From delivering exceptional customer support, expanding your offering into new territories and enabling your employees to deliver their best work, making use of the right technology for your business is a surefire way to achieve long term growth. Here we examine just a few ways you could save time, boost efficiency and productivity, and ultimately grow your business and profits with technology.
Deliver your products anywhere in the world thanks to international fulfillment services
Thanks to the web, you don’t need a physical presence in a country to sell your products there – and for businesses whose local market is already pretty saturated, exploring new territories to market their wares can be the fastest route to growth. With many great third party order fulfillment services like Amazon and FedEx Fulfillment available to handle the shipping, logistics and delivery of your products for you, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
From project management platforms like Trello, Jira and Asana that can help you plan, organize and monitor the progress of all your current projects, to team organization and communication platforms like Slack and Workplace by Facebook, there are a host of online applications that can help you boost your company’s overall productivity. Many of them are also free at the basic level, so you can experiment and find the one that’s right for you before committing to a paid package if and when you need it. What they all have in common is allowing better communication and collaboration between teams and departments.
Automate your social media
Like it or not, social media has become an integral part of business – both as a way to spread the word about your service, products or promotions, and as a way to engage and interact with existing and potential customers. Remembering to post updates and check in on all your various social platforms one by one can become pretty time-consuming however – and you also run the risk of missing an important time-sensitive customer question or comment.
Social media automation tools like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts, see all your social activity across all platforms in one location, include analytics to determine the best time for content posting, search for influencers, check all your brand mentions, and much more. Basically, they let you do social media like a pro – and that’s increasingly important for fast business growth.
Work with freelance talent from around the globe
Another big benefit of a connected world for businesses is the ability to take advantage of experts and talented freelancers even if they’re on another continent altogether. For companies looking to do great things with limited resources, sites like Freelancer, Upwork, or industry-specific freelancer platforms make it easier to source the skills you need, when you need them, on a per-project or hourly basis, and at a rate you can afford. Time-consuming research projects, content writing and web development are just some of the tasks you could outsource in this way – giving you more time to devote to growing your business.
Improve customer experience
Today’s consumer expects to be able to engage with the companies they buy from on their own terms – whether that’s on the phone, via email, live chat or through their favorite social media platform. Make sure you’re providing as many of these avenues as possible – and make sure you test all your support platforms regularly to ensure everything is working as it should.
Providing tutorials with screenshots or putting together a few helpful YouTube videos showing how to use your product may also be beneficial – and likely easier than trying to explain something over the phone or in an email. Customer experience management software and customer journey mapping can be great tools for analyzing and evaluating your typical customer’s experience and using that data to make it even better.
It also goes without saying that in order to provide great customer support; you need to keep your own systems running! Connect with IT companies in your area that can be available on short notice should your own tech let you down.
Let your employees work from anywhere
Many business owners are reluctant to jump aboard the remote work bandwagon, fearing that it will give them less control and result in decreased employee productivity. It turns out the reverse appears to be true – and when you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. A busy office space with lots of people talking all at once, phones ringing and coworkers milling about constantly is not exactly the ideal environment for focus and concentration!
Did you know the average business owner spends about 20 hours a week on their email? If like many small businesses out there you’re making use of Gmail, then understanding what you’re doing right -and what you’re doing wrong- with Email Analytics can provide invaluable insight.