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What We Think

Insight, industry news, trends, tutorials from Buildal's persepective.

Your company is a beehive bustling with energy. You follow a strict business model to maintain efficiency. Often, you meet your staff to find out how the company can increase its productivity. Business plans are made to push your company further. Your clients are all across town. Potential clients are scattered all over the country. Every day, choices are made to push you further up your industry ladder. Your company is thriving. Occasionally, you check your phone for any new messages, offline and on your social media. Unknown to you, every time you do, you wield in your hands the power to completely transform your business.

Technology has become one of the newest investments made by business owners in the 21st Century. You can now purchase means and tools that will transform your business and let you stand out in your field. Often, most business owners believe that technology for business implies having a company website. Today, I would like to give you in-depth information on all the tools that are powering businesses today.

Websites.

First on our list is the most common tool used across all disciplines from government organizations, educational institutions, and companies in all industries, all the way down to small business owners and personal blogs. Websites are the very core of the internet. To put this into context - every time you perform a Google search, Google assumes you have asked it a question. It proceeds to check every corner of the internet to return the websites that might answers you need, with the ones most likely to answer your question at the top of the list. 

With a website alone, you are able to allow your business to exist virtually - something commonly referred to as online presence. Physically, a client will walk into your offices and ask what services you can provide to them. Once they agree to your offer, a customer relationship would be established, and they would keep your contact for further communication. Virtually, a client will be able to ask Google ‘what company can do this for me?’ Google would then return your company website as an answer to their question. The client would then visit your website to see what services you can provide to them and be able to contact you, in order to establish the same relationship.

Even though these two processes seem the same, allow me to point out the differences between the two.

  • Potential clients might face challenges trying to physically access your company. (e.g transportation and distance), leading to the loss of potential clients.
  • Physical interaction would require dedicated customer reception staff. One cannot guarantee the correctness and accuracy of this process.
  • An online presence instantly exposes your business to thousands of potential clients - even those that weren’t aware of the of your business until it was returned to them by a search engine.

Therefore, a website is a simple but powerful tool your business can invest in to leverage more clients, and ease the interaction of existing clients.

Web Applications.

In second place is the more complicated entity that is commonly mistaken for a website. Where a website is mainly for sharing information about your business, a web application is more diverse by being built to communicate with local and external databases and services.

Examples of features that can be added into web applications include:

  • Staff and client accounts
  • Client interaction with company databases (e.g submitting files to the company)
  • Online payments

These types of applications are commonly used by educational institutions for example for handling the online application of students. Therefore, they can be regarded as computer systems that would traditionally exist only on the company’s office network, but have been placed online to allow the clients to access the same functionality.

E-Commerce Websites

This technology is suitable for businesses that are focused on the trade of goods and products. It is akin to owning a shop, but this shop exists on the internet. The same way they would in a physical shop, customers are able to view the items that your business is selling, pick out their favorite ones and pay for them. Today, e-commerce is fast becoming a preferred option for shoppers, as it is hassle-free and can be done remotely, regardless of their location.

A special feature of e-commerce sites is how diverse they are. The concept of an e-commerce site is applicable to other types of businesses such as real estate and food ordering services.

Mobile Applications

A mobile application is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone. Today, companies are employing the use of apps to provide a customized, personal experience of interacting with a business through a dedicated application on their phone, thereby providing the same functionality that a user can access on the company website. 

Mobile applications are useful for businesses that must provide the same services to a large number of customers, with each client having information specific to them within the business, for example, a user account. Interesting enough, some businesses have chosen to be strictly app-oriented, and all their operations are carried out through the app, for example, the popular ride-hailing app SafeBoda.

Social Media 

Social media is a commonly underlooked technology that is slowly transforming companies and business operations today. The core function of social media has always been connecting people and sharing information and because of this, there are approximately 2.89 billion people using social media today. With numbers this great, businesses can take advantage of social media by creating a presence on these sites, where they too can share their website, information about themselves and their operations to millions of people. In return, interested clients can send messages directly to their company through their social media accounts, and satisfied clients can mention the company to their online friends and followers. All this online interaction definitely provides better publicity and feedback to a business. 

Customer Relationship Managers

Of all the tools discussed in this article, CRMs are the most powerful of them all. CRM software stores all of the company’s data from staff records (number of employees, departments, positions), client records (e.g email, telephone, website social media profile) to company data (sales, budgets, files, emails, documents, jobs, faxes). Once this information is pooled into one place, it is used to automate the business’ operations for example:

  • Scheduling tasks such as sending communications
  • Sth

CRM software improves customer relationship management by providing a full view of the customer, capturing their interactions with the business, and by surfacing the information needed to have better conversations with customers, thus achieving its ultimate goal of improving business relationships.

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