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Going Green: Cut Costs Not Services

Consider going “green” in your office, on the road and in all aspects of your life. Why? Because it saves you money by lowering operating costs and living expenses, and those are pretty good reasons to go green.

 

It’s not hard to do. In fact, it’s easy. It also makes good sense for a few reasons:

 

  • A “green” business makes a statement about your corporate culture.

 

  • Going green improves your margins because you spend less on operating expenses.

 

  • You can keep your people in place delivering the quality of customer care your clients expect.

 

  • Going “green” doesn’t cost a lot of money.

 

  • You make the planet better today, tomorrow and in the future.

 

So, what can you do to go green? A lot.

 

Office Practices

 

You really don’t know how much waste you create in a typical office, large or small. That’s because waste is often invisible. It’s built in to the office routine. But a few changes will revamp the way you look at everything from “What’s for lunch?” to “We’re out of printer cartridges again!”

 

  1. Use washable coffee mugs, plates, spoons and forks instead of paper products or worse, those foam cups and plates. You’ll save a little but help a lot by cutting down the amount of waste that ends up in our land fills (which are already pretty full, frankly).

 

  1. Place recycling bins around the office and in the warehouse. You can recycle paper, glass, cans, batteries, printer cartridges, plastics and cardboard. And if you can’t recycle it: (1) Don’t buy it or (2) re-use it.
  2. Buy recycled paper with at least 50% recycled content. It’s less expensive than non-recycled and it uses less bleach and other harsh chemicals in processing – chemicals that eventually work their way into our water systems.
  3. Re-use printer paper. Cut it up into quarters, staple it together and use it for note taking during telephone calls. You can also print on both sides of printer paper. That doubles the use of paper, or to put it in terms of dollars, you cut paper costs in half.
  4. Use a smaller font for in-office use. You can fit more on a page using a 10-point font than a 12-point font, again, cutting down on paper usage and saving you money.
  5. Preview your docs before printing. How many times have you had to reprint a document because the spacing was off just a bit. Previewing prevents this kind of waste.
  6. Turn off those screen savers. Early on, screen savers were necessary to prevent computer monitors from burning images into the screen. Today’s monitors don’t require screen savers. In fact, according to computer maker Hewlett-Packard, screen savers eat up 28% more energy than putting a computer into sleep mode.
  7. Turn off all of your computers and your network server at the end of the work day. This one is a no brainer.

Business Practices

In addition to your office activities, there are business practices that will save you money.

  1. Use on-line services for conference calls and on-line collaborations instead of driving to visit a client. Make sure the client has the necessary software installed before hand to make sure connections are made in a timely fashion.
  2. Plan your routes. Remote site employees should take time to plan the most fuel efficient routes to meet the client roster for the day. No doubling back. Also, before you make that long drive, make sure the client is available for the meeting. Call from the road before driving to the remote site.
  3. If your business makes deliveries of products, never let a truck leave the warehouse half-full. Hold off a day or use a smaller truck. That empty space still uses up fuel but it doesn’t deliver any benefit – literally.

This article is continued in our next post.

Businessman - Boring Phone Call

Getting Prospects to Call You Back

Voicemail is a fact of life. It allows us to decide if and when we want to return calls; it puts us in control of our day, and it gives us time to prepare the information we need before calling back.

The challenge comes when we come up against somebody else’s voicemail in a sales situation. We need to find a way to persuade prospects to return our calls.

Start by calling just outside normal office hours. Calling before 9 am or after 5 pm
 gives you a greater likelihood that your prospect will answer. There are two reasons why this works.

  1. Most business people don’t keep 9 – 5 hours. They are at their desk early, sometimes even before 8 am and they tend to finish late to get that day’s work finished. After 5 pm is when drop-ins, emergencies and meetings won’t usually interrupt them.
  2. Personal assistants and other gatekeepers usually work office hours.

When you leave a voicemail, try these steps.

Say it twice

Most people cannot write as quickly as you can run through your standard introduction and rattle off your phone number.

Start your message with “Hello, Mr Prospect, this is Joe Benson from Able Computing. My phone number is 02 9999 1111 and I’m calling ….” Then finish your message with almost the same words. “Again, Mr Prospect, this is Joe Benson from Able Computing and my phone number is 02 9999 1111. I look forward to speaking with you soon.” 

