On Sunday evening talking to a fellow churchgoer, I was reminded how quickly things change in the world of technology. The lady I was talking to was born and brought up in rural Norfolk; a trip to Wells was a treat in summer. Mode of transport was a horse and cart; it was the early 1920s and to see a motor car was a real ‘wow’ moment.
Now we can see thousands of cars, often surrounding us on the clogged roads of not so rural Britain.
The original Mr Ford offered the model T in any colour as long as it was black. Now even the humble Fiesta can come equipped with Bluetooth, parking assist and for a cold spring day, electrically heated seats. Does everyone use all these features?
Motor vehicles themselves can have petrol, diesel or even electric motors. Soon they might even drive themselves, the technology is there.
For the modern business the wealth of technology available to every owner and employee is immense. How do we get the the best out of all that is on offer?
All that glistens, will it prove to be gold?
The options available, as already hinted above, are vast. So where do you start? We have to resist the initial flashing of all the lights and incredible promises made by the adverts. What is it you are trying to achieve in your business? Remember technology is just a tool to help you build your business. What technology tools are you or could you be using?
First Contact with Customers
How do you make that initial contact? Is it voice or non verbal communication? If voice, fixed line, Skype or mobile?
If it’s non verbal, you need good email access and a fast website with a simple contact page. Is this coming to you by phone, desktop or other wireless device? Will they always get you or are you needing virtual assistance?
Contact follow up
Many of us will remember address books, Rolodex devices and the personal organiser. Now you have additional digital options of customer relationship management systems which can be anything from a well organised Outlook system to Cloud based, state of the art, all singing all dancing Salesforce. Whatever we use needs to be quick to navigate and robust!
Once upon a time many of us relied on a diary, a reporter’s notebook and memory (the human kind). Palm and Psion had a huge initial impact, then were almost wiped out by the rise of the smartphone.
We can now have reminders on our phones from phone based apps or calendar systems. We can receive schedules from the office and arrange for automatic reminders to our customers. We can even use apps to recognise receipts and automatically post them to accounting systems. Dashboards on phone, pad or laptop will tell us all we need to know, apparently.
With devices to run our social media campaigns, post tweets while we sleep or get on with other activities there is a level of automation available to even the smallest business which is unparalleled compared to even just 10 years ago.
So how close are you to techno heaven?
Next Accelerator Club: 19th May “Techno Heaven”
We have, as a special guest, Mike Orchard from Skills Hive. This session will explore the types of devices and tools you use, what you could be using in the future and how to get maximum benefit with minimum effort. As usual a chance to hear what other people are using, what works and what doesn’t.
The Grugeon Reynolds Team