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Ooma’s Guide to Running Your Business From Your Mobile Device

By Ken Narita|Thursday October 22, 2020

Has your company shifted to working remotely? Or maybe you have to travel for your job, contributing to the 405 million business trips that Americans take in a typical year. Thanks to new technologies that enhance digital interconnectedness, it’s easier than ever to run your business from your mobile devices.

You don’t need to have a full computer workstation to have a productive workday. Instead, you use your smartphone to stay on top of your work while in a home office, an airport lounge or a hotel.

The infographic below shares best practices for running your business when on the go.

Run Your Business from Your Mobile Device

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Digital storage in the cloud.

Cloud storage has become mainstream in the past decade, replacing individual hard drives and internal company servers. By storing files in the cloud, you can access them from any location and easily collaborate with co-workers.

There’s been significant growth among the top cloud service companies: Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. Between 2014 and 2019, total user counts have more than doubled.

Currently, Google Drive is the most popular cloud storage app, exceeding 1 billion users in 2018. Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive both experienced strong growth; however, between 2016 and 2019, user counts have plateaued and neither has announced any updates beyond 500 million users.

Users of cloud storage

Dropbox

  • 2011: 50 million
  • Nov. 2012: 100 million
  • Nov. 2013: 200 million
  • June 2015: 400 million
  • March 2016: 500 million
  • July 2019: More than 500 million

Google Drive

  • Nov. 2013: 120 million
  • June 2014: 190 million
  • Oct. 2014: 240 million
  • July 2018: 1 billion

Microsoft OneDrive

  • Nov. 2014: 250 million
  • Oct. 2015: 500 million
  • June 2019: More than 500 million

Staying in touch.

Email is critical to business success. As the number of daily emails sent or received continues to grow, it’s predicted that by the end of 2020, we’ll exceed 300 billion daily emails.

Emails Sent or Received Per Day Worldwide

  • 2013: 182.9 billion
  • 2014: 191.4 billion
  • 2015: 205.6 billion
  • 2016: 215.3 billion
  • 2017: 269.0 billion
  • 2018: 281.1 billion
  • 2019: 293.6 billion
  • 2020: 306.4 billion (projected)
  • 2021: 319.6 billion (projected)
  • 2022: 333.2 billion (projected)
  • 2023: 347.3 billion (projected)

Even as the quantity of emails grows, there’s a shift from desktop to mobile. As of December 2018, 43 percent of all emails were opened on mobile devices, and that percentage continues to climb.

However, large companies are seeking to reduce email overload by integrating enterprise phone collaboration and IM solutions. In considering the shift of the workplace away from email, the New York Times said, “This multi-front attack on email is just beginning, but a wartime narrative already dominates: The universally despised office culture of replies and forwards and mass CCs and ‘looping in’ and ‘circling back’ is on its way out, and it’s going to be replaced by chat apps.”

Most workers expect an increase in virtual collaboration. In a Deloitte survey about communications channels, respondents expected to see shifts and increases in work from home and remote communications in the next three to five years. These pre-pandemic predictions have accelerated during COVID-19.

In March 2020, tens of millions of Americans shifted to working from home. Resilient businesses are continuing to invest in infrastructure that supports remote collaboration, even while reimagining what offices will look like in the future.

Deloitte survey respondents expect growth in the following communication channels:

  • Online collaboration platforms – 70%
  • Work-based social media – 67%
  • Instant messaging – 62%

Connectivity Beyond Wires.

We all know that a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection is critical for digital connectivity. Even in the movie “Dr. Strange,” when the main character travels to undergo training in the mystic arts, he’s given a piece of paper with a single word on it. Strange asks: “What is this, my mantra?” Mordo, his trainer, responds, “It’s the Wi-Fi password. We’re not savages.”

Presently, there are 362 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, which is a 285% increase since 2016. The trend is shifting toward a larger share of internet traffic occurring wirelessly, via Wi-Fi or cellular data. In 2017, those two categories amounted to 52% of all internet traffic, and it’s predicted that they’ll grow to 71 percent of all traffic by 2022.

Global internet traffic
2017:

  • 48%: Wired
  • 52%: Wireless (Wi-Fi/Mobile)

2022:

  • 29%: Wired
  • 71%: Wireless (Wi-Fi/ Mobile)

Good communication is good for business.

Like many workers today, Jeb Blount, CEO of Sales Gravy, believes a phone call is the most powerful way to communicate outside of an in-person meeting. “Sales is all about transferring emotions,” he says. “When your confidence and enthusiasm carry through your voice, people are more likely to talk to you.”

