Business + Lifestyle | NAWBO

Business + Lifestyle

 

You only get one chance to make a first impression. This is true in business where personal relationships remain a driving force to growth. Yet, in today’s high-tech world, customers expect businesses to offer technological conveniences.

There are several ways women entrepreneurs can utilize technology to gain a competitive edge and position themselves for growth. The first step is to identify which technological offerings exist in your industry to give you the most bang for your buck. This involves conducting research on industry trends, seeking advice from tech-savvy friends and taking advantage of trial periods to assess how a product or service will benefit your business.

While going tech may sound cold, consider marrying high-tech and high-touch to improve both your employees’ and customers’ experience—and your bottom line.

For example, Millennials and Gen Z populations value flexibility in their work schedules, noted by the increase of telecommuters in recent years. Offering employees remote access via tools such as Sococo, Slack or SamePage can boost employee retention. 

For your customers, conduct surveys on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter (high-tech) to look at your business from their point of view (high-touch). Surveys allow for better communication, which can help you to improve products and processes to better serve your customer base. 

You can also improve customer satisfaction by selling products online, offering the convenience of online appointment scheduling and providing free high-speed Wi-Fi. This can not only increase the amount of time people spend on-site in your business, it also allows you to collect customer information, build a mailing list and gain repeat customers.

Speaking of Wi-Fi, utilizing the cloud is another simple, cost-effective way to ensure you have secure access to your files from anywhere, anytime. That said, it’s also important to consider managed IT services to protect your business—and potentially, your customers—from cyber hacking.  

If you want to further reinforce your commitment to high-touch, consider setting a goal to do so. Recently, a consulting firm set out to increase high touches by 10-20 percent in one year. Touches involved meeting clients for coffee or lunch, dropping in just to say thank you, presenting to a group, etc. The results? Not only did the firm achieve record-breaking revenue and profits, word-of-mouth accolades echoed all over town from business partners, prospective employees and new customers.

The bottom line is to wow your customers by keeping up-to-date with the ever-evolving tech world. Examining options that will benefit them can boost your referrals, retention and overall growth.

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