Don’t include your title or other extra information. It is irrelevant in a voicemail.

Get to your key message 


Don’t waste their time. You want to sound like a business professional. 

Deliver your voice mail message in 30 seconds or less without rushing. No one will listen for longer than that so you have to be quick and professional.

Do your homework

Research their business. If you have a networking connection through a client or a contact perhaps one who suggested you call, state it early in your message. It will keep the prospect listening. Using a mutual friend, shared contact, competitor’s name, or other networking reference creates attention. Also, check their website and use any background intelligence that is appropriate.

Talk about their outcomes

Your prospect wants to know what you can do for him or her. Can you save them time, increase their revenue, enhance their profit, offer a financial safety net or minimise debt? If so, say so. They want to know what’s in it for them.

Call to action

What do you want them to do? Call you? Take your next call? Respond to an email? Tell them clearly what you would like and when you will call back. Oh, and make your call back before 9 am or after 5.00 pm.

Follow up

If you have an email address follow up with an email. If you have a mobile number, follow up with a text message. If you don’t have an email address, call the company and ask for their email format or better still ask for your prospects email address. Search online first though. 

You may be able to find it without calling the company.

Stay reasonably formal

Until you meet face-to-face or chat by phone formality helps you build a positive impression. Call them Ms. Prospect or Mr. Prospect rather than by their first name.

Relationship between cognition, emotions, and behavior

Influence – how you build it

If Bill Gates or Nicole Kidman walked up to you and asked you to purchase a product or a service, chances are good that you would seriously consider it. The reason is that being a celebrity is a powerful influence in our world, and influence in turn is a powerful sales tool. You do not have to be a famous celebrity to develop influence, however, and it is one of the best (and free) ways to become a better sales person.

Influential Appearance

Whether you like it or not, your appearance is an immediate influence on your sales success. After all, impressions are the first chance people have to assess our likability and our power. As stated by Professor Arturo Perez-Reyes of the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business Administration, “What you intend matters only to you and your god or gods. What your audience infers means everything…and audiences are a fickle lot.” Furthermore, other scientific studies have found that both men and women correlate physical beauty with inner beauty and assume that physically attractive people are more successful. Men place even higher value on physical attractiveness. Those who are assumed to be successful often find themselves being more successful in turn. This does not mean that you must be physically attractive to be successful or influential. Rather, make sure that your appearance is attractive. Ensure that your hair is clean and groomed, your nails are short and clean and your clothes tidy, well fitting and clean as well. Professional dress should make a statement about how you want to be seen.

Examples for men include a collared shirt, grey, black or grey slacks and jacket, a conservative tie, black or grey socks and polished black shoes. For women, a professional appearance includes a simple pencil skirt that hits just above the knee or tailored slacks, a conservative blouse and/or jacket, simple jewelry and low heels or flats. Remember to keep the makeup simple and the hair nicely groomed. Skip perfume or cologne since many people are allergic.

 

Influential Behavior

In order to be truly influential, your behavior must also be polished. Greet others formally, offer a firm handshake, and be confident but not cocky. One of the best ways to increase your influence through your behavior is by knowing yourself and your business. Be able to speak clearly and crisply and organise your ideas into logical sequences and practice being able to respond calmly and logically to any argument. Influential people are able to employ reciprocity, affability, commitment and authority. Some of these traits are easy to acquire, such as affability, which simply means being polite and friendly to everyone you meet. Others, such as commitment and authority require your expertise and confidence as you speak.

Practice these traits during your everyday life and you will find that they come more easily in your business life as well. Other, more subtle ways that can grow your influence is by showing basic simple communication skills, something that is largely lost in today’s technological world. Call someone instead of texting them and send a handwritten thank you card after you meet with someone for a sale, meeting or interview. Follow up within the first 24 hours of the meeting. If you wait too long, your impression will already be losing steam and so will your influence.

 

Write and send birthday cards and holiday cards and be sincere in what you write.

Influential Networking

Who you know has much to do with how influential you are. Dedicate real time to developing your business network and you will see your ability to influence others grow as a result. For example, develop your professional profile on business social media sites such as LinkedIn and join relevant business groups. Ask for connections and introductions to others in your industry or market that others know whom you would like to know or meet. Be polite but bold. Attend seminars, conferences, meetings and local business groups so that you can meet others in your industry and strengthen your connection with those you do know. Do the same with groups in your target market.

