In this month’s Resource Guide, we laid out five cool tech solutions your small business desperately needs. But, as you might guess, there are a lot more than just five techie-related items you should be thinking about. So, without further ado, here are three more:
Skype for Business
When Skype came on the scene, it was immediately embraced by the small business community as an opportunity to connect worldwide without needing a costly telecommunication system. Making free calls from your computer? Check.
Obviously, Microsoft noticed Skype’s potential, too, because it eventually acquired Skype for Business to replace its former Lync messaging platform. Skye for Business offers capabilities for calling, conferencing, messaging and video.
“It’s a game-changer,” says Michelle Tomallo, president of FIT Technologies. “You can connect with potential employees for interviews, or you can talk to staff who are working remotely. You can interact with clients that you might not get to see because of their locations or time zones.”
Tomallo considers Skype for Business an “ultimate productivity tool.”
“You can connect multiple users, it has video capability and you can send files right in the middle of a conservation,” she says.
As for the messaging aspect of Skype for Business, the ability to ping someone in the office saves time, Tomallo points out.
Knowledge is power. So if a retailer can gather insight on the people who walk in the store, the business can provide a better experience. Data analytics makes this possible, Franks explains.
For example, free Wi-Fi with sign-in requirements (email or Facebook) can help build a log of who shops. “The biggest problem for one client is that they didn’t know who its customers were until they were out the door,” says Fred Franks, CIO at FIT Technologies.
“So, then we step back and think, ‘What can give that business a strategic advantage?’” he continues. “One is to welcome customers when they walk in the door and know who they are. Or, to have a manger step out and say, ‘Hello.’”
Franks says, “Information allows businesses to do more.”
Businesses can track traffic and a whole range of trends, depending on the data analytics tools used. The actual tool depends on the business, Franks says, not naming a single solution. The key is to capture the power of information and use it to take customer experience to the next level.
For GPI Design, Instagram is a way for clients to stay engaged in the company’s design/build lighting fixture projects, says Fallon Korinko, senior designer. “Instagram is a social tool that keeps us in contact with customers,” she says.
Here’s how: The GPI Design team takes pictures to document its process in the field. “We’ll start posting pictures to show the installation process,” Korinko says. Basically, GPI can tell the story through pictures, and clients get to watch and learn. They always know what’s happening on the project—and they can see how GPI’s work transforms a space. “It’s a way to show the progression of a project,” Korinko says.