Technology is critical to business, but not all business leaders are able to leverage IT tools to achieve their goals. In order to stay profitable and relevant, they must learn to integrate robust technologies into their operations to raise efficiency, lower costs, and maximize employee engagement and output.
Here is a list of tech tools that can help small- or medium-sized businesses (SMBs) boost productivity, protect data, and create a sense of community for customers, partners, and employees.
1. Remote collaboration tools
When working with remote or hybrid employees, it's important to have meeting tools in place that allow everyone to participate regardless of their location. These types of tools can include anything from video conferencing software to chat applications that allow for real-time group discussions.
Having synchronous meetings enables small businesses to create a unified workplace. For one, using communication tools like Zoom or Teams ensures that everyone's voice is heard even if they’re working remotely. Colleagues can also communicate in real-time about certain projects to help facilitate progress internally while also sharing files among peers.
2. Cybersecurity tools
With the variety of threats that exist online, it is important to equip all devices that access the web with cybersecurity software. Businesses should look into installing internal solutions within their organization's network to help protect not only desktop computers but also mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. For example, installing antiviruses and anti-malware in every device ensures that your SMB is covered against any known viruses or malware attacks when accessing company data over public Wi-Fi networks.
Using a virtual private network (VPN) also makes it safer to connect with your business's private intranet while you're away from the office. Because VPN encrypts data in transit, you can use this tool to securely access any crucial information that can otherwise be interrupted in an unsecured public Wi-Fi environment.
3. Customer service improvement tools
Customer service is a top priority for any business, and there are many tools available to better assist with this process. For instance, a help desk solution can efficiently manage requests coming from customers, partners, or employees. A web knowledge base system can also provide answers on the spot that can be easily shared via your website or social platforms.
It’s also important to track customer interactions and data to better understand customer needs and preferences over time. SMBs should think about investing in customer relationship management (CRM) software that helps businesses analyze customer behavior by recording all customer contact information, purchase history, and other activities.
4. Human resources management tools
As small businesses grow, so do the demands of HR employees. Various HR tools can help streamline all aspects of human resources management to ensure that every employee is working at their best and on top of important tasks.
HR staff would also benefit from automation tools, which can help improve efficiency. For instance, automation software can assist in different payroll, timekeeping, and onboarding administration tasks to let HR employees to shift away from manual, repetitive tasks and focus on strategies that bring value to the company.
5. Social media listening tools
This technology is designed to help businesses track, monitor, and analyze all conversations happening on various social media platforms. This can be an extremely valuable tool for companies that want to get a better understanding of what the public is saying about them online. It can also help identify any potential crisis situations before they have a chance to spiral out of control, as well as track customer sentiment and feedback to see how employees are performing.
Small businesses can benefit greatly from technology. By using the right tools, you'll be able to improve communication, efficiency, customer service, and marketing — all of which contribute to a stronger, more successful company. If you want customized technology solutions for your specific business needs, call us at 855-511-HERO.