It’s Monday morning. You know you have to make it to your scheduled appointments on time so you don’t get behind throughout the day. You know that if you start to run late, even five minutes behind, you’ll have unhappy customers. All day. And, you also know that if you fall behind, you won’t make it home on time to eat dinner with your family. In addition to making it to your appointments, you must also return calls to new prospects who want to schedule an often urgent appointment ASAP. By Wednesday, you realize that your stacks of paperwork to keep the company going will have to be dealt with on the weekend.
In today’s world of smartphones and demanding customers, you need a mobile app that can help you manage schedules, collect payment, refer quickly to existing customer information, and keep track of the work you’re doing, electronically. No longer do independent contractors have to use a pen and paper, or invest in intricate software packages better suited for big companies.
Enter Mobile for Small Businesses.
Mobile technology and cloud computing have leveled the playing field – a one-person shop can look much bigger thanks to social media and mobility. Small businesses don’t have to invest in big software packages to do the administrative heavy lifting that often takes away from the important work that pays the bills.
Cloud computing backing up the innovative mobile technology available today is affordable to the rest of us. Just like a quick game of Angry Birds, or a check-in on Yelp before dinner, a mobile application is easily accessible, and can provide small business owners with a much-needed office front end without the cost, overhead, and tremendous learning curve that software packages typically entail. New mobile applications tied to massive cloud power on the back end are available to anyone with a mobile phone.
Customer Service is Key.
When it’s quicker and easier to make it to appointments on time, generate invoices, reach customers, and accept credit cards, it’s easier to provide great customer service. Satisfying customers with good work, timeliness and efficiency ultimately gives you customers who are eager to call you again, and recommend your business to their friends and family.
Making the switch to mobile [field service] tools can boost productivity by up to 30 percent. Small businesses that have made the transition to these mobile tools complete roughly eight percent more work orders per day. That might add up to 2 or 3 more customers each day.
Why the increase in productivity? Administrative tasks are causing the bottleneck. According to Startup Smart, small business owners spend one-third of their time dealing with administrative tasks—invoicing, tracking work, and following up outside of the scheduled appointment time.
What’s the most time-consuming administrative task? As an experienced worker in the field, you already know that recording transactions takes the most time out of your schedule per day, and according to small business owners polled by Intuit, 57% of small business owners agree. Time-consuming yet simple tasks can be more efficient with the right mobile app to suit your business needs. Innovative and user-friendly—not to mention affordable—mobile solutions make tracking and recording transactions easier, leaving more time for core business tasks – like showing up to customers’ sites to get work done.
Keeping up with the…
Now that mobile software is affordable, small businesses can have the professional efficiencies of a bigger company. With the right tools, independent professionals can offer the same – maybe even better – convenient features for booking and payment that large companies offer. And, why not start accepting credit cards, making it easier and more convenient for your customers? (After all, who uses checkbooks these days?) Intuit found that businesses not accepting credit cards lose up to $7,000 annually, from customers who choose other businesses.
Make your customers happier.
Yelp reviews can help you — or they can hurt you. With more than 132 million monthly visitors and 57 million reviews, it has become the first thing we all do before bothering to call a new business for new services. According to American Express, a one-star rating reduction on Yelp can cost businesses up to 30% revenue. More often than not, the reviews have to do with timely response, making appointments on time, and the ease with which the appointment occurred.
It’s not worth it to get behind on the most important social media for small businesses in our connected world. Using your mobile phone to manage your small business offers an advantage when it comes to keeping customers happy. Tracking tasks online can help you get to appointments promptly, stay in touch with customers, and provide reliable service. Providing appointment reminders and mobile invoicing can be a much-appreciated perk. Stay on time. Prioritize customer support. Get repeat business. Keep existing customers and get new ones.
According to Lee Resource, Inc., attracting new customers will cost your company five times more than keeping an existing ones. Not only that, Forbes reports that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
Improve your business with the power of mobility.
It’s time to incorporate mobility into your business. Bain and Company says only 22% of the top performers in field service still use paper-based processes. That means a whopping 88% of top field service performers have transitioned away from paper.
Going mobile will boost your productivity, streamline transactions, and improve customer satisfaction. Start out your Monday knowing that you’ll be able to focus on being on time, doing excellent work, and getting home on time for dinner with the family. All while knowing that you’ve done all you can do to keep the customers you have and gain a few more. Taking your business to mobile will make it a reality.