Whether a business is a multinational corporation or a young start up, communication should be at its heart. For any business to grow, meet deadlines, create a loyal customer base, and exceed goals, quality communications systems must be in place.
However, just because these systems are vital, it does not mean that they have to cost the earth. The list below shows some of the best, low cost communication technologies that can be used to help small businesses move to the next level.
Upgrade Your Phone Systems
A virtual PBX system is an internet-based system that passes a call over the internet rather than using phone lines. Unlike the old-school, office-based phones, these systems do not require expensive hardware, office lines, installation, or in-house IT support. Without the costly line rental frees, this cloud based service offers a greater level of freedom of movement, and flexibility.
Use Social Media to Connect with Customers
Simply creating a top of the line product alone is not enough to cut it in today’s highly competitive business market. Building a relationship with a customer is necessary for a company to increase brand awareness and brand loyalty. Creating a social media account is free and fast, for those looking to stay up to date with customers.
For example, creating a dedicated Facebook group and posting regular content that the target audience might enjoy will help forge relations and promote communications. For businesses looking to expand their professional networks, sites like LinkedIn can make finding other professionals in relevant industries simple.
Don’t Ignore Email Marketing
Email marketing might initially seem a little outdated in today’s digital world, but there is a reason it has remained such a valued tool. Email marketing allows businesses to stay in contact with customers, and with the option to email an entire customer address book in one go, this can be one of the most time effective communication options out there. Since the average business loses 20% of its customers through lack of communication, implementing an email marketing strategy might just prove invaluable.
Use the Cloud
Cloud computing, such as Gmail and Dropbox, drastically reduce a business’s upfront running costs, as well as providing a much more flexible solution than on-site software or bulky hardware could ever provide. Recent research from Smith and Williamson has shown that more than three quarters of small businesses and entrepreneurs are using or planning to use cloud based systems to improve efficiency. As well as providing small businesses with a similar level of technological capability as larger competitors, cloud systems are flexible, able to scale up and down and move as the business does.
Platforms like Skype or Zoom provide a free service that allows face-to-face meetings to occur wherever the participants are. Whether they are used to talk to customers, potential investors, or company colleagues, these services allow for personal and up-to-date business connections to be maintained, which will help to ensure the most effective and efficient working environment.