Technology makes life easier—now more than ever. Because of the pandemic, small businesses have been ramping up their digital plans to streamline operations, increase productivity, improve the bottom line, and deliver more of what customers need today. You can empower your business with technology to make this a time of growth, innovative thinking, and the establishment of creative solutions to help you survive and succeed long after COVID-19 is gone.
Digitize Your Day to Day
Use technology to improve all facets of your business. Automating work processes and updating software systems will keep you ready and able to respond to marketplace changes. It will also save time, money and effort as you and your employees collaborate and conduct business on a daily basis. An online hub of activity will not only help your business run smoother but position you to deliver more value to your customers.
Digitize Your Storefront
Between sheltering in place and working remotely, we’ve all become used to doing everything online, from ordering meals, shopping for groceries, streaming movies, downloading audio books, talking to doctors via telemedicine, and so much more. As the new norm, it’s a habit that’s only going to grow over time because there’s no waiting, no lines, no being put “on hold.” Having an ecommerce website and/or a mobile app makes it easier for customers to access your product and services from any device, at any time—leading to an uptick in traffic and business. Today, people want fast, easy and instant!
Digitize Customer Relationships
There are so many ways to connect with your customers in real-time—so don’t wait for them to come to you. Reel them in with automated email communications, personalized text messages, customized offers, engaging social content, and a robust and responsive website. Go out of your way to accommodate their preferences and comfort level with continued curbside pick-up, contactless delivery, video shopping/conferencing, and online ordering. Use the data you collect over time to deliver an enhanced user experience on every channel.
The upside of the pandemic is that businesses have become much more nimble, flexible and fluid. As working remotely has blurred the lines between office hours and home life, customers are online all hours of the day. Businesses that can offer simple online checkout via a variety of payment methods will be ahead of the game and enjoy repeat customers. And for everyone’s safety in-store, touchless pay systems and paperless receipts are a welcome new option.
Throw out the paper, put down the pen. By storing your most important business and customer data in the cloud, your peace of mind is assured knowing it’s protected, safe and secure. Not to mention available 24/7 to whoever needs it—you, your employees and your customers. The biggest bonus? You can reduce costs as you won’t need a physical space for storage or manpower to oversee it.
For your company to move forward successfully, everyone needs to be onboard with all things digital from management down to each employee. Whenever you hit a stumbling block or new challenge, the collective view should be to see how technology can solve it in a new and exciting way. Keep in mind that transforming your business digitally will be a work in progress, taking you down new avenues that could lead to new revenue.
Meg Schutte is a Bank of Hope Blog contributor.
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Bank of Hope.