We’re a connected world now. Relying on our mobile devices to download music, keep in touch with family, map the route to our next meeting and send a hello email to colleagues travelling across Europe. Mobile technology is big, and only set to get bigger over the next decade.
That’s why I was surprised yesterday to read that over 74% of businesses don’t allocate any budget for mobile technology.
That’s almost three quarters of businesses that aren’t prioritizing mobile technology to their team, despite being one of the fastest growing technology forms since the invention of the Internet. There’s so much more to having a mobile workforce than being able to do business on the go: in fact, it’s becoming critical to many businesses.
So, what’s the lowdown? A recent study by ERP provider, Sage, discovered that 70% of mobile technology users felt that it positively contributed to the level of customer service they could provide, over 90% of us check work emails on our phones and 68% say smartphones have had a positive effect on productivity. Does it make you wonder; is your competition already ahead of you in the mobile technology stakes?
Working on the move
Employees in most businesses are becoming more mobile, spending time away from HQ and the heartbeat of your business. The potential of mobile technology is so vast that not only will your team be about to work on the move equipped with smartphones, tablets and other mobile gadgets, but they will also be able to collaborate with their team members on projects whilst on the go thanks to apps hosted in the Cloud. Mobile technology has become so advanced that you can place orders, check stock levels back at the warehouse and record all your meeting notes from anywhere that you can get an Internet connection.
The modern workforce of today needs to stay connected and able to access the information and tools they need wherever they are, from any device and at any time.
Going mobile isn’t all about your team out on the road, but your customers will notice the difference too. That’s not to say that the traditional methods of customer service are dead, just that there are better tools out there to do the same thing, in a faster and more streamlined manner. Issues, enquires and questions can be answered and dealt with by your team no matter where they are in a matter of hours, if that.
Your customers will soon be singing your praises for the outstanding service you are giving them, referrals will soon be pouring in and business will be booming.
The birth of BYOD
BYOD or Bring Your Own Device has been around for a few years now, with employees using their own phones, tablets and even laptops for work purposes. The advent of this scheme means that mobile technology is no longer an investment, it means one single device for work and play.
So while I’m shocked that companies aren’t allocating budget for mobile, to some extent, there is no longer need for a big budget any more, simply a commitment to helping employees be more proactive and professional in their working lives. The trend of BYOD has driven the mobile workforce and they are becoming a force to be reckoned with, armed with a plethora of gadgetry that will make them the superheroes of your company. Any budget you would have allocated to investing in technology, can be used for apps, software and add-ons, rather than the devices themselves.
The only ask from management is the support and encouragement to embrace mobile technology, exploit it and gain a competitive advantage.
A positive company image
If your team is a bumbling bunch that still maintains a loving relationship with a scruffy notepad that they have had for 3 years – the image you are projecting to your customers isn’t one of a modern, professional organization. Yes, I love a good to-do list, but get it on an iPad and its neat, tidy and easily accessible.
Your team should be streamline and organized; going into meetings with everything they need in a neat little package on their tablet. There are apps that will help you when presenting, pitching, monitoring customer behavior and recording interactions and follow-ups: there’s no longer any excuse for unprofessionalism.
Have you embraced mobile technology in your company or are you still on the fence? We’d love to hear your thoughts on mobile tech: is it a friend or foe? Leave us a comment below or tweet us @sales_i and let us know your thoughts!