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- They’re Mobile. Yes, that’s obvious, but it’s important to stress the importance of mobile. We take them with us everywhere. They are normally never more than a pants pocket away from us. We conduct our lives with them and that includes internet searches. If you don’t understand how they are impacting your business and will continue to impact it into the future, you may not have that business for very long.
- Click-to-call. It’s a fact that more and more businesses are utilizing click-to-call in search results. They understand that many people are searching for their business and want to talk to them. That’s why cell phones have increased the number of calls to businesses. Sure, some vertical industries get more calls than others, but the savvy business owner knows that when the customer is conducting a search or is on your website, offering click-to-call just makes good sense.
- IVRs (Interactive Voice Recognition) as Filters. If you haven’t noticed, IVRs have changed a great deal. They’re sounding better, understanding more, and learning more about us with each call. This means the platform that supports the IVR makes mental notes of a sort about us each time we call. The good ones learn our repetitive transactions (monthly bill paying, for instance) and help us to handle those quickly. This also means both callers and business owners are learning that with a good IVR hold times are reduced, information is easily retrieved and both parties are happy.
- The New Computers. It’s no secret that phones are the new computers. In general, sales for computers are down and tablet sales, which were once hot, are also on the decline. We do everything on our mobile devices, so when you consider the amount of time we use our phones, you could say that we are constantly computing. We search with their phones, make calls with them, download and use apps. In fact, customers research your business with them, fill out applications with them, and send and receive text messages. In short, they conduct their lives with their mobile phones.
- The New Human Communication (Interaction) Devices. That’s what phones have become. We don’t just talk on them. We interact with the world with them. They are our gateway to social media platforms, where everyone (almost) shares their lives (usually too much). If you want people to interact with your business, then you better have a mobile-ready website that ranks well in search. You should be ready to take their calls and it doesn’t hurt to have social media accounts to help drive that business to your site.
- SMS Marketing. The effectiveness of SMS marketing is not hard to figure out. In fact, more than 95% of all e-mails are opened and 90% are opened within 15 minutes of being sent. What other advertising medium can approach those kind of numbers these days? There is heavy regulation within certain industries, but for those that aren’t and for those that use it as a marketing supplement, as much as a sales tool, customers are open to receiving your text messages. This can be for discounts and news items (store closing due to weather or similar reason, for instance), which are also popular and effective.
- Total Integration. Yes, this means we can completely integrate our cell phones with our office. You no longer have to be in your office to conduct business, because with voicemail-to-email, soft phones, meet me/find me solutions, and third-party software integration, you can take your office with you wherever you go. It’s time to connect with your customers. They’re calling. The question is “Are you answering?”