10 Traits of Truly Connected Businesses
So, you’re connected. You’re online. But are you truly connected? Are you really exploiting every gigabyte?
The UK government is very keen on getting more businesses connected to fibre broadband. So keen, it’s putting money where its mouth is: under the Connection Vouchers Programme, firms can get grants of up to £3,000 to upgrade to super-fast fibre connections.
Fibre connected businesses grow faster, have higher revenues and reach much wider customer bases. They are well organized, use technology to their competitive advantage and engage effectively with customers.
Here are ten differences between businesses that ‘are online’ and ones that really use their connection to facilitate better working practices.
Truly connected companies are….
With broader connectivity, businesses can embrace new business applications without causing any of your other business operations to even stutter. Swift adoption of new software or applications keeps your competitive edge and means you are the business that is leading the way with innovative working practices designed to delight customers. You want to be the front-runner, not the also-ran.
Cloud applications can greatly improve how employees, suppliers and clients can collaborate. Documents can be revised without playing email tennis, and data can be shared between departments and even between partnered organisations to improve processes and response times.
With fast connectivity and Cloud services like Microsoft 365, you can tap into the power of flexible working and access, with superfast connections bringing your organisation’s applications to wherever your people need to be. The combination of remote desktop applications that run off your server and smartphones, tablets and laptops ensure productivity and customer delight. Mobile workers such as site agents, claims assessors and sales people have access to all the information and office systems they need – no matter where they are.
The combination of cloud computing and customer relationship management systems means that every member of staff the customer talks to has their full details to hand, whether that’s previous orders or case records for support enquiries. That reduces customer frustration, ensures product cross or upsell and helps customers feel valued. It also eliminates the inevitable duplication when information is stored in individual silos rather than shared.
The reporting available from the systems that good connectivity can support is astounding. Whether it’s who your most productive people and/or clients are, comparing hours worked against estimates, discovering what spending is generating the best return on investment, identifying the web journey of a potential client or tracking buying patterns, the reporting opportunities are vast.
6. Talked About
A company that knows it customers and provides them with a fast, responsive and intelligent service sets out the right impression. Your company is not just the logo above the door, it’s the people within it, it’s the way you look after your customers, it’s pre-empting their needs before they even need to say it, it’s exceeding expectations. Nowadays, none of that is possible without the power of new business systems and services. And those need reliable fast broadband to support it.
A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group found that businesses of all sizes and in all industries had significantly wider and more geographically diverse customer bases if they used modern technologies such as cloud computing and social media. Their revenues were higher too.
8. Marketing Online
We all know that most sales processes begin online now. Whether it’s researching a supplier, finding a contact or reading something (like this) that sparks your attention, it’s all part of a journey to educate, inform or entertain. Your website, social media and online functionality is an important marque of how you like to do business. Linked up with CRM, you can automate enquiries, receive enquiry forms or sell online. Smarter businesses have a digital shop window and they understand the power of harnessing that within business operations.
Cloud and tech solutions can improve business efficiency and increase flexibility but it can also reduce costs. How you add it up depends on your business but for example, running your server on cloud can take way the need for capital expenditure for hardware or upgrades. You can also scale capacity when you need it and you can ensure data security in the event of a more serious problem on site. Having staff able to work from their hotel room when they are travelling makes for a more productive day. All in, implementing business solutions that help your business processes can save serious amounts of cash and time in manual effort (and frustration).
Microsoft are preparing to release Windows 10 this Summer. We have only been teased with possible features but we do know one thing; it’s all about facilitating mobile and cloud. It’s more evidence of the commitment to develop technology for businesses. We are certainly not going backwards. The companies that innovate accumulate.
Do you recognize your business in these traits?
As well as making sure your connectivity is up to the job, we work with our IT Division, pcr, to help businesses work out what technologies will help them meet their business objectives.
If you would like to find out what technology could be tailored to enhance your business, give us a call. We love to chat.