Influential Expertise

If you want to be influential in sales, you need to be memorable by being a true expert in your field. Anyone can parrot back information, but knowing and understanding the business, the industry and the market is another thing entirely. Learn everything that you can learn and listen to others to gain from their expertise. Attending seminars and conferences also gives you the chance to learn more and develop your knowledge. The more that you know, the better you will be at sales and the better you are at sales, the more influential you become.

Influential Sales

Essentially, developing your personal influence will in turn influence your ability to increase sales. This is done through professional and impressive appearance, behaviour, networking and expertise. If you work on being sharp, credible and thorough in those four elements, you will find that you become more and more influential and your sales will follow.

 

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Smart Tags: Reach Out To Your Clients

(Part 2)

As discussed yesterday, occasionally technology comes along that changes everything from the way we do business to the way we chat with family and friends. Whilst not new, smart tags are still underused.

Here are some more ways to use smart tags.

Take smaller print ads and include a smart tag that takes readers to your web site – the place where the full story of your business is told. You’ll save thousands on print advertising costs buying less space, while getting motivated site visitors eager to learn more about your business offerings.

The Possibilities Are Endless

 

  • Create a smart tag for every employee to simplify client engagement.

 

  • Use smart tags on all trade show signage for fast transfer of contact information.

 

  • Add a different smart tag to each product in a catalog. With a click the reader accesses more detailed information.

 

  • Add smart tags to your company web site. With a snap you’re bookmarked.

 

  • Send regular, helpful updates to smart tag opt-ins to keep them tethered to your business, even when the transaction is complete – a great way to maintain a stable client base.

 

  • Simplify telephone contact and eliminate endless wait time for the next client care representative. With a click, the cell phone owner gets a call from your staff. No waiting. Just real “reach-out” service.

Smart tags change the way businesses and prospects interact. No more web site opt-in modules. No more clumsy call capture. No more endless spam in the in-box. Smart tags deliver motivated, qualified prospects simply. Seamlessly.

What Smart Tags Are Best?

Smart tags are free so you don’t pay for their creation, a nice benefit if you’re producing hundreds of tags a month.

Bar codes have been around for a few decades. Smart tags are bar codes on steroids.

QR tags have also been available for several years. These bull’s-eyes with dots can be programmed to perform any number of variations on the four functions of smart tags described above.

MS Tags, also free, are available in color or black and white. These boxes of triangles are programmed by you to perform anything from the exchange of contact information to the delivery of regular store or business updates and promotions. You decide.

Smart tags will change the way you interact with prospects and clients. They’ll make you more productive, keep the database current and develop a list of prospects who receive regular, utile information from your company.

You can locate sites on line to start creating your own smart tags. Most even provide a console to more easily track what each tag does. This technology is going to change everything.

As a business owner or manager, get smart. Get smart tags and communicate “smartly” with the real world.

Smart Tags1

Smart Tags: Reach Out To Your Clients

Occasionally technology comes along that changes everything from the way we do business to the way we chat with family and friends. Whilst not new, smart tags are still underused.

Smart tags are used by mobile phone owners who snap a picture and initiate a number of pro-active, seamless marketing initiatives. They change the way people interact with businesses, large and small.

What can smart tags do for your business? Lots.

Swap Contact Information With A Click

First, you create tags to initiate specific actions. For example, create a tag that automatically downloads all contact information on to the cell phone user’s contact list. *SNAP* your company information is stored in the cell phone contact files.

Put up a smart tag at a trade show or seminar and enable attendees to harvest contact information with a single click. Also, add smart tags to invoices, corporate reports and other business paper. Program each tag to identify the document, copy the information and send it to your company database – all with a simple click.

Print up business cards with smart tags for each member of your team. These v-cards simplify the exchange of information in a busy business world.

Give Your Clients a Call

Another use of smart tags? Program tags that initiate a telephone call. The cell phone user snaps a smart tag and the cell phone automatically dials the telephone number you program in.

