Monday, 27 January 2014

Why Have a Website?

The following post was originally written by Richard Isaac on the Convallis Software website in 2009 but I think that the points are still relevant today.

Over the past 12 months I've seen 3 or 4 news articles saying that, shock horror, many UK small businesses don't have a website. One such article put the number at something like 44%, but I suspect that figure might be on the low side.

These days it seems that it's taken for granted that a company should have a website and that if your company doesn't, then it is somehow missing out. I'm not sure that is entirely true, after all there are a minority of businesses for whom having a website is an unnecessary expense, but for the vast majority there are good reasons to have one:

  • A simple 'brochure' type site provides useful information about your company, who you are, what you do, where you are
  • Marketing your service/product 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Global as well as local reach
  • Allows those customers who use the internet to find you when they need your service/product
  • E-shops can provide another income stream
  • Low cost compared to a high street shop front

While a website is an expense, there's no getting away from that, site owners don't need that much technical knowledge to get them up and running and so the cost can be much less than you think, but the return on investment could be large indeed, although it may not be something easily quantifiable.

How many times have you searched for a company online, perhaps doing a little research on them before getting in touch? Perhaps you were put off when you found that they didn't have a website because you couldn't find out what you needed to know, so you searched for another company that did have a web
site and found what you wanted. Now just think for a minute, that could easily be a customer looking for information about your company!

Convallis Software offer a range of website packages as well as custom website solutions. Why not get in touch today to discuss your individual needs.

Friday, 24 January 2014

What have you invested in your tech?

There are many forms of investment that we make in our tech, fiscal, intellectual and sometimes emotional. We can relatively easily measure our fiscal investment as we generally know what we've spent on a PC or application, but what about the intellectual investment that we have made in our tech?

As we work on our PC's or read this article on our tablets or smartphones I'm sure we can all appreciate some of the intellectual investment we've made. We've had to take the time to learn how to browse the web and find this article, even how to switch the machine on and start the browser application up. All of this requires an intellectual investment on our part.


Monday, 13 January 2014

Do you ask for Customer Testimonials?

How do you get an independent review of your business? Are you asking your customers for testimonials?

Testimonials are a great way of getting feedback from your customers and also offer an independent review of the work that you have done for them. If a customer is happy with a product or service and you approach them for a testimonial most are happy to provide one for you so don't be afraid to ask.

Once you have a testimonial for your business make sure that you put them on your website, if you add a link to your customers' website it will be positive for them too as your website visitors might be interested in what they do. Other uses for testimonials are your marketing materials, add quotes to your leaflets and brochures and let your potential customers know what a good job you have done for your previous customers and give them an idea of what to expect from you.

Like to see some of our testimonials? Please check out the links below:


Website Testimonials

ConvallisCRM Testimonials

Thursday, 9 January 2014

How to Deliver a Quality Service to your Customers Using CRM

In these challenging economic times we are all aware how important and cost effective it is to retain existing customers and build future loyalty when securing new business.

Many small to medium sized businesses find that as they grow, to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, it is vital to move from informal systems to more efficient computer based records. This helps to ensure that any information that you have is up to date and accurate, contacts are made when promised and all staff can access a central database for consistency.

To deliver a quality service to customers you need to:
  • Keep Clear Records: if you want to give a professional service you cannot rely on a messy collection of scribbled notes plus a random collection of sticky notes, held in different places or even by a number of different people! Consistency and ease of access have to be the order of the day. A computer based system can help store emails, details of quotes and orders, notes from telephone calls, letters, appointments etc and recall them at the touch of a button.
  • Save Time: you don't need multiple software packages. Use a CRM to store all of your customer or contact information allows you to have instant access to it in one place. This helps save time searching for what you need and helps improve efficiency. A CRM also allows searches to be saved to use again and again.
  • Ensure Everyone has Access to Consistent Records: anyone from your business who speaks to customers should be able to access customer records. People are busy and wish to achieve their outcome in a single call where possible, so help them achieve this. All staff involved in service delivery need to know of the promises or deals made, so then can ensure successful, timely delivery.
  • Email/SMS: save time by sending messages directly from your contact information. Use mailing lists for sending messages to specific groups and personalise these messages.
  • Target Your Marketing: marketing is now probably more vital than ever before, but it can be expensive in terms of both time and money. Ensure that all marketing and sales activities are as targeted as possible by mailing specific sectors of your database.
  • Use Mail Merge: set up your own direct mail campaigns to promote your special offers, exhibitions, vouchers or other events. Remember you need a critical mass of people to hear about your offers to help ensure that your marketing initiatives succeed!
  • Create Task Lists: start each day with a clear list of things to be achieved and ensure that every promise to contact a prospect or customer by a certain day is honoured. Ensure you never forget that follow up call or mislay contact details again!
If you would like to deliver a quality service to your customers why not consider ConvallisCRM a simple to use customer relationship management solution. Available as either desktop or cloud based solution please take a look at our dedicated website and take your free trial today.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Why Ask for Advice?

In all aspects of running a business there are times when you don't have an answer to a question and you need to ask the advice of an expert - or do you?
With the advent of the Internet and search engines such as Bing, Google, Yahoo etc many of us (me included) look at this as the first port of call to get the answer. Yes, I agree the answers can be there, but quite often there could be conflicting advice as to what to do so you could still be in the same situation as you were at the start.

IT consultancy meetingThis is where asking an expert for advice is a great idea. If you have a problem it's worth asking your friends, contacts if they know someone with the expertise that you need and then get in touch to get advice to resolve your problem. I know getting advice from an expert will cost you money, but consider how much time and money you may have wasted looking for conflicting advice online. Sometimes advice is not just for resolving a problem, it's for help in getting a new product or some software that could help with your business growth.

As a business we offer IT Consultancy to help you with not just your IT problems but helping you gain the most for your IT investments. This could be recommending you have some software developed for your business or just some general advice.

If you would like us to come and help you with your IT issues or are thinking of having some software developed to help run your business more efficiently please don't hesitate to get in touch today.