business loan;
  • SBA loan;
  • Business line of credit;
  • Merchant cash advance; and
  • Equipment finance.

Use your trucking business financing to purchase or lease equipment and get the required permits and licenses. You can also use it to set up a base of operations, to maintain and repair your vehicles and other equipment, and to grow your business. 

Compare funding options carefully to choose the best solution for your business.

Source: credibly.com

Safety Concerns

The trucking industry has faced various safety concerns since its earliest days, and recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic have compounded them. The challenge here is to do what you can to prepare yourself, your business, and your drivers for both the known and the unknown.

Some safety concerns that you need to prepare for include:

  • Driver fatigue—Heavy work schedules can lead to fatigue, sleep deprivation, and highway hypnosis AKA white line fever.
  • Pandemic-related issues—Your drivers may have to travel to COVID-19 hotspots, and will need a supply of sanitizer and PPE. They may also have difficulty finding restaurants or rest stops that are open during lockdown periods, during which only essential services and businesses may operate.
  • Hazardous distractions—Smartphones, portable TVs, other road users, motor vehicle accidents, GPS alters and instructions, and attempting to multitask while driving can be hazardous distractions for drivers.
  • Bad weather—Even with constant improvements in technology, weather forecasts are still educated guesses, and mother nature always has the final say. Apart from unpredictable weather, you also need to prepare for the increasing number of extreme events such as super storms. 

Encourage drivers to take regular breaks, to maintain constant awareness of speed and stopping distance, and to stay informed about weather conditions.

Source: dev.fueloyal.com

Shortage of Truck Drivers

In 2018, the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Chief Executive, Chris Spear, revealed that the trucking industry was short on drivers by 63,000 positions. Not even a 15% increase in median salary over the preceding six years was enough to attract enough drivers to prevent such a dire shortage.

According to ATA vice president, Bob Costello, the annualized turnover rate of drivers is a massive 94%, which means only 6% of drivers remain in their position each year. The drivers’ average age of 49 years also plays a part in the challenging truck driver shortage predicament.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a pilot program that could see an apprenticeship program for commercial driver’s license holders under the age of 21 to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. 

Contact the U.S. Department of Transportation and express your support for the DRIVE-Safe Act, which could help ease the truck driver shortage.

Source: digital.hbs.edu

Changing Regulations

Whether you consider state or federal regulations that affect trucking businesses, you’ll find that they’re under constant review and revision. The challenge it poses is that it becomes more difficult for you to operate strictly according to the letter of the law.

Among the regulatory changes implemented in the last few years are:

  • Increased minimum wage, which varies from state to state
  • Requirements for electronic logging devices
  • Issues around hours of service, such as shift length and voluntary and involuntary breaks for rest or poor weather
  • The cost of required alcohol and drug sobriety tests

Keep yourself updated regarding state and federal laws and regulations. The FMCSA is a great resource for this.

Source: transportgeography.org

Deteriorating Infrastructure

Decaying infrastructures such as roads, bridges, and tunnels have been a widespread problem in the U.S. for decades. 

What’s more, they’re a challenge that you can’t do much about, other than encourage your drivers to be alert regarding road conditions and to report problems with infrastructure to your state’s Department of Transport.

Source: thetimes.co.uk

Inconsistent Costs

You’ll find that there are many relatively steady expenses involved in running a trucking business. However, there also are variable costs, and they can vary considerably.

Some of those costs include:

  • Tolls—The cost of road tolls vary from state to state.
  • Fuel—Fuel can make up as much as 20% of your business’s operating costs—and its price also varies from state to state.
  • Maintenance and repairs—Regular maintenance costs may be relatively steady, but that’s not the case if repairs enter the picture. Repair costs can vary wildly, depending on the nature of the problem.
  • Lodging—Spacious truck cabins are great, especially if they’re equipped with a comfortable bed, laptop or portable TV, and microwave. But they’re no substitute for a real motel room that offers plenty of space and room to rest—and rest is what drivers need to avoid fatigue.

Prepare to face at least some of the challenges involved with variable costs by opening a business credit card, from which you can withdraw funds as and when required.