Add smart tags to print advertisements. Be sure to label the tag to avoid curiosity seekers and to receive more requests from pre-qualified prospects. Businesses add smart tags to their print advertisements. A cell phone user snaps a smart tag picture and her cell phone automatically dials your call service center or sales team.

Push Information

Push information is information that business owners “push” to their prospects through PCs, mobiles, PDAs and other platforms.

Smart tags can be programmed to deliver push information to customers – news updates, coupons, sweepstakes and promotions, special offers and other incentives to connect with your company.

Any business that keeps an appointment schedule can remind cell users that they have appointments on Wednesday. Health care providers can transmit in-take forms to patients to fill out at home, saving valuable office time.

Auto repair shops can push information on tune-up needs for the family car. Push information is a pro-active approach to touching highly-qualified prospects. Remember, these prospects took the first step by snapping one of your smart tags. Those are people interested in your products or services. So…

Log On To Your Company Web Site

Smart tags can be programmed to access your company web site via cell phone. Web access, the once-exclusive domain of PCs and Macs, is changing as more cell phone users access web content through smart phones.

Program smart tags in print advertisements that automatically take the cell user to your web site – no Internet connection required. This one function can save thousands of marketing dollars annually. How?

This post will be continued tomorrow.

Time for Change - Ornate Clock

Business Change: It Happens

by Guest Blogger Michael Harrison

Regardless of how successful your business is; it is constantly evolving. You engage new markets, new technology, and new best practices. This evolution is the reason why even small businesses have big websites and why websites are now designed and rendered to look good on a desktop screen or the smaller screens of your tablet or smartphone.

In today’s world, change is dramatic and, in business terms, quick. For example, look at restaurants. Many now provide smartphone owners with free apps that access the bistro’s daily specials, provide the interface to place an order, and even to schedule delivery. It was unheard of not too long ago, but it’s now a whole new marketing channel.

Technology changes, but so does your service area – whether you are serving Sydney or the whole world. Competitors move in, nibbling at your client base. Legislation changes increasing your stress levels. The space next door becomes available. Can you lease it and expand? Should you? Employees move on, new employees are hired. New products or services are added, old ones are deleted.

Business change is inevitable. The more you understand it, the better you will be able to navigate it.

Change invariably creates risk

You can run the numbers a million times. You can conduct customer surveys. You can track website metrics after an online marketing initiative. You can collect, crunch, and collate all the data and still miss the mark.

You can project and predict based on past performance, but as the old adage says, “Past performance is no indicator of future performance.” It’s an old adage because it’s true. All those satisfaction surveys, growth in company margins, expansion into new markets, increase in website traffic and time on site – all of this data is dated. It shows what’s already happened.

Prepare for change

If change has already happened, managing its impact is more difficult because you have fewer options available quickly. The time to develop a change management program is long before big changes take place – so lesson number one: prepare for change.

Change in any business environment falls in to two categories: change initiated from within eg new product offerings, and change from without, eg a deep pockets competitor who moves in next door.

Change management, whether internal or external, requires an understanding of risks and hazards, and putting in place strategies to mitigate or avoid them.

The change within

Let’s say your business adds a second or third remote office, with the attendant costs of rent, furniture, new employees and utilities. You need to develop a step-by-step strategy to manage or reduce the expense risks. In this case, direct marketing to an existing consumer base in the highly geo-specific area where your new remote site is located is a natural way to mitigate this risk.

External change

External change is usually more difficult to predict and therefore to control. For example, you can’t know ahead of time, what legislative change the Government plans to introduce in the risk advice space in the next five years. But you can keep up-to-date with what’s happening on the legislative front so that you know which way the wind is blowing and at least give some thought to how you would operate if certain legislative changes got the green light.

You also can’t predict that the office next door will go up in smoke, taking your office along with it – but you can mitigate the risk to your data.

Top tips

Here are some top tips to avoid, reduce or mitigate risks

1. Store data in the cloud offsite – in case, all of a sudden, your office is flooded and company data is floating downstream.

2. Add multiple layers of cyber security to defend against hackers – Continually update (weekly) redundant virus and malware software. Good security, from a hard-wired firewall to bulked-up employee passwords, can protect against data theft.

3. Insure everything. We are all in the risk business – but do we adequately insure our own businesses? Don’t just carry basic commercial policies, consider things like the proprietary assets your business owns or uses. Does your business own intellectual property of high value? Think about how can you protect it. If in doubt, seek advice from a professional.

