The Business Value of Cloud Computing
Everyone today talks about cloud computing. Many business owners ask me about it and don’t fully understand how cloud computing becomes strong business value for them. The next few, short paragraphs are a brief illustration of what business value can be yours if you apply cloud computing in the right way in your business. In this article, I’ll speak of cloud computing as using mobile software systems to serve your customer. There are many other ways to use cloud computing, but for the sake of this article, I’ll stay with mobile software.
Improve Your Service
Cloud computing, by its vary nature allows you to do far more while in the presence of your customer. This means a far greater level of service provided. Please, let me explain this. If your service involves going to your customer and evaluating (or servicing) a system in their home or business, wouldn’t your service person benefit from technical instruction materials being available while on the job? Wouldn’t your customer want you to provide them with photographs, a report of your recommendations and a professional estimate of work being proposed? Electronically delivered? Wouldn’t you want your customer to pay and settle the bill while you are there?
Lower Your Costs
By taking care of your customer’s every need, while you are there, your level of service becomes higher. You are meeting that need the customer does not recognize…the need for speed of service. Yes, that’s right. Today’s customers want faster service and error free resolution. By doing this, by putting these many transactions into the iPad filled hands of your service person, less work goes back to the office. Gone are many of the second customer visits, and their related costs. Gone are the estimates waiting at the office needing follow up. Gone are the phone calls needed to collect payments. Gone are many tasks previously done at the expense of your employees’ task lists, and ultimately, the paycheck you pay as an employer.
Increase your Sales
When you are serving your customer, iPad in hand, you are also selling. Picture this situation: Your service person is standing at your customer’s side. They’ve evaluated the customer’s system; they are making recommendations regarding additional work (yes, sales). There is no better time to ask the customer to do the work than when you are right there at their location. There is no better place to ask them to do the work than when you are together, in person, and better yet, eye to eye. With a solid service just delivered and a pleasant ask, your sales go up.
There are many more intangible gains to your business when you go cloud computing. One intangible is measuring valuable information indicating your success or need for improvement. For example, you can record the right information to allow automatic measurement of the sales effectiveness (the sales close rate) of your entire team collectively or your team members. By knowing who sells well and who needs improvement, you can direct your sales training towards only those who need it and positively improve their sales success. This is hard to translate into sales or cost saved dollars, however, you know your solutions are correctly targeted at existing issues resulting in reduced cost sales training with a positive impact on sales, customer service and employee satisfaction!
If you apply cloud computing with business value in mind, you can get great improvements in your company. Be sure to look at cloud computing carefully when you buy, and when you buy, preplan your specific business process improvements to happen in your business. Measure, in advance of your purchase, the hard dollar and intangible impacts such as:
- Gains in sales
- Reduction in costs
- Improvements in customer service
- Many intangible gains
When you are done with implementing your new cloud based system, you can watch those positive business changes happen!
I invite you to contact me if you have questions!
Rodger Stephens, CPA, CGMA
Prize Performance LLC is a consulting firm specializing in accelerating business performance for small to medium sized businesses. Contact Prize Performance LLC today to take your business to new places!