5 ways your website can help your business be more efficient
These days it is widely understood that a web presence of some sort is a ‘must have’ for every business. Despite this positive change, there is still a recurring idea that the company website is simply a digital advert or brochure online, providing the same function as a static advert or street sign would, only to a wider audience. This is certainly important and definitely a key objective, but what is so great about the web as a medium is the power and flexibility to build tools that replace or improve on other aspects of a business and how it works.
Here we look at some of the tools and functions you might be able to build into your website and online presence to improve on your internal processes and help your business work smarter and not harder.
1. Qualify your leads
Implement a more specific contact form on your site that asks the questions that matter most when a potential new client contacts you. Your website can even be smart enough to channel contacts through to the right people and departments within your organisation based on the information provided.
2. Improve business development process
Build a dedicated “BD micro site” to showcase some of your credentials and what you’re key value proposition is so that when you’re prospecting clients you can send them there for information rather than spending time in meetings or preparing expensive printed material that quickly gets out of date. As a bonus, the web can be a much more impressive and engaging way to promote your products or services, through the use of interactive elements and streaming audio or video.
3. Support your customers
From simply keeping an “FAQ” page up to date on your website with common and recurring customer questions to implementing a fully fledged support ticketing module, your site can greatly improve (and measure) the real pain points and needs for your business and give your customers the answers they need quickly. After-all, the best customer support is none at all!
4. Empower your sales force and external suppliers
Building a secure area (or ‘extranet’) into your site for providing your sales force and external suppliers access to internal documentation and pricing can be a great way to empower these people to do their job efficiently and without having to ‘call home’ for information. As a bonus, it is a great way to centralise your important and confidential documents so that everyone is working off the latest material.
5. Integrate your business applications
So much of our businesses run on disparate pieces of software and systems providing a variety of functions but often this adds overhead in terms of data entry. If you’re capturing leads on your website via a contact form, why not integrate it directly with your CRM? If you have an internal support ticketing system, expose a form on your website to allow customers to publish support tickets. Working the other way, integrating your products site or Ecommerce store with product and stock information from your POS or inventory management software can save on the overhead of maintaining product, stock and pricing information in two separate places.
Within your website lays a huge opportunity to improve systems in processes in your business so that you can work more efficiently. Hopefully if you’re not doing so already, you can start to use your website as a tool and not just another advertising medium.