In today’s competitive world, a small business cannot wait for customers to come to it; you must actively seek out and engage your customer base. Fortunately, modern office technology has provided a vast range of ways to free your staff to work with your customers, instead of being tied down in the office.
Using the Cloud for Business
Having the ability to quickly access and modify company information has always been a challenge for small businesses. Fortunately, cloud storage solutions now enable workers in the field to access, modify and update important company information. By doing so, you eliminate the disaster of having to tell your customers that their valuable information was lost in the mail. By keeping your data and forms secure with a cloud storage service, your representatives will be able to access that information with their tablet or cell phone, providing your clients with up to date information no matter where they are.
CRM Software and Your Customers
Customer relationship management (CRM) software has become an increasingly vital part of effectively managing your customer base. This is especially true if you have a small business with a limited number of employees. CRM software can help your small business by allowing you to do the following:
- Automate your marketing operations while also targeting them directly to your customers’ interests. This prevents you from irritating your customers by sending them unwanted information.
- Centralize all information about specific customers. For example, CRM software could notify you about a customer’s birthday, so that you could send out personalized birthday cards and let the customer know how much they are valued by your company.
- Maintain an up-to-date record of your interactions with each customer, allowing you to promptly respond to their concerns.
In general, CRM software can help ensure that none of your customers ever fall between the cracks or feel that they are not taken seriously by your business. By making effective use of your CRM software, you can help build and maintain a very loyal customer base for your business.
Using Accounting Software
As a small business owner, you know just how important it can be to keep your finances in order. Lost invoices or inaccurate expense reports not only can harm your ability to provide world-class service to your customers; they can also result in uncomfortable talks with the IRS at tax time. For this reason, automating your accounting process by using accounting software can help you stay up to date with your finances. In addition, by using cloud storage solutions to back up your data, you can protect your business from the chaos that could occur should you lose your records in a natural disaster.
Wireless and Smart Office Equipment
The days of running data cables throughout your office are quickly coming to an end, as more offices transition to wireless networks. Office equipment, such as these iPhone and iPad compatible printers, can allow your staff to print up hardcopy receipts and reports from anywhere in the office or even from out in the field via the Internet. Thus, by using smart office equipment, you can drastically improve your workers’ productivity without chaining them to their desks.
Finally, mobile technology has expanded by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Today, a cell phone with the right apps can read barcode, checks, credit cards and invoices, while automatically transferring the data to your office or financial institution. Audio and visual recording can help ensure that you have an accurate record of what the customer wants, while business productivity apps can keep you connected to your company’s data, whether you are at home or in another nation.
Ultimately, using advanced technology for a small business is an excellent way to improve your productivity, keep your customers happy, and help protect your business from natural or man-made disasters. Today, there’s absolutely no reason why your small business shouldn’t enjoy the same type of office automation that large corporations have so enthusiastically adopted.
Homerun Nievera is the publisher of WorldExecutivesDigest.com. He has interests in several tech and digital businesses as director and chief strategist.