Source: ontimegroup.com.au

Conclusion

There’s no getting away from the biggest challenges facing trucking businesses, even if you do manage to avoid one or two. 

The important thing to remember is that with foresight, planning and determination, you can overcome the challenges and see your business thrive.

How to Efficiently Collect User Feedback for Your Mobile App

User feedback will help you to get an overview of your product from a fresh perspective allowing you to adjust your product roadmap and improve your app for the better. No matter if you follow agile development or not, quick and frequent feedback is one of the important factors that can make your app more successful.

For example, if a user wanted to checkout at your e-commerce app and your app crashed, the user is likely to get annoyed or even uninstall your app entirely. 

Implementing the right feedback system and defining a user journey map will help you to motivate your mobile app users at the right time

Here are some best practices for you to maximize your app value and functionality. 

Before Collecting the Feedback

Before you start collecting feedback, it would be clever to prepare the ground. 

#1. Specify the objectives

Don’t make a mistake and jump into collecting feedback with no clear goal – define the objectives first as it will help you to choose the right method and the right tool. 

You should understand clearly which category your app belongs to and what kind of feedback you need to collect from users.

#2. Select the right method

When you define your feedback goal and resources, review and choose the proper method. 

Review the automation user feedback tools that require little effort to set up and manage so to help your team.

#3. Experiment

Be open to experiment!

Example: if your feedback results are low, try changing the feedback approach or use different methods. 

Such experiments will help you to gain more valuable feedback thus improve your app as well as overall user experience. 

#4. Consider the cost

You should figure out which different feedback system to implement to determine the cost, organize your team and the delivery plan. 

Adding a feedback to an app mainly involves three tasks: 

  • design and develop the app UI for the implementation of the user’s feedback; 
  • design and develop the back-end system to manage feedback data; 
  • process and analyze the amount of collected data and interact with users.
Source: pinterest.com

Best Methods to Collect the Feedback

There are various methods to collect user feedback so make sure to review them and choose the most appropriate as per your defined app goals. 

The common forms of feedback in mobile applications include the following:

Firstly, Ask for a Like

Users pick one option YES or NO from a simple question: “do you like the app”.

If the choice is YES, the user can be guided to rate the app and write comments at the Store. If the answer is NO, you should display a simple feedback form in the app, allowing users to send additional information to the back-end.

The technique can greatly increase the positive evaluation rate of an app and reduce the influence of negative comments. It enables for all feedback to be handled the same way in the back-end, which is more convenient for reviewing as well as tracking of feedback state, etc.

This can also bring extra cost within the development of a back-end management platform except when using third-party services.

Source: clipart-library.com

Ask for Rates and Reviews

The easiest way to get the feedback is to simply ask your users within the app as both platforms (Android and iOS) support requests to users to rate and review the app. Mobile app ratings directly affect how easily your app can be found at the Stores.  

The most important thing to remember is to find the perfect timing – many apps ask for reviews instantly but this usually aggravates users as they did not have time to get to know the app sufficiently to give a score. 

For example, if your app has a low star rating, it may indicate that there’s an issue within the app or other parts. Selecting the appropriate people to prompt ensures to get the valuable feedback from your satisfied users but also to trigger those who do not usually engage while unhappy users can also give you the direct feedback. 

Source: the tool.io

In-App Net Promoter Score 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is another method to measure general sentiment but also allows users to send personalized feedback. Such process divides users into 3 groups: Promoters, Passives and Detractors based on their answers. 

Source: pinterest.com

Measuring how many people would recommend your product will help you to learn more about general sentiment with your users. You can also use follow up questions asking users to explain their score thus get more personalized feedback you can act upon. 

NPS is easily added to your mobile app – the process is smooth for users and they don’t have to leave your app to give feedback. 

Support Communities

You shouldn’t do everything ‘INSIDE’ your app – you can create communities outside of your app where users can express their opinions, concerns, ask for the support or just engage with your team. 

