If your business has been affected by lockdown measures, you’re likely relying on your digital tech stack to conduct day-to-day tasks. Virtual tools have enabled companies to keep in touch with customers, run online events, manage their employees, and more.
But are you taking full advantage of all the digital infrastructure solutions available to you during the coronavirus pandemic? Most companies have incomplete and under-developed tech stacks, and they’re losing revenue and wasting time as a result.
In this post, we’re going to explore six ways you can improve your existing digital infrastructure during the coronavirus. Implementing the suggestions will almost certainly lead to more efficient workflows, happier clients, and, crucially, more revenue.
Sound good? Let’s dig in.
1. Use an online scheduler
Booking appointments is a chore. Even when scheduling online, you have to send multiple emails to clients, update calendars, confirm with attendees a few days before the appointment, and then send an invitation to join the meeting via a video link.
Online schedulers automate this whole process. Clients will be able to access an online portal to schedule, reschedule, and cancel appointments in accordance with your availability. Your calendar will update instantly and attendees will automatically receive a reminder a few days before, limiting the number of late cancellations and missed slots.
Many schedulers also integrate with popular video conferencing solutions. Scheduling software with a Zoom integration, for example, will take care of many app-related tasks without any input from you.
2. Accept digital payments
Accepting digital payments is easier than ever. Services like Stripe, Square, and Paypal can be used to set up gateways which allow customers to purchase items through your website. Fees are minimal, and it’s easy to get up and running. You can even create hosted forms if you don’t have a website.
Many online tools, like contract management solutions, website builders, and scheduling portals like the ones described above, also have integrations that let clients pay for products and services, so take advantage of these wherever possible.
It’s also worth pointing out that you don’t need to be dealing in physical products to accept online payments. You can sell coaching, tickets for virtual events, digital products and more – all of which can provide much-needed revenue in these difficult times.
3. Use multiple video conferencing tools
Multiple is the key word here. If you’re using video conferencing software like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype to meet with clients, make sure that you have an array of different apps installed on your computer. This means that clients can speak to you via their preferred option, making it easier for them and often much quicker for you by removing the learning curve.
Clients that are offered numerous options are also much more likely to be satisfied with online calls. It’s a simple change that can have a myriad of positive benefits, and it doesn’t require much extra effort or cost on your part.
4. Opt for a project management platform designed for your business
Nowadays, most businesses use a project management app to streamline workflows, automate routine tasks, and encourage collaboration and brainstorming. And these apps have become even more central to day-to-day operations due to the coronavirus pandemic and the requirement for many employees to work from home.
But a lot of companies haven’t considered all the options when it comes to project management software, with many opting for solutions that lack essential features or simply aren’t suitable for their business. An enterprise-grade app, for example, will be far too complex for a small business. And a solution designed for two or three users will be insufficient for medium and large companies.
Be clear about the features you need, such as time tracking, deep analytics, advanced collaboration areas, high levels of security, and so on. Then choose a solution that fits your criteria.
5. Open an eCommerce store
If you sell physical products and don’t have an eCommerce store, now is the time to build one. eCommerce sales are booming due to the fact that consumers have no other option but to shop online. And engagement on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook is also up, which has led to new advertising opportunities.
Don’t be put off by the prospect of building an eCommerce site from scratch. User-friendly tools like Shopify, Weebly, and Squarespace let you create and configure an entire store in a matter of days. And a variety of tools are available to streamline the tasks of payment processing, shipping, and customer support. If you’re sitting on existing stock, or if you’re looking for a way to monetize your existing customers and social media followers, setting up an eCommerce store is probably one of the best options you have.
6. Take advantage of third-party marketplaces
Not keen on the idea of running an entire store? Or perhaps you’re looking for alternative channels to sell your products?
Third-party marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and others can be leveraged to find new customers and increase sales. What’s more, it’s often possible to build a presence on these platforms much more quickly than with your own eCommerce store.
Businesses that are able to adapt are much more likely to weather the coronavirus pandemic and emerge in a position to rebuild their infrastructure and go digital. Going digital is a big part of this process. Irrespective of the size of your company, it should be one of your main focuses.
Most businesses already have a digital infrastructure. Taking things to the next level is about discovering new channels, refining your tech stack, and adding new, more efficient customer-facing services.