4. Perform a risk assessment of your business location – identify potential hazards, then plug those holes. What you can’t plug should be covered by insurance.

5. Make a plan
Have a change management strategy that helps you identify risks ahead of time and take steps to mitigate them now, before change causes a problem. And don’t let sleeping dogs lie – review your change management strategy regularly.

To learn more about risk management check out the Insurance House short video.

exibition stand

Trade Shows: Are they worth the money?

(Continued from last post)

In the last post we considered three ways to maximise your spend on Trade Shows. Here are six more.

  1. Send your best people to man the booths.

You might think that your top sales producer should be sitting behind that card table, but is she really the best person for the job? Can she answer technical questions?

Also, have more than one person man the booth. If one employee is engaged with a prospect, the second or third employee is available for the next prospect to walk down the aisle.

  1. Have product samples that actually work.

If you’re a small appliance manufacturer or retailer and you’ve bought space at the local wedding fair – usually held in late winter a few months before wedding season – don’t just have your products on display, present them – in action.

Blend smoothies for guests in your newest model blender, or have that 12-inch flat screen TV on in the background. You get the idea. Show your products in action.

  1. Create a presentation that runs in a loop.

A short PowerPoint presentation on a DVD, or video of your business and people can be made to run over and over automatically so the booth staff doesn’t have to reload every five minutes. (They may go a little crazy listening to the same narration over and over but it’s a small price to pay for the attention these presentations draw.)

  1. Create walking billboards.

Hand out balloons with your company name on it. Or how about a free tote bag with your company name on it. Give these away for prospects to carry all the give-aways they pick up at trade shows. Each one of these attendees is a walking, talking billboard for your booth. Other visitors will want one of those totes, too, and while you have them there…

  1. Create a quiet space.

Have a couple of chairs behind the main display where your people can engage prospects quietly and one-on-one. I’ve seen more new business relationships created this way than any other single tip. You can take orders right there. Or arrange a face-to-face the following week if you have a little quiet space to talk business.

  1. Draw them in.

You’re competing for the attention of trade show visitors against 123 other companies that bought booth space, all aiming at the same market segment. So, pull in the walk-bys. When I used to do trade shows I used to keep a big brandy snifter on the table loaded with lollies. You wouldn’t believe how many people would stop by, ask “Is this free?” and begin discussing their business consulting needs over a bag of jelly beans.

One client offered good coffee, though the trade show promoter asked him to take down the espresso machine because it was stealing business from the food vendors that lined the outer parameter of the trade show floor. Same thing with a company that was handing out chilled bottled water to passers by.

So, okay, you can’t compete with the food vendors but your can give away candy, home baked cookies and other goods that draw them in instead of ignoring you as they walk by, avoiding eye contact at all cost.

Are trade shows dead? No, but they are smaller and fewer and farther between so take some tips and get the most from your trade show dollars.

Return On Investment (ROI) acronym business concept

Trade Shows: Are they worth the money?

Trade shows have long been a staple of marketing and promotion for small businesses. Business owners pay a fee for booth space. They also pay for signage, employee time (someone has to be in the booth all the time), and trade show operators nickel-and-dime you for everything from electrical connections to string to hang that fantastic plastic banner with your company logo and name in two-foot high lettering.

They used to be a good way to get out there and press the flesh, meet the market and maybe even sign up a few new customers or clients. But, according to reports plastered across the web, the value of trade shows has been shrinking.

Fewer small companies are willing to shell out upwards of $2,000 for a 10×10 square foot space, $100 to hook up their lighting and laptops to show products in a PowerPoint loop and the food, quite frankly, is an abomination. Who pays $4 for a soggy hotdog or $3.50 for coffee that was made last Wednesday? (The answer is trade show attendees.)

The result is that fewer small businesses are signing up, unwilling to pay for what amounts to a shot in the dark.

So, here’s how to squeeze the most desired outcomes from the dollars you spend. Whilst there are no guarantees these tips have worked for many businesses.

  1. Do your homework.

Before you shell out big bucks on space at a trade show, do some research on the promoter. I recommend asking the promoter for a schedule of upcoming shows and then tracking how the promoter markets the show.