Here are few ways app companies can create communities:

  • support through social media and email
  • web forum on your site to help users connect and share their experiences
  • multiple ways for customers to get in touch directly with your team.
Source: salesforce.com

Beta Tests

Developers frequently use beta tests to get insight into the user experience, especially before the official full release. 

You can gather potential beta testers through your website via a simple web form asking for their email addresses. 

Beta testing ensures that all the bugs designers, developers and alpha testers failed to see, to be detected and eliminated. Beta testing will enable you to understand how users will perceive your product in the future which is a very important step as it can improve the QA of the final product. 

Beta testing can save you from a lot of potential PR issues if you launch a poorly made product thus a proper beta launch can cut your costs significantly. 

Source: celltrust.com

Customer Feedback Surveys

Creating useful surveys takes more challenge than you can expect, considering there are a plethora of questions you can ask your users and you need to select only a few to collect valuable feedback. 

Try to follow some simple practices:

  • Ask only relevant questions
  • Create friendly open-ended questions
  • Create consistent rating scales
  • Avoid leading questions

A good tool to understand your users’ sentiment is a mobile survey – short mobile surveys with specific questions (like feedback on a new feature) are the most efficient ones. 

Always remember that the timing of surveys is critical – if your survey interrupts customer in-app experience, it may result in more harm. 

Companies can collect and analyze both quantitative and qualitative feedback from users with help of such surveys. 

Source: surveymonkey.com

Email and User Contact Forms

Email is the easiest way to gather user feedback as you can use each interaction to gather feedback. Try to follow some steps to maximize the chance of reply:

Set clear expectations

Users usually don’t leave feedback as they believe they will never hear back from you. 

If you add a short sentence to your communication messages advising users you will soon reply to them, e.g. ‘We’ll get back to you within 24 hours’, you will build trust with your community. 

Organize email feedback

Use some tools (e.g. Trello) to assign tasks for the whole team to access so that no insight is left overseen.

Automation tools will facilitate the process and keep tabs on requests while it will also give the employee a clear roadmap for the future user interactions. 

Send personalized responses

Emails enable you to request more personalized feedback than in a survey. 

Ask your users about the issues they struggle with or what features would they like to see or just ask why they chose your app!

Set a defined process of replying to these emails or the entire process will be futile. 

The greatest benefit of email is its low cost – considering that most of the time users willing to send an email with feedback tend to be more loyal, it is more likely they will provide valuable data or interesting ideas.

On the other hand, the collected feedback would be scattered over the email messages making it more difficult for a review and data analysis. 

This approach is suitable for limited budget cases, short development time, and/or development team not skilled enough for back-end development.

Source: customerthermometer.com

Usability Tests

Usability tests for mobile apps are formed to observe test users while they use your app – the goal is to measure the user friendliness of the app and support your brand better. 

Such testing helps you to add value to your business and meet the requirements of your end users. 

Ensuring to have good usability for your mobile app will help you to improve user satisfaction and increase revenue. 

From understanding your product better, detecting loopholes and more, here are some benefits of mobile usability testing:

  • Understanding the user’s in-app behavior
  • Identifying bugs
  • Saving on development costs
  • Getting repeat customers
  • Creating outstanding UX

Social Media

Social listening is another great strategy for user feedback – comments or direct mentions on social networks and also built-in polling tools like this:

Social media is invaluable when it comes to client feedback – there are different social listening tools available to collect what people say about your product or brand. 

Keeping track of such mentions serves to improve your user experience and respond quickly to any reports. 

You can set up alerts for your brand mentions via Google Alerts, Mention or other tools and always keep in mind that TIME plays a significant role! You should quickly address any negative comments as it can have a huge impact on your brand’s reputation. 

Many brands now combine in-house employees and third-party tools to monitor all their social channels. 

Source: survicate.com

Message Center

A good way to provide a good user experience is to have a channel where users can turn to easily in case they need a quick response or have feedback – a message center is an excellent conversation channel for that. 

Another good point is that your feedback system directs the messages to your center rather than to the app store thus eliminating friction for the user and reducing your bad reviews on the store. 

Gathering the right people and guiding them to your most efficient communication channel is the right recipe for improved user experience. 

