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Top tips for using mobile devices more effectively in your small business

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Increasingly, businesses are recognising the potential of mobile devices and, in many cases, our smartphones and tablets are now becoming our primary means of conducting business.

The UK boasts one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world, with current trends suggesting that this is only likely to grow, and smartphone users are increasingly demanding instant service and the ability to conduct their exchanges through their devices.

For modern businesses, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge lies in how we respond to this trend, but the opportunity lies in the massively increased potential that mobile now offers compared to our traditional ways of doing business.

Text alerts

When customers or clients are not kept informed by the business this can have the effect of driving incoming phone calls, as well as making those same customers and clients feel undervalued.

A simple approach to dealing with this problem is by keeping customers and clients informed through text alerts. Whether you are informing customers on delivery times, or keeping clients up to date on appointments, text alerts help them to feel valued by the business, while reducing incoming phone traffic.

Efficient communication

A lot of the time, our customers want a quick and simple response to their questions – like ‘where is my order?’, ‘where are you based?’, ‘are you open now?’ or ‘can you help me with my service?’

Such questions can be answered through simple text message exchanges. A customer might also text a keyword to request a call back – one benefit of such an approach is the elimination of call waiting queues, a frustration to even the most longsuffering customers.

More flexible ways to keep in touch

Mobile phones can be a great tool to free workers from the tethers of the office. By using mobile devices for communication and connectivity, out-of-office communication (at any time of day) becomes simpler. And, when meetings and conference calls can be arranged and take place from anywhere, suddenly business becomes much more flexible.

Being freed from the confines of the office means that we can check in with the office wherever in the world we are – all we need is a WiFi or mobile data connection and we are able to conduct our business-critical communication.

And, no matter where we may be, with access to business communications and information at our fingertips we can quickly respond to customer queries and collaborate with our colleagues.

Get faster, more informed, feedback from customers

Providing customers with the facility to provide feedback (through answering questions or completing short surveys) in the immediate aftermath of receiving service provides multiple benefits.

It can demonstrate to customers just how much you value their feedback, and it is also a great way of quickly receiving feedback while the service is still fresh in their mind – the results can be much more accurate.

It isn’t just customer feedback though that can benefit from two-way mobile communication. In the event of problems or service outages, customers can be informed through text or social media, and responses can be invited – customers might tell you that things are ok where they are, or that they’re experiencing particular issues, a great way for you to understand to extent of the problem.

5. Develop an app – be online

Increasingly, businesses are using apps, not only to enable customers to manage their accounts but also to push marketing messages. Marketing messages – such as price promotions or details of opening times - can be shared in a less formal manner.

When customers have such a powerful tool at their fingertips, your valuable time can be freed up, simply by allowing customers to self-serve – whether that is accessing help and support guides, checking service status and account profiles, or any other kind of functionality built into the app.

The option to buy your product through an app just gives your customers another opportunity to give you their business.

For more information on Zen Business Mobile, visit our site.