You’re a small business owner and for you, time is money right? Here are three tools to help you communicate better and faster with your team, your customers and your target market.
1. Set a No Email Policy with your Team
Is “Inbox Zero” some state of nirvana that you’ve never actually encountered? Join the “I’m drowning in emails and I can’t get out” club. Start using Slack and set a “no email” policy with your team. As of 4/1/16, there were 800,000 Slack accounts (Slack has been on the market for about a year). It's free for small teams and storage for up to 10,000 messages. You can create "channels" for projects and invite users to relevant channels. My team uses slack and our internal communications are 98% email-free which is live-changing and time-saving. Need to focus and avoid interruptions? Just turn it off. The mobile app is a great way to stay on top of internal activity when you're on the run, again without jamming up your email inbox. The time saved processing emails is priceless.
2. Start Conversations with Hot Leads Faster
Your customers are increasingly used to instant gratification communication platforms such as Mobile phone texting, Facebook messaging and Snapchat. Today’s The standard website "Contact Us" form is so 2014. The direct interaction possible through a webchat app removes days of email delays as each party waits for the other to respond. With a webchat app, the potential customer indicates interest, asks questions and may move right into purchase in one, real-time interaction. And the best part? You can develop a "human" relationship with the potential customer that is impossible to do over email. The exchange is much more similar to an in-person conversation than to a string of email exchanges. This more authentic interaction will improve brand perception and customer service experience.
You can install a web chat tool on your website such as LiveChat for about $49/month. The challenge with this approach is that if your live chat is "on" then your team needs to be in front of a screen to be available for chats that can come in at any time. I have accidentally left my Live Chat app set to "on" on my phone and found myself answering customer inquiries at the park while walking my dog. Having you or your team manage the chat is a great way to understand the dynamics of the interactions and to create a list of frequently asked questions, but the attentiveness required is generally unsustainable. You can outsource web chat to providers like Davinci Virtual Office Solutions starting at $59/month.
3. Get more Leverage out of your Social Media Posts and Reach your Fan Base more Often
You know that one favorite, life-changing tool that you can’t stop yourself from sharing with friends? For me, that’s Meet Edgar. This is hands-down my favorite time-saving social media tool. Add content to your library, categorize it, and Edgar will pull content from across your categories and post it to Twitter and Facebook on a randomized, recurring basis until you tell it to stop.
Meet Edgar is definitely best for Evergreen content, otherwise your reposts might seem stale or outdated. And while many business owners spend time creating and posting content to social feeds where only 10% of their followers will happen to see it, Edgar drips out your content so that it hits more pockets of your audience over time.
Guest Post by Jamie Russo of Global Workspace Association. GWA is the connection-based resource for shared space operators, workplace strategists, real estate investors and service providers to stay connected, current and competitive.