Hey small business owners:
How is your technology connecting with, building, and reinforcing customer relationships?
Look at the investments you've made in technology. Those investments could include your phone system, your point of sale system (POS), your website, your email service, or your customer relationship management system (CRM) - just to rattle a couple of ideas off of my head.
Your phones. How does your phone system quickly identify returning clients and escort them to the right party? Further, how does the phone system identify new people and give them a little extra TLC?
Your POS. How does your POS reward return customers; inform customers of upcoming sales or events; interconnect customers to the right people inside your organization; allow the consumer to save time through the checkout process? Is your POS doing any of these things at all, or is it "just a plain-old checkout process" that differentiate you from anybody?
Your website. Tell me how your website identifies customers, enables self-service, extends expertise from your company and into their hands when they need it? How does your website reinforce the relationship that you have with your customers, demonstrate expertise, relay important information?
Your email service. Email is the principal method of communication for everyone. How can your email system make it easier to connect with new clients and reinforce existing ones? Can automation in your mail system provide confidence or assurance that their issues are being addressed? Do you mine your email to find better ways of doing business?
Your CRM. How does your relationship management system interject human touches into the daily activities of your team? How can it be used to optimize and improve workflows?
Technology investments should yield returns, yes, but one of the more brilliant ways tech can return value is in customer relationships. If you haven't thought about how tech could bring value in every touch-point of your business workflows, now's a good time to start thinking about it. Now's a good time to bring in a small business consultant who can help you leverage technology and differentiate yourself from the pack.