5 Innovative Technologies to Benefit Your Local Chain Business

03.07.2023 Sara Brasfield4 min

As your local business expands its footprint across multiple locations, the work of operating this chain also increases. As a business owner or leader, this expansion can place demands on you and your workers that are both unrealistic and unsustainable, threatening the quality of your brand experience—unless you’re able to gain new efficiencies through this business growth.

When growing a business and operating at scale, new business technologies can make a world of difference. Simple innovations to how you run your business can streamline these workloads and realize time, labor and cost savings that multiply across each of your local chain’s locations.

In some cases, the new efficiencies achieved through this technology can have a direct impact on how quickly your business is able to scale—especially if you’re committed to maintaining a quality customer experience as you grow.

With new technologies and small business solutions rolling out every day, it’s important to stay on top of the latest innovations that can offer value to your business. Here are five such technologies that can deliver value for almost every type of local chain business.

1. Self-Service Tools

A wide range of simple self-service tools can be deployed at any business—even if you’re still operating a single location. Self-service tools can be found in many different forms, from online reservation and appointment booking tools, to QR codes at your business locations where consumers can pull up digital menus, product information, or other digital tools.

For Ecommerce businesses, certain platforms like Shopify also offer built-in self-service tools to streamline product returns and other tasks. All of these self-service tools reduce the time and labor demands placed on your staff, while also giving customers faster access to the information and resources they’re seeking.

As a result, your customer experience becomes more responsive, and your business is able to reduce the amount of labor spent on simple tasks. The more locations your business operates, the greater the overall value of this technology.

2. Automation at Scale

Cloud-based automation solutions can be leveraged across your business operations to effortlessly manage your local chain at scale.

Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions can centralize customer information across all of your locations. Employee scheduling and task management can make it easier to manage a growing workforce. Even social media automation tools can help you manage social media accounts for multiple locations, scheduling posts and responding to direct messages through a centralized management tool.

Many automation solutions are priced at scale, meaning the costs are determined by the size of your business and the volume of workload handled by these technologies. For a local chain, automation can reduce the amount of time you spend managing your company even as its footprint grows.

3. Virtualized Onboarding and Training

A number of cloud-based HR tools offer virtualized onboarding and training capabilities to accelerate and streamline the hiring and onboarding process. As your business grows, the task of hiring new workers will also increase, and this can become a significant drain on your company’s leadership.

Virtualized onboarding can simplify this process by automating certain tasks, eliminating repetitive work, and handling some of the workload that was previously left in the hands of business leaders. Over time, virtualized training can also be helpful in delivering a consistent training experience to all of your workers across multiple locations, making it easier to effectively manage a growing group of employees.

4. Chatbots

Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots have become far more affordable and accessible in recent years, allowing small businesses to leverage these tools on their business website to improve customer service and responsiveness.

While chatbots can’t handle every customer service query, they can be instrumental in helping address small customer needs while routing more complex cases to a human employee. Chatbots are also available 24/7, giving your customers immediate assistance as part of a more responsive customer experience.

5. Location-Based Tracking and Engagement

Location data and location-based tracking offer many benefits to local chains equipped to leverage this information. Social media accounts can track consumers through check-ins to each business location, providing insights that can inform localized advertising campaigns.

Consumers can also be targeted with marketing and advertising campaigns based on both their home address and their physical location at any moment. Geofenced campaigns can deliver ads to mobile devices based on their proximity to a local chain, or to consumers visiting a rival business.

For local chains, this information can be invaluable to understanding the makeup of their existing audience, as well as the strategic role of individual locations within the company’s larger footprint.

When building or maintaining a local chain business, efficiency—in both your operations and your spending—is critical to achieving sustained success. By leveraging technology and data-driven strategies throughout your business, you can realize those efficiencies to improve both your customer experience and your long-term profitability.

Find out how Cox Media can use innovative technologies to achieve greater digital marketing optimization for your business—contact us today to learn more.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is the Content Marketing Manager for Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than eight years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

View All of Sara Brasfield's Blog Posts

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