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Zoom Is Getting Into The Customer Service Business…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By March 6, 2022No Comments

(This article originally appeared in Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 -Zoom is getting into the customer service business.

Zoom recently announced it is expanding into customer service with its new offering named Zoom Contact Center. Zoom Contact Center will still work using video conferencing and will enable companies to interact quickly with customers. With the expansion, Zoom aims to streamline all aspects of customer service into a single easy to access and use tool for managers and operators. (Source: Tech Radar)

Why this is important for your business:

With pandemic demand waning and more workers returning the office, Zoom needs to look for opportunities elsewhere and providing video-facing customer service tools looks like a great idea to me. However, what needs to happen is more integration and partnerships with other customer service, help desk and customer relationship management apps for small businesses to consider Zoom Contact Center as a viable option.

2 — Self-driving trucks are creating a land grab near some big cities.

The rising demand for autonomous vehicles are driving some speculators to grab land outside of big cities. But these are not the vehicles you might expect. It’s not cars. It’s trucks. And as driverless trucks become more popular — and a few major players have big plans for this technology — there will be a need for suburban stations where humans can jump in the cab and take over the truck for the last few, complicated miles. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

Why this is important for your business:

We hear about driverless cars but they’re still a long way away. That’s because many smart people like the people at Uber or even Elon Musk have admitted that these things are harder than they thought. But driverless trucks? Ah…now there’s something. That’s because trucks can go driverless down a highway pretty safely, saving gas and lowering insurance costs. Just as long as humans do the last bit. It makes sense and could be the first widely accepted use of autonomous technology in the next few years.

3 -Walmart will use tech to help people try on their clothes.

This week the retail giant announced the beta version of their neural network powered “Choose My Model” try on feature. Customers can select models that “better matches their own appearance and body type” and then use virtual versions of clothes selections to see how they’ll look. According to TechCrunch “Walmart notes it will continue to expand its model selection over time, with plans to launch nearly 70 additional models in the weeks ahead to offer more variety in terms of size, skin tone and even hair color.” (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Will this be the end of the dressing room? Probably not. But it’s another technology that smart retailers will be using over the next few years to help customers buy their products. It will certainly be interesting what “models” people choose to represent me. I’m personally going with the George Costanza look.

4 — From the ground below to the skies above, Pittsburgh startups are launching their tech to inspect bridges.

A bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, PA back in January has enabled startups in the city to use their related technology to build bridges of their own and scale their companies. Mach9 Robotics — a startup based in the area of the bridge collapse — was the first to get involved by deploying its robotics and sensor equipment to map subsurface and surface areas and develop geospatial models of crucial infrastructure in minutes. (Source: WPXI)

Why this is important for your business:

Necessity is the mother of invention and unfortunately it takes a tragedy — or a potential tragedy — to create opportunities for entrepreneurs. Pittsburgh’s bridge collapse was such an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to demonstrate how their technologies can help improve infrastructure safety.

5- Etsy’s post pandemic strategy is to get more men to shop on the site.

With the pandemic shopping boom of masks and home décor slowing, Etsy is seeking its next move. Etsy recently revealed that research the company conducted in 2020 uncovered that half of male customers in the United States did not even know what Etsy was. The same study found that 80 percent of Etsy customers are female. Etsy is actively trying to attract more male customers to the site through targeted advertising on male-dominant channels. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Why this is important for your business:

This is an opportunity for small businesses to sell on Etsy, particularly if your products are more geared to a male audience. If you’re an Etsy reseller — or considering being one — you should leverage the platform’s new tools and emphasis on male customers. It’s a chance to save advertising dollars and perhaps attract a bigger audience.

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