Increasing productivity is the Holy Grail in business. It means boosting what your business can get done daily and enhancing efficiency for greater potential cost savings. Increasing productivity sounds easy, but without a plan to make it happen, there’s the risk of deploying a scattergun approach which could undermine your efforts. Or, worse, actually create a drop in productivity. Not ideal.
Taking some time to figure out precisely the areas in which changes could be made and the tools you need to make these changes will serve you well. If you run an online business, here are the tools you should consider deploying to see a real difference in your teams’ productivity, your enterprise’s efficiency, and - crucially - your bottom line.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Customers get frustrated when they call your customer service department with an inquiry or complaint, only to be passed around to several agents to resolve the issue. And it’s incredibly inefficient in terms of staff time, too. This situation tends to happen when customer details and data are held in various files and databases, each used by a different team or department.
This is where a CRM system comes in. It allows you to store all your client data - including all their interactions with your business to date - in one central repository, so all staff members with access have the info they need at their fingertips. This means the issue can be resolved quickly and easily without your customer being passed from pillar to post.
CRM software offers many more productivity-boosting features, too, from tools to automate your marketing campaigns to scheduling to providing in-depth reports at the click of a button. Sound good? Check out this list of top 10 CRM software to find an option that best fits the needs of your business, including a breakdown of features and cost.
Project Management Platforms
A project management platform could literally be the answer to your business productivity prayers. Project management tools are also excellent at improving collaboration within your team, allowing you to streamline every element of a project or task from conception to culmination and with plenty of opportunity to automate parts of the process. So whether your online business has a single office or employees working worldwide, you can expect an increase in productivity.
This type of tool can also clearly display task dependencies: so everyone can see where their assigned jobs fit within the bigger picture and allow you to see potential and real-time log-jams - meaning you can resolve them before they become a problem.
Social Media Automation
Promoting your online business via social media is vital - but this sort of marketing is likely to be highly labor-intensive. Social media automation can help and mean you’re never at risk of missing a marketing opportunity!
Look for software that allows you to create evergreen campaigns, promote your products and services, and share your posts without the risk of ever running out of relevant content.
Use social media automation tools to plan, schedule, and launch campaigns and keep track of the data needed to determine what promotions generate the most engagement.
Tools to Manage Client Bookings
Automating elements of your client booking and management process can also benefit your team’s productivity, allowing them to focus their efforts on other tasks more central to providing a fantastic customer experience.
The best type of booking and scheduling tool will allow you to fully automate this (and potentially other) part of the process without compromising the personal touch. Your customers should feel as well-looked after as if they’d made the booking in person with a member of staff.
Of course, you know that SEO is essential for your online business. But keeping on top of what SEO is working for you and its effect on, for example, lead generation manually, is time-inefficient.
You can bring a couple of online tools on board to help. The first analyzes your log files and data from search engine bots - you’ll be able to view broken links and errors, crawled and skipped URLs, audit re-directs, and slow-loading pages, meaning that you can get on top of these issues fast.
Secondly, there are SEO tools designed specifically to audit your website and report their findings on metadata, broken links, redirects, internal linking, duplicate content, redirections, and more. This information will allow you to hone your SEO efforts and ensure your content is as effective on this front as possible. This tool can also help you visualize your overall site architecture and generate high-quality XML sitemaps.
Positioning Your Online Business for the Next Step
Upping productivity could be essential in positioning your business to take the next step in its development or growth. By honing your processes and ensuring that every system deployed is running as efficiently and smoothly as possible, you’ll ramp up production, generate more leads, or build revenue and save money. Your business, now lean and firing on all cylinders, will be in the perfect place to move to its next stage.