Source: pinterest.com

Questionnaire

An effective way for feedback is a questionnaire, which lists targeted questions and multiple-choice answers for users. If you keep it simple, users will happily answer questionnaires. If the questions are too long, it is easy to trigger users’ resistance. 

This approach requires to determine the feedback goals in advance, define what is more urgent at the current stage and then create questions and forms. Designing questionnaires requires to draw the most information possible out of the least amount of questions. 

In terms of development, web page-like forms can provide a powerful back-end data analysis function.

Rich-content feedback

Since textual feedback can be inconvenient to users when describing some complex scenarios, more and more apps allow feedback combining text and voice so that users can express their thoughts more easily. This greatly increases the probability of users taking the initiative to provide feedback. 

In order to make the process of taking screenshots faster, in addition to the default screenshot feature of the system, a lot of apps support the “shake” gesture to trigger the screenshot. One of the biggest advantages of screenshot feedback is that there is no need to take up any screen space with dedicated controls.

The downside of voice feedback is the operation cost as it uses analysis and classification of a great number of collected recordings. 

Source: pgyer.com

Other Tools

Some other tools you can use to review for collecting user feedback are Apptimize, mParticle and many more

Incorporating such automation tools will help you drive more engagement, collect valuable user feedback and adjust your product roadmap. 

Review all of the tools and choose the best tool that corresponds to your mobile app, your strategy and your targeted users. 

While collecting the feedback

Respond to user feedback in time!

Once you have successfully integrated the module into your app, you should retrieve first-hand user feedback. Whether feedback is positive or not, users will want to know whether it’s received – replying to user feedback in due time is a giant leap towards improving customer satisfaction.

  • contact users advising their feedback was received and will be processed in a timely manner and express sincere appreciation. 
  • contact users based on their feedback content – answer their questions or clarify the future product improvement plan, etc. 
  • notify users when their suggestions have been accepted. This will allow them to better use the app, but also let them take some pride in improving the app.

Email is one of the means that is most unlikely to disturb the user, thus it is important here that the design of any form of feedback takes into account the provisioning of users’ email addresses for later tracking.

Source: userresponse.com

Upon Mobile Feedback 

Once you’ve got feedback from your mobile users, you need to act upon it. 

Otherwise, your users will feel like their opinions don’t matter, and that you’re not interested in creating a better experience for them. That is why you should:

Track the Right Metrics

Focus on things that are easily measurable and track the right metrics:

  • The percent of purchases made through mobile devices
  • The number of visits from mobile
  • Time on site on mobile vs. your website
  • Number of daily installs, and their sources
  • Measuring the effectiveness of marketing initiatives

For example, if you’re using NPS, you’ll be able to determine how many users like your app or a feature etc., while if you do not use it, you must search the feedback for the common strains like: are many people complaining about bugs or unhappy with how slow the app is and similar. 

Source: pointillist.com

Encourage Users for Continuous Feedback

In order to encourage customers to give continuous feedback, build feedback channels into the app experience. Come up with a schedule that’s triggered by a user’s actions.

For example, when they’ve been using the app for 10 days, ask for a review. After three months of active use, ask them to update their review.

Analyze Feedback Data and Adjust the Roadmap

Ultimately, you should summarize, classify, and analyze the feedback data to identify the issues within your product as well as to prioritize them. That way, you can adjust your product roadmap accordingly.

If necessary, you can perform further user surveys and interviews with the aim to plan the next development and release plan.

Source: pinterest.com

Conclusion

Collecting customer feedback is crucial!

If you listen to your users, they can help you improve your app for the better – start from one simple method for collecting feedback before you implement more complex strategies. 

Before the actual collecting, define the objective and consider functions and costs to build the feedback form; try to accurately define the feedback data entry, timing, and frequency. After this step, the feedback module can be successfully integrated into the app. 

During the feedback collection phase, thank your users for their feedback and inform them about recent improvements. After collecting the feedback, you should conduct data analysis on the feedback output and effectively adjust the product roadmap. 

By following these steps, a feedback mechanism can show the value and provide users with helpful details about your product.