Better promoters still employ newspaper adverts and TV sports, but the really top-tier promoters also send out web-based press releases, take space in industry journals and cast a wide geo-special net, attracting visitors from far away – visitors willing to get on a plane to actually meet you face to face.

If the promoter that’s courting you to buy a booth for three days doesn’t promote effectively and widely, attendance will be light and you aren’t going to see the positive return on your outlay that you expected.

I always recommend contacting the promoter directly when you receive another solicitation letter. Here’s what you want to know:

* How much per square foot? Obviously, the bigger the booth the better.

* What kind of promotion does the trade show company plan to undertake?

* What services are included in the booth price? Do you have to bring your own table? Draperies? Chairs? (believe it or not, some promoters actually charge you for chairs and you’ll pay it because your employee aren’t going to want to stand for three days straight.)

* How wide a net is the promoter casting? Are they after local visitors or are they going after visitors from around the globe? If you’re considering a wedding fair in Sydney but your catering business is in Adelaide, why spend the money?

Know the anticipated demographic expected to attend. A good trade show organiser/promoter will be happy to answer all of your questions. Why? They want you to buy space. That’s how they make their money.

  1. Prepare to put on your best face.

Signage should be done professionally. No kidding, I’ve actually seen companies with hand drawn signs created with magic marker. Are you kidding me? It looks like amateur night and you paid $2,000 for that space?

Spend a little extra to look professional.

  1. Provide take-aways.

It can be a simple tri-fold brochure and a business card, or it can be a folder with all kinds of promo materials and a slit to hold a business card. It can even be a free sample, if you sell a product.

There are plenty of services on line that will slap your logo onto coffee mugs, t-shirts even thumb drives, placing your business name and contact information in front of prospects every time they download a piece of information from the W3.

The point, here, is that you’ll get more promotional mileage from that booth space if you provide take-aways. And free stuff, like a coffee mug with your company’s name on it, won’t bust the budget. Do a web search for promotional companies to check out their offerings. Hey, one of my clients handed out over three thousand pens with contact information printed on each one during a recent trade show. Total cost: $450. And those pens are now in offices all across Australia serving as a constant reminder of the services my client provides.

Read tomorrow’s post for more tips on getting the maximum value from trade shows.

Crunch Time Clock Hurry Rush Deadline Final Moment

How is Your “Moment of Truth”?

A moment of truth is the interaction between the customer and the customer service provider which leaves a lasting impression on the customer…positive or negative! 

Business is built on the premise that good systems and processes, the capacity to deliver a product or service repeatedly, consistently without fail are required to produce a profit. Indeed, it’s a perfectly sound premise to run a business in this manner. After all, how long would your business last if it lacked systems and a procedure for handling every conceivable interaction with a customer?

There is little doubt that good processes are important; but don’t let them get in the way of building customer relationships and loyalty. The moment of truth can have ramifications: it can be a win or a loss for a business.

Consider the simple exercise of seeking customer service from your bank. Today, banks, telcos, large membership organisations such as health funds and insurers, have customer contact systems. Voice-activated contact systems have become communications technology’s answer to cost effective customer service. Indeed, most systems are designed to NOT have you speak to anyone.

The voice promoted options are designed to navigate you to the appropriate, digitally operated response system. Most of the time this is fine: you want to pay a bill, you want to transfer some money are made easy by the systems. All contact centres have automatic, voice activated telecoms system’s today: it saves money.

However, there about a 50-50 chance that when you need a special request, for example, adding a new contact name to your business credit card, you’ll experience frustration. At best you’ll end up hanging off the phone for an inordinate amount of time; at worst you’ll be told that the person at the other end is not authorised to handle that matter and would need to ‘hand ball’ you on to another contact centre person. You pull your hair out in despair. More often than not you’ll be required to email your request to – you guessed it – another automated response system! The outcome; a moment of truth.

Most professionals and business owners have little need for contact centres but all have a need to ensure consistent, superb customer service. The automated contact centre of today is a salutory lesson for business owners. To be successful in business, you must have processes – your own way of doing things that is tried, tested and constantly updated based on feedback.

