Procurement 3 October 2017

Three strategies for maximising the business power of a smartphone

Businesswoman check data in smartphone and tablet
The capabilities of modern smartphones enable small business owners greater control over every aspect of their company
Here, Phil Mottram, enterprise director at telecommunicationscompany Vodafone UK, reveals three strategies for unlocking the business power of a smartphone, helping readers run their company from the palm of their hand.

According to research by StartUp Britain, as many as?80 new companieswere set-up per hour last year, driven by passionate entrepreneurs from Bristol to Birmingham and Edinburgh to Exeter.

And from day one, they probably all share the feeling of needing to be everywhere at once. Juggling numerous tasks at a time from scouting shared work spaces to meeting product designers and potential partners to ensure neither a moment is wasted nor a customer call missed.

In fact, our recent survey of employee productivity in the UK found that 72 per cent of employees use their mobiles for work. Devices that enable this mobility are essential.

Smartphones have transformed the way we work. it’s no longer about spending hours sitting at a desk all day, especially with just 15 per cent of UK employees working from the office. Instead, it’s about being able to run your business successfully while on the go.

The capabilities of today’s mobile devices, and the array of amazing digital technology platforms and apps, have introduced exciting opportunities to create better customer experiences and boost productivity.

Without legacy processes and systems to contend with, for a business in its formative years there is an opportunity to capitalise on mobility, making sure your business stays nimble and ahead of the curve in adapting to change.

Here are three ways you can maximise the business power of the super computer in your pocket:

  1. Increase your responsiveness to customers at the touch of a button

It is no secret that being able to meet the needs of customers can earn your business a reputation for good customer service. From product availability and delivery updates to being quick to respond to a request, if small businesses want to keep up with the big fish, they have to play by the same rules.

Some examples of adding value to your customer service via your smartphone can include:

  • Sending additional photos of products before purchase or to show that a job has been completed
  • Offering opt-in communication services that add value to your relationship. This might include personalised texts, updating customers on changes to a product or service, or promotional offers
  • Using video capabilities to provide more immersive customer experiences, from tours of locations and venues to 360 views of new cars
  • Being able to respond instantly to queries coming in from any of your customer facing channels, whether your website, your office landline or your social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Twitter)
In the set-up phase it’s good to experiment with how your customers prefer to communicate and stay in touch. Start conversations and showcase the products or services that relate to them in a useful or more interactive and visually rich way.

Being highly responsive to customers inspires trust, makes them feel valued and can be the make-or-break factor for your business, especially if you’re entering a competitive space.

  1. Run your business more efficiently, one click at a time

The rise and reach of apps has not only transformed customer communications but opened up new ways to support business admin. Here are some of my top picks for making your day-to-day tasks that little bit easier and more efficient:


 
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