8 Tech Updates That Will Make a Better Customer Experience
We are living in the age of tech. There's no denying that electronic upgrades of all kinds are readily available. And better yet, they're yours for the taking – and anyone else who's brave and tech-savvy enough to take them on. When done correctly, advancements like these can allow for some great upgrades. From business efficiency, to improved customer experience, and more, electronics can be a great way to bring your business into the modern age. This is true of compainie that have yet to be opened, and those that have been around for ages.
However, tech is also something to brush up on – spending money willy-nilly can land you with unnecessary apps and devices that won't suit your needs. Take the tech world by storm – and avoid over-spending by sticking to these top-rated upgrades that will launch your business into 2016 and beyond.
1. Portable Card Readers
Whether you choose to use tablets or mobile phones, having a portable way for customers to pay via card readers can greatly cut down wait time. Employees can line hop (or move to a different end of the counter) and check customers out vs. making them wait. These types of programs can be quicker, and they send out receipts via email – a method that can also cut down on paper and ink expenses.
2. Online Presence
If you don't have a website, you're missing out on a huge opportunity for customers to be able to reach you. Inform them about your products, allow them to ask questions, and even order online. Sales or digital coupons can encourage e-business, too. Make sure that your location is included on the franchise’s online presence at a minimum.
3. Virtual Tracking
Businesses that require travel or in-person maintenance can now be tracked digitally via GPS (and automatically recorded). This is good news for business owners as it allows them to keep better tabs on employees, along with work progress. But it's also great news for the customer, as it provides real-time updates and peace of mind that they aren't being over-billed.
4. Portable Business Phones
With a smartphone as a business phone, you are able to take the company line home with you. (Which is ideal for anyone who remains "on call".) However, while still at the office, you can plug in a traditional headset for an easier way to talk, and a more comfortable way for employees to pick up; they won't feel like they're answering your personal phone, and that means better customer service.
5. An External Hard Drive
Don't be hardheaded and think you're the one company who doesn't need to back up their files. Accidents happen, emergencies happen, and you need to be sure that you can access your customer info under any circumstances. Use the cloud (also available in app form), or back up manually with an external hard drive to keep extra copies of your files. Better yet, use both methods for even more file security.
6. Portable Battery Chargers
On an especially busy day, the last thing you want to have to worry about it ensuring your devices are fully charged. (Especially those that are help making life easier for paying customers.) If you're doing enough business to drain an entire charge, consider a case that pumps in juice while it protects. You should also make sure each device sits squarely on the charger at business close so it will be ready the following day.
7. Free Wifi
Do you have a waiting room? Or a seating area where customers might collect or spend any amount of time? Consider allowing them access to your wifi, free of charge. Generally, you'll want to have a separate account for private business use to keep your files safe; both lines should be high-speed to avoid delays. However, this is a small upcharge that can add some serious customer comfort. Advertise that your Internet is free, along with necessary log-in info for ample utilization.
8. Charging Station
The same can be said for letting folks charge their own phones or tablets, especially if there's a long wait. (And even if there isn't, we've all had to deal with a dead phone, sometimes five minutes can make all the difference.) Accommodate the masses by offering multiple charger styles, and opt for models that only pull power when plugged in to lower your electricity bill.
When you own a franchise, the franchise organization will likely have resources for you to guide you making these types of technical decisions. You could also contact other franchises in the system to see how they’re using technology to solve issues and make their business stand apart from their competitors.