I constantly find myself telling my team that we are knowledge workers. What does this mean? It means that we aren’t merely selling a product or even a service; we’re selling what’s between our ears. We’re walking, talking information hubs, and the more information we have, the more we can provide for our co-workers, our customers and even those people in our personal lives. Keeping the information in our minds sharp requires us to constantly feed them. There is research that connects continuous learning with a longer life expectancy because we enjoy becoming more educated. Truthfully, continuous learning is an improvement on ourselves.
Why do we have to keep learning? Well, the speed of change with today’s technology is one way to look at the importance of continuous learning. Think about it, Facebook wasn’t around a few years ago, and now it’s one of the most popular social networking sites. This means that if we want to reach our customers, we need to figure out how and where to do so—whether it’s through our in-store customer service or through conversations in online reviews.
One way to reach today’s tech-heavy customer is through personalization. Due to the rapid expansion of the ways we interact with technology, brands have to learn purchase behavior segmentation. This is where a brand tracks a customer’s purchase history. Coffee retailer Boca Java conducted a study where they sent out an email that offered a 17 percent discount. They found that customers who had purchased two bags of coffee used the coupon more frequently than those customers who bought three or more bags. By keeping up with the personalization trend for marketing and continuously learning the behavior of their customers, Boca was able to offer better service.
Just as Boca found a new way to reach their customer, so can we find new ways to complete our jobs. In order to be valuable employees and leaders we must always be willing to learn. We should question everything so we don’t miss out on new opportunities to improve. Like Boca, we need to ask, “How can we offer our customers better service?” and then come up with a way to solve the problem. We need to inspire each other to find better ways of moving our businesses forward.
If you want to break it down into how continuous learning plots a course for the future of your business, here are three benefits:
Continuous learning leads to strategic thinking
When we’re learning, we’re looking for ways to improve upon the past. Doing this requires us to look at the future and develop a strategy to deal with any curve balls. Strategic thinking is applied to every process, from marketing, to finance, to business development.
Continuous learning helps your business improve from a technological standpoint
Did you know about Twitter ten years ago? Snapchat? Instagram? Of course the answer is ‘no,’ but today it’s an overwhelming yes and you probably even know some of the best practices for using each social media platform for marketing. What about wearable technology? A device that a customer can wear that will track information related to location, health and fitness can come in handy. There will be a time when this data can be used to promote your locations. We can’t afford not to keep up with technological advances, so why fight the need to remain continuously informed about them?
Continuous learning gives your business a competitive edge
When you are able to strategize and improve your business through advances in technology, you’re giving your business flare. I’ve been in business for 18 years, so I know the best way to keep it fresh is to stay ahead of the curve. Continuous learning is that special ingredient that’s going to keep your mind sharpened and agile for all that comes your way.
The best part about continuous learning is that it will allow you to see things in a kind of kaleidoscope. Let’s face it, we weren’t born geniuses, we worked our way up to where we are by trying to be better than we were yesterday. We gave ourselves new challenges, and we want to continue providing those challenges for ourselves and for our employees. Constantly moving and improving—pushing ourselves—will guarantee a richer life. So ask yourself, will you be better tomorrow than you are today?
This article was originally posted on Business 2 Community. View it here.