However, for businesses that use an old-fashioned phone service, employees don’t have the same level of connectivity when they’re outside of the office. Phone calls have to be made on a personal cell phone number, and getting messages means dialing in to an antiquated voicemail box.

There’s a more effective way to stay connected to your work phone using your existing device.

Cloud phone systems make it possible for seamless connectivity no matter where your employees are. For example, tools such as Ooma’s mobile app have been developed to keep employees connected to their office phone system while traveling or working from home.

With the app, you can connect to your work phone line using your personal device. You can use the app to answer incoming calls to your work number or transfer callers to other extensions or departments. And outgoing calls made with the app show your work phone number, not the device’s native cell phone number. This keeps communication consistent, professional and centralized.

Telephone access remains a critical part of business communications. “Customers still want to talk to a human being,” said the Harvard Business Review. “Digital transformation efforts are incomplete unless they include voice communications.”

In 2020, 169 billion annual calls will be made to businesses. These communication points are exceedingly important to your customers’ experiences and your revenue stream. About 61 percent of mobile users call a business when they’re making a complex or high-value purchase. These calls are 10-15 times more likely to result in a successful sale or follow-up activity, as compared to a digital form submission.

Small businesses can get digital phone systems with time-saving features such as the Virtual Receptionist and Enhanced Call Blocking. Small companies can also help their company seem like a big deal with a free toll-free number, Music on Hold, and a conference bridge. You also have a Virtual Receptionists that can help direct calls and maintain a professional business image when you’re out of the office. And robust tools like Ring Groups, Call Recording and Call Logs can help your company to work more efficiently.

A powerful system for voice calls can give your company an edge. Joe Huff, co-founder of LSTN Headphones, says: “Even [after] just a 15-minute story about what we do and why, [people] say, ‘Wow, I read everything on your website, but to hear you tell it, there’s a huge difference.’ Because we have a passion-based business, it’s really important for us to get that across.”

Learn how Ooma’s small business phone system and enterprise phone service can help you run your business more efficiently and keep your customers happy, whether you’re in the office or on the road.

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Loyal customers are critical to business success because they tend to be a source of repeat business. According to The Loyalty Report 2018, “Loyalty programs that establish positive emotional connections with Members see 27% more of their Membership increasing their spend with the Brand.” This research tells us that building customer loyalty can lead to more spending.

Loyalty programs vs. improving customer experience: Designing your approach

There are different approaches to building customer loyalty. Some companies use loyalty program cards, bonus offers and other incentives. You might offer access to special deals like CVS or take 5% off the purchase price like Target. You might even give some or part of your product away for free, like airlines that provide free flights through their loyalty programs. What if your small business isn’t interested or able to offer these kinds of loyalty programs?

There is another way to encourage loyal customers to keep giving you repeat business. Gather customer feedback through a phone survey and then use that data to improve the customer experience. When customers see that the business owner has acted on their feedback, they may feel inspired to return to that business. That means more revenue for the bottom line. You just need a fast and straightforward way to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. That’s where a focused business phone survey comes in.

Why increasing customer loyalty with a phone survey is a good choice.

Organizing a customer satisfaction survey by phone offers notable advantages compared to other methods. While a net promoter survey can give you interesting data, there is no conversational element involved. Further, using the net promoter survey approach effectively requires a certain degree of specialized training in the net promoter methodology.

You might also consider online customer surveys. Surveying your email list or website is worth attempting. Depending on the size of your email list or website traffic, you might be able to get a large number of survey responses. The challenge with online customer surveys is that you will have to spend a lot of time reviewing the data to find insights. There is no way to ask a customer to clarify their survey responses or provide an example.

Conducting a customer satisfaction survey by phone gives you the best of both worlds. You can ask questions and get survey responses. However, you also have the opportunity to provide the human touch. For instance, you may hear a customer complain about a lost or delayed order. When you hear about a problem during a phone survey, you can gather all the necessary details to make the situation right with the customer.

How to increase customer loyalty with a phone survey step by step.

The following steps give you a starting point to create a simple customer satisfaction survey. Over the course of a month, you could gather a significant amount of insights to improve your customer service by calling five to 10 customers per day.

  1. Define your customer satisfaction survey goals.

Before calling a single customer, reflect on your business goals. Are you seeking to improve your profit margins? In that case, you may want to focus your survey on the customers that spend the most on your business. Finding ways to make high-spending customers content may give you an excellent return. Alternatively, you may decide to focus your survey project on whether your local SEO has attracted customers. 

  1. Write your