Updated: Mar 30, 2020
Opportunity is knocking are you answering the door? Most SMB businesses aren’t aware of all the opportunities they are missing. Why, because they are not communicating the way prospects and customers prefer to engage with your business. This means potential lost Revenue.
In this Blog post we'll walk through 6 areas that SMB businesses can adapt their business to, in order to improve customer experience and reap the rewards of increased revenue as a result.
1) SMS/Text have become the preference of choice over Voice, E-mail & Fax
Today’s prospects & customers have multiple ways to engage with organizations. Those ways to engage that didn’t exist, or were not widely available, just five years ago. New methods like SMS/Text, Chat, Web and Social Media have become the preferences of choice to engage over the traditional Phone, E-mail & Fax. Younger consumers consisting of the Gen Z and Millennials (read our Blog) are now the majority population in the US and they are changing the way businesses must engage to meet their preferences or risk missing out on significant opportunities which means lost revenues.
Thus, when opportunity knocks, if your business doesn’t accept SMS/Text messages, you aren’t aware they are knocking on the door to reach you. If your business phone system is more than five years old, chances are it doesn’t accept SMS/Text messages. Thus, all those sent SMS/Text messages just go undelivered. This tells those customers to just go on to another business that does answer. That opportunity is lost to your competition. Here are some startling statistics that demonstrate the rapid adoption of SMS/texting.
2) Smartphones & Mobile Devices are Everywhere in Today’s business environments
Most everyone today has a Smartphone and businesses embrace their employees to use them to do their jobs. When designed and integrated properly, these mobile devices will improve your worker productivity and increase revenues. However, in many SMB businesses the company pays the employee to bring their own smartphone, aka BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and will pay the employee for their carrier usage. Few companies integrate the carriers into their business phone system because it is very expensive and requires customization to do so. Thus, it is necessary to support two separate networks and no efficiency can be achieved. This means higher network costs and inefficient results because calls that are taken on the business phone system can’t be transferred to the employee’s smartphones, nor can the employee transfer their smartphone calls to their business phone users. This greatly reduces the efficiency and productivity of the employees and decreases the customer satisfaction due to the multiple calls that must be done to get the job done.
By integrating the Mobile Carriers into a Cloud Business Phone System those businesses will substantially reduce the Carrier Connections cost and the Business Phone System Network Expenses. This reduces extra calls and time to get the same job done which results in greater Customer Satisfaction and Increased Revenue opportunities.
Formula to Increase Revenues: Less time to do the job + Lower Operational Costs + Increased Customer Satisfaction = Increased Revenues.
3) Mobile Workers Increases Productivity
With the rapid adoption of smartphones, the convenience and advancements of mobile device’s capabilities, SMB’s have discovered how much more productive their mobile workers are to get their work done. Rather than being tethered to a desk, computer and business phone, mobile devices allow workers to conduct business on the move (Read our Remote Worker Blog). This applies whether the employees are remote in the field or moving about the office. Greater employee productivity is realized. However, productivity is especially boosted for businesses that have remote workers, who perform their jobs in the field or at home. As stated above, the breakdowns in productivity and efficiency occur if the business has not integrated the mobile devices into the business phone system. By moving the Mobile Carrier and Business Telephone networks to the Cloud, each network works as one since the Cloud technology combines both networks into a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) network.
This allows many advantages that reduces network operating costs and treats desktop business phones the same as the mobile devices. Voice calls, emails, SMS/Text, etc., and all the company’s business applications are available to the workers no matter which device they need or prefer to perform their jobs. Having both the mobile carrier connections and business telephone system network work as one network will dramatically improve employee productivity, substantially reduce network operating costs, improves customer satisfaction (as stated above), and increase revenues.
4) Web Services like Chat & Web Meetings make it easier for customers to buy
As mentioned above, the younger generations are changing how purchasing decisions are made. A paradigm shift from buying from “brick & mortar” to on-line shopping have clearly made their buying and engagement preferences clear. Once on-line, if the business offers those web shoppers to chat, with a customer service representative to answer questions, it will make it easier for them to make purchase decisions faster. Allowing the customer service representative, the ability to launch a desktop web meeting with customers, gives the customer a real-time opportunity to see how the product or service they are considering works and if it fits what they are looking for. If necessary, the customer service rep can add on another expert to the web conference, to answer questions the shopper needs answered. All these capabilities make it easier for the shopper to make decisions quicker which shortens the buying time cycle, it increases the customer’s satisfaction (which can be captured with a survey which could be sent after the interaction). All these capabilities and increase opportunities and more potential revenues.
5) More Uptime means more available Opportunities
Offering businesses all these advantage as mentioned above, makes it mandatory that the systems they are depending upon are always reliable and available. If the systems those businesses are using are on-premise phones systems, along with desperate applications and networks, makes Uptime very expensive, cumbersome to troubleshoot and the business is still subject to disasters like fire, flooding, cable cuts, etc. Experiences of downtime mean lost opportunities, reduced employee productivity and customer satisfaction and decreases revenues. After all, if your system is down, you are closed or out of business as far as the customer is concerned. Cloud Phone systems have a 5 9’s or 99.999% uptime SLA (Service License Agreement).Most on-premise business phone systems only guarantee of 99% uptime agreements (see Uptime hyperlink blog) – the difference in losses to the business is dramatic and sometimes unrecoverable.
6) Adaptability & Nimble
One of the biggest advantages of being an SMB business is your size. It gives the ability to be nimble and quickly adapt to competitive or business changes faster than larger enterprises. SMB’s can be more flexible to make decisions to the market and adapt to new trends and customer demands. However, if the technology an SMB chooses is not flexible or able to make changes quickly or economically, then your advantage of size is neutralized. Today’s business environment favors businesses that are nimble, adaptable and flexible. As previously mentioned, a new generation of buyers are demanding more ways to engage, purchase and make buying decisions. If your technology can’t adjust to those buyer’s preferences, you lose your advantage to those businesses who are meeting these customers’ requirements. A Cloud Phone system allows your business to be more adaptable and more nimble to address market changes, while meeting your customer’s preferences. This flexibility results in increased revenues and more opportunities to grow.
For example, today’s generations are now choosing to order “take-out” food on-line or over the phone and then having their food delivered by the restaurant or a delivery service i.e. Grubhub, Doordash, etc. Rather than dining in a restaurant or shopping for their groceries, cooking at home and cleaning up, studies have shown that the cost of on-line meals that are ordered and delivered to your home are less expensive than buying groceries and cooking their food. Plus, the convenience of on-line ordering and delivery service is very important today for our busy workforce. Consequently, many restaurants have experienced lower revenues from “in dining” customers but have seen a major growth in their take-out business. Those restaurants that have adapted to this shift. are capturing incremental business and have added more ways for those customers to order, deliver and pick-up their meals (via web, mobile, social apps, etc.). This improves customer loyalty that can be measured by sending surveys (via SMS/Text or email) to make sure how happy their customers are and adjust to the feedback they receive. Further proof to ensure customer’s expectations are meet can be determined with Customer Analytics Reports which will help drive and increase revenues.
In Summary, Increased revenues can be realized in several ways and the key is to have a Communications Platform that is flexible, adaptable, reliable with great uptime, that can grow and change to address customer demand and competitive changes. Today’s technology allows you to enjoy all these attributes.
Request a quote or give us call at 713.910.1401 to speak with a Technology Advisor to explore available solutions and begin leveraging new technologies today that will lead to increased revenue for your business.