Back in the 1980s Swedish Airline SAS group made a name for itself in the customer service ‘hall of fame’ by empowering all its airline staff to ensure customer satisfaction each and every time they made contact with a customer. The intention was to make the contact point THE moment of truth because it was there and then that the impact is most greatly felt – and remembered.

If for example a passenger wanted a particular meal altered, rather than a staff member saying I’m sorry, you can have chicken or beef, but not vegetarian; the response would be “Yes. Just leave it with me.”

It worked well and they built a reputation so passengers made them their airline of choice.

A business needs to train and empower each and very person who has contact with customers to be in a ‘can do’ state of mind. That will not diminish the strength of robust systems and procedures where processes and a routine way of suing things are adhered to, but it is that exceptional moment, the time when a business can make the most impact on a customer – the moment of truth – that will be what the customer takes away with them.

Woman holding smartphone

Does Your Business Have A Mobile Strategy?

Whether you’re a one-person business, or one of Australia’s global enterprises, your business needs mobility. You have to be able to move employees, products, services, raw materials, and information quickly.

Work isn’t a place any more – a place you go to every day. Today, work is an activity that takes place anywhere – from here to way over there. Work has gone mobile and if you’re not on the move, your company is just spinning its wheels.

Why a mobile strategy? Because you and your team are on the go.

Today, more and more employees are mobile. If they’re sitting at a desk, they aren’t out there adding to the client or customer base. More importantly, younger employees are entering the work force every day.

These new hires use mobile technology for everything – from placing an order on line to setting up auto bill payments at their banks. The ability to use mobi tech is a skill that is increasingly in demand, making these Gen X, and Gen Y members, and Millennials increasingly more valuable to you.

Use mobile tech more. Mobile technology isn’t about calling home to check on dinner. In fact, mobi tech is the fastest-growing means of accessing the Internet.

Using smartphones or tablets, your remote site employees can access the Internet anywhere within range of a cell tower.

Use smart phone technology to do more, do it faster, and at a lower cost.

Collect payments from remote work sites at the time services or products are delivered using mobi tech that syncs up to your company accounts. It’s safe, highly-encrypted, and you increase the rate of cash flow. No more “Net 30.” Money goes straight into the company account.

Move on-the-road employees where they’re most needed now. Mobile technology includes GPS mapping so you know where your people are at all times. You can contact a technician on the road to reschedule, saving time and boosting productivity.

Save on collection costs. No paper bills. No postage. No trips to the company bank. Snap a picture of the paper check, send it to your bank, and it clears faster. You’re paid.

Order inventory just-in-time. Unsold or unused inventory sitting in the warehouse costs money – money you don’t have to spend ahead of schedule. Set up delivery schedules with your suppliers, use less warehouse space, and hold on to working capital longer.

Bring your own device (BYOD). This trend has really taken off. Employees use their own smartphones to conduct business. Each employee knows how to use the smartphone features, employees have access to business information on their schedules, and your company doesn’t have to purchase thousands of dollars of smart phones when employees BYOD to work every day.

Mobility creates business scalability. You don’t need more office space if workers tele-commute. These home-based workers don’t have to fight traffic, so they get more done.

Mobile tech enables you to grow your company as needed – scalability. If you don’t need 2,000 onsite employees, why pay for the additional space. Also, as more businesses outsource services, keeping in touch with a new provider is simple with a mobile strategy.

Work on your schedule. Mobi enables you and your staff to work on individual schedules. If you’re a morning person, you can get a lot done using mobile tech before that first cup of coffee.

Weekends are a great time to get caught up on your business workload, or read a few industry journals using smartphone or tablet readers.

Market your business using mobi. Use smart tags – QR tags, MS tags, or bar codes – to push information to highly-qualified leads – leads that have asked for the information by snapping a picture of the smart tag you’ve created.

Send incentives like coupons to customers or prospects to pull them into your brick-and-mortar shop. Take smartphone owners to your company website using mobile technology.

You can even program a smart tag to auto-dial one of your customer care or sales reps. Just take a picture of the smart tag, and the smartphone dials itself!

Use mobi to take pictures of insurance claims, needed replacement parts or anything else from customer locations. If something is broken, take a picture, and enter the replacement order using mobile tech. Fast, simple, done.

There’s a great big marketplace out there and mobile technology is your access point.

Check out our claims video to see how we use mobile technology at Insurance House.