7 ways small businesses can benefit from mobile apps

Small business, mobile marketing and customer experience experts share their tips and advice regarding how mobile applications can help businesses to better engage with customers, keep employees connected and boost the bottom line.

Another advantage of using a mobile payment system for business owners is that “mobile data can be integrated with other apps (via the cloud) far easier than traditional methods,” says David Mercer, founder, SME Pals. “Transactions records are fed straight into other parts of the business, run by different technologies, like accounting, tax and marketing apps, making the entire business more automated, efficient and streamlined.”

5. Mobile communication and collaboration. “Communication and connectivity is key for small businesses,” says Dan Ward, cofounder of mobile app development firm Detroit Labs. “Slack is a great example of a communications platform that can help to minimize email and enhance collaboration. Slack’s mobile app allows you to stay connected wherever you are. It’s incredibly cost effective for small businesses, too.”

“Apps like Slack are great to use on your mobile phone, and [they] enable team collaboration and prioritization of projects for companies of any size,” says Bloem. “They allow you to interact with each other, collaborate and share documents and information all in one place when everyone is on the go.”

Similarly, “Dropbox is essential for small businesses for document sharing,” says Ward. “It offers private folders, shared folders, team folders and the ability to access everything on the go with a great mobile app. Gone are the days of dedicated shared drives and a VPN connection just to access a simple document.”

6. Mobile customer service. Mobile apps can also help businesses better help their customers. “We need to respond to customers within four hours in order to keep our reputation for great service,” says Bloem. “Desk.com allows our team of customer service reps to access customer communications from anywhere, which enables them to keep on top of rising customer demands.”

“We use Zendesk for support tickets and requests from our clients,” says Mark Tuchscherer, cofounder & president, Geeks Chicago. “Zendesk has a native mobile app and we are able to monitor client support tickets and emergencies 24/7.”

7. Mobile CRM and sales support. “When it comes to customer relationship management, mobile CRM gives business owners a wide range of capabilities right at their fingertips,” says Anthony Smith, founder and CEO, Insightly. “Keeping track of tasks, contacts, organizations, opportunities, projects, emails and your calendar can all happen instantly within a mobile application. This alleviates the need to write down important details on old receipts or worse, trying to recall straight from memory.”

With a mobile CRM solution, “instead of stashing business cards in a drawer, business owners and managers can automatically scan and add contact info straight into their CRM and add important notes about their new acquaintance,” he explains. And “by bypassing manual entry, business owners [and salespeople] can save time that is better spent on building customer relationships.”

“By employing a mobile CRM, your [sales] reps can immediately check-in, access their sales pipeline, client information, previous correspondence and quotes and orders while speaking with a client in the field,” explains Oscar Macia, founder & CEO, ForceManager, a mobile sales management solution. “It saves time, looks more professional while providing you, the business owner, with real-time actionable insight of their performance. This insight can be used to adjust your sales strategies and ultimately build a sustainable, predictable growth model for your business.”

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