Small Business at a Crossroads09/29/2020
The way Small Businesses interact with customers is changing. Even without the impact of COVID-19, Small Businesses have been adopting technology to help reach customers and build relationships. COVID-19 certainly spurred the proverbial business horse up the technology hill, despite the fact it was on its way already.
Businesses of all sizes have already been using technology to track, control, decipher, analyze, and utilize customer data. Privacy issues are a prime consideration even though the use of non personally identifiable information seems to be acceptable to most consumers. The use of this information is the key to small businesses connecting with customers.
How can a small business use technology to acquire new customers, maintain existing clients, and build relationships with both? Many are using social media to communicate with consumers others are adopting processes to help track customer relationships. Some businesses have employed Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), enabling them to integrate email marketing, lead tracking, task management, as well as other Customer building processes.
Customer Relationship Management software often supports lead tracking, along with calendar and reminder systems. Reminders prompt users to contact potential leads at appropriate times, eliminating or reducing missed sales opportunities. Sales management helps small businesses stay on top of customer relationships.
Online commerce has flourished since the onset of the pandemic. Small businesses that offer online sales established an early advantage over businesses without the ability to sell online. Many online stores provide simple CRM capabilities allowing e-commerce businesses an additional benefit. Not all small businesses lend themselves to online sales, albeit even service businesses can take advantage of technology.
The pandemic has placed extraordinary pressure on small businesses. Lockdowns, quarantines, supply chain issues, and meeting consumer safety expectations are some of the problems facing small businesses. Technology may alleviate some of the pressure by facilitating communication while addressing safety concerns.
If a small business refuses to adopt technology that promotes interactions with customers, it will soon stagnate. The impact of COVID-19 heightens the need for remote connections between businesses and consumers. Social media, CRM's, and other tech-based communication methods allow for social distancing while maintaining relationships.