Running your own business is like having several full time jobs. You have to market it to the public, reach out to potential partners, meet sales targets, and keep an eye on your finances, not to mention actually providing the products and services that got you to this point in the first place. Even if you’ve hired a few people to take on certain roles, you still have to oversee things to make sure your business is running smoothly. We’re not quite at the stage where robots can do all our work for us, but we do have the next best thing; technology. In recent years, technology has made significant improvements that mean we can spend less time on the small details of running our businesses, and more time working towards the bigger picture. If you still haven’t made you company fully digital, you have no idea how much easier it could get to increase your sales and streamline your services. Here are just a few ways you can let technology take over certain aspects of your business, and spend more time focusing on the things that matter to you.
Whether you have a physical premises, or you’re selling your products online, it’s good to have a variety of payment options to accommodate contactless, mobile, and cash payments. With online and mobile credit card processing, you’ll be able to accept all kinds of payments from anywhere, making it more convenient for your customers to buy your products. But more importantly, these methods also make your payments more secure. The minute your customers enter their card details into your system, they are vulnerable to cyber attacks. You need excellent encryption software and top of the line credit card security to keep these details safe from cyber thieves. No one will use your store again if they’re worried about their details being stolen.
Most business these days are available on some sort of online platform, whether it’s just a companion to a physical premises, or the sole operation of the business. It’s convenient for people who can’t afford to pay rent for an office space at the moment, but it does have its drawbacks. Since 2016, there has been an increase in reports of online businesses being targeted and held to ransom by cyber-criminals. Experts are warning that small businesses are fast becoming their favorite target because most of them are woefully unprepared for hacks to their online domain. Don’t make your business a weak target for cyber-criminals – this is your livelihood, so protect it like a fortress. Invest in antivirus and encryption software that automatically updates to patch vulnerable spots in your security, blocks spam, and detects spyware. Companies that sell this type of software include McAfee, Norton, AVG and Avira. Cyber criminals also look for exploits in WordPress and popular plugins, so it’s vital you keep them up to date if you’re using this to host your website.
Offer a more personal experience
Technology collects data from your customers such as contact information, website behavior, and buying trends to deliver tailored and personalized experiences. You often see this method in action on Amazon, where the site stores a customer’s previous searches and uses an algorithm to make suggestions based on their search history. This means your customers only receive marketing communication and information that is relevant and valuable to them. It reduces the time they spend wading through irrelevant promotions, thus making their experience more pleasant. Even if you don’t yet have the technology to do this, you should still take notes on your customers’ preferences. It never hurts to strengthen your relationship with them.
Improve customer services
Customers can provide the best feedback, but only if they can contact your directly. By using email and live chat on your website to answer queries, you’re greatly improving customer services and making your business more accessible. Include several contact details on your website, so your clients know how to ask your their questions. If you have a social media page, enable a direct message feature and give an estimate for how long it usually takes you to respond. Once you’ve made it easy for your customers to contact you, use their feedback to make improvements to your business. Upgrade your website until it’s perfect, and improve quality of your services and products to fit their needs better. Establishing a reputation for reliable customer service will gain your customer’s trust and loyalty, and improve your business overall.