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When you’ve been in business for a long time, it’s easy to keep using the same tried and tested processes and approaches that have worked for you over the years. But as technology changes and the workplace evolves, you must grow with it. Otherwise, you may find yourself at risk of losing customers. Are you moving with the times? Here are four outdated business habits that it may be time to review.
100% On-Site Employees
Traditionally, all team members would work under the same roof. But this is no longer the case. More and more companies are offering remote work opportunities, and for good reason. Employing people in another city or even another country allows you to find the right person for the job, regardless of location. Many organizations are cutting out the significant overhead of a traditional office altogether in favor of a virtual office.
Virtual offices give you an inner-city address, professional meeting spaces, and an experienced receptionist at a fraction of the cost of renting a traditional office space. This solution is ideal for small businesses, organizations where many of the employees travel for work, and companies looking to reduce their costs while maintaining a professional facade.
A Traditional PBX Phone System
We are in the midst of a significant disruption in business communications, with companies switching from traditional analog phone systems to integrated cloud-based systems. Choosing a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system is more than just cost-effective – it also allows for better integration of your phone system with your customer relationship management system.
VoIP communication systems enable team members to take business calls remotely in a seamless manner, offering increased flexibility. Plus, your VoIP PBX provider will take care of system maintenance, upgrades, and new user setup.
Repetitive Manual Tasks
If your team is constantly undertaking repetitive manual tasks, it might be time to consider some digital workers or bots. Automation allows you to reduce costs, eliminate errors, and improve efficiency immensely. For example, a bot can “read” an Excel spreadsheet and pull together a report in a fraction of the time that it takes a human.
Different types of automation are suitable for varying levels of complexity. Robotic Process Automation works effectively for basic, repetitive, rule-based tasks. For more complex tasks, cognitive automation brings analytical intelligence to tasks, using various algorithms to solve problems. Automating repetitive tasks allows your team to focus on the value-added human aspects of their role.
Difficult Appointment Booking Systems
With a breadth of choices available to consumers in every industry, you need to consider the ease of your customer’s experience. In other words, make it straightforward for them to work with you.
Let’s take going to the doctor as an example. The first doctor’s surgery allows patients to make appointments only between the hours of 8 am and 9 am via phone. The phone is always busy when you call, you are trying to get to work, and it is virtually impossible to make a booking. The second doctor’s surgery offers an online appointment booking system which you can access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It shows you all available appointment slots with your health professional and sends you a text to confirm your booking. Which would you choose? Whatever your business happens to be, make sure you’re more like the second doctor’s surgery than the first.
Do you have any outdated practices in your organization? If so, it could be time to review your operations to see how you could renew, improve, and refresh your business.