When was the last time that you walked into the bank to deposit your paycheck, or looked in the phone book to find the name of a reliable contractor? If you can’t remember the answers to these questions, that’s for good reason: It’s an outdated technology that no longer applies anymore. Technology is always changing and shaping the way that the world works, and that means that companies must follow suit to keep up. There are so many new and exciting types of technology that are forever shaping the way that your small business functions.
Improving Customer Relationships
You know that your customers are the people who are keeping your company alive, so they deserve the best service that you can give them. This doesn’t only mean greeting them at the door and wishing them a pleasant day when they leave, however; you need to make sure that you’re catering to them even when they’re unaware that you’re doing so. Small business CRM technology (customer relationship management) helps you to improve your relationships with your clients and serve them better without them even knowing that you’re doing so. This can be done in small doses or in a network of specialty software.
Tools to Help
You already know the value of SEO (search engine optimization), but CRM is a bit different. It’s less about using keywords to garner traffic and more about tailoring each thing you do to work more efficiently. There are plenty of apps and software available to help you do things in the background like:
- Compile and use data to your advantage. Do you want to know how many units of a certain product you sold last year, or the ratio of your average number of walk-ins compared to appointments? The software can do all that and more, including putting data into a pretty little graph or pie chart for you.
- Help desk software for managing support requests and tickets. A well-run company has a customer service portion that takes care of any complaints or service requests and the power of the internet makes that process a bit more streamlined. Rather than force your customers or employees to hand-write a service request, simply have them fill out an online form to generate a help desk ticket for your support staff. Easy, hassle-free and best of all you use no paper.
- Content to help you draw in new leads. This isn’t necessarily through the use of SEO alone, but rather well-thought-out content that gets people excited and coming back for more. What do customers like the best in terms of your business? What sets your content apart from that of the competition? Give customers something worth reading.
Google: Software That Helps With Streamlining
Although your clients are the lifeblood of your business, your employees and staff are the muscles of it. They’re the people who serve the customers behind the scenes, working to make the business stronger and more flexible from the inside out. What are some ways that you can use Google to help improve the efficiency of your employees?
Free and convenient, Google is more than just a search engine. With a line of apps that help to maximize the way that you run your business, you have so many fantastic applications right at your fingertips — and it costs nothing.
- Spreadsheets are no problem when you work off of Google Sheets. You can build, maintain and organize data, and since it’s all online then you can collaborate with multiple people at the same time.
- Do you want a simple, yet effective word processor without spending the money that comes with big-name software developing companies? (Looking at you, Mr. Gates!) While there are some limitations to using Docs compared to Microsoft Word, it serves its purpose masterfully by allowing you to build tables, insert images and create math equations.
- Digital storage is always at a premium, which is what makes Google Drive such a valuable asset in your small business. With every Google account, there are 15 free gigabytes of storage in the Google Drive app with the ability to upgrade for a small fee. Drive allows you to organize your files by building folders and a search function, helping you to quickly find what you’re looking for with only a few keywords.
Google Apps for Education
If you work in an educational setting then Google has a service for you and your students as well. Using Google Apps for Education you are offering the same awesome apps to teachers and students, but you can also set restrictions and maintain control over what is allowed and disallowed. Additionally, Google has built a few little extras into the student software that helps with things like homework and studying.
One example is Grammarly, which is worth signing up for whether you’re about to enter high school or not. A combination of a spell checker and thesaurus, Grammarly is an add-on that is free with a Google account and helps to improve your writing. As the name suggests, it checks your grammar to ensure that you’ve worded sentences properly and asks you if you’re sure about the structure of certain phrases. It’s handy for everything from emails to school reports.
Thanks to the reach of the internet and the power of technology, the world will never run businesses the same way again. With helpful applications to improve processes and better, more efficient business practices, your company will run the best that it can run for staff and for employees.