Taking Advantage of Mobile Technology to Improve Business Performance
It’s no secret that the mobile device is rapidly replacing every other way in which consumers research and ultimately purchase goods and services. To thrive in today’s marketplace, it’s almost essential to have a user-friendly application that can be downloaded to a smart phone, tablet or laptop. But the benefits your business can reap don’t end there—there are many ways that you can take advantage of mobile technology to more effectively and efficiently run your business. Here are some ways to use mobile applications to run your business better.
Use Mobile Applications to Maximize Communication
One of the most obvious uses of smartphones and tablets is to facilitate communication with employees and customers. With a single device, you have the option to call, send a text message, send an e-mail or any combination thereof. When communication is critical, it’s important to have these options.
There are a number of other key ways that apps can help you improve communication:
- A number of apps allow you and your employees to have access to contact information, to organize contacts into groups and to send group messages
- Some apps allow you to easily video conference with employees, customers and others
- Some apps allow you to send “push” messages to your contacts
Use Smartphones and Tablets to Streamline Customer Support and Repairs
If your business involves service and repair, you know there’s nothing worse than showing up with or bringing the wrong part. If you equip your service technicians with smart devices with high resolution cameras, they can take pictures of any parts that need to be replaces and send them to either your parts department or a supplier, and can immediately determine availability. Your technicians can also network with other technicians who may have previously dealt with a similar problem, or can document the successful resolution of a problem.
Provide Immediate Input to Customers
There are many apps already available that allow you to track orders or other items. This can be incredibly helpful to sales executives, who can advise customers of the status of an order and troubleshoot to enhance customer support and service.
Take Advantage of Digital Documentation
There are also apps that allow you to create and edit documents digitally. With this technology, your sales people can get a contract signed immediately, minimizing the risk a customer with change his or her mind. Contracts can instantly be tailored to the needs of the specific customer. In addition, your employees can have real-time access to spreadsheets, inventories and other information. With the right app, you can simply have customers fill in forms on a mobile device and sign digitally. The digital documents can be instantly stored in the cloud. You can conduct business without a printer, fax machine or file cabinets!
Replace Physical Sales Tools with Digital Ones
With the right mobile apps, you’ll never need another printed brochure or sales presentation. Your sales people won’t have to lug catalogues from customer to customer. Make everything available through a smart phone or tablet. You can e-mail or text information to the customer, so that they can print if they choose. A sales presentation on a mobile device is the ideal way to communicate with an audience of one or two. You can ditch the laptop and projector and let the tablet do the work.
Take Advantage of Mobile Workflow Solutions
With the right technology, you can take any business process tools and applications that you’ve created for desktop computers and make them accessible to mobile users. Accordingly, you can run reports from anywhere, and can have access to forms or workflows at any location, allowing you to maintain best practices at all times.
Benefit from Mobile CRM Apps
To effectively compete in today’s market, you have to proactively manage your relationship with your customer. With the right CRM (customer relationship management) app, your sales and support teams will be able to manage customer relationships on the fly. A mobile CRM app should give the salesperson access to an extensive amount of information and tools, including contacts, calendars, events, tasks, sales, special pricing and other analytics, regardless of where they are.
Improve Accounting and Payroll Functions
The traditional A/P and A/R models are both paper and labor intensive. In addition, bills and payments can easily get lost or forgotten. With mobile capability, you can approve payment of invoices from anywhere at any time. Most apps will also let you establish a priority for bills that need to be paid and will let you calendar payments, so that you don’t miss important payments, incurring late fees or causing discontent with suppliers or vendors. Most mobile apps also bring added levels of security, minimizing the risk of employee misconduct, and are typically easily audit-ready.
You can also use mobile apps to enhance payroll, tax and benefits matters. There are apps that allow you to remotely manage new employee setup, to report all new hires to the appropriate government agencies, to take care of all local, state and federal tax filings, to automatically handle any deductions, and to send digital pay stubs to workers.
Help Your Employees Improve Time Management
A wide assortment of apps are available to help your employees track and manage time. There are apps that let you track exactly how much time is spent on different websites, programs or applications. There are apps that let your workers establish and monitor specific goals with respect to the uses of their time. There are others that provide active notification regarding tasks due and completed. There’s even an app that allows you to track all employee travel plans, offering reports and notifications, as well as information about departure times, weather conditions and directions to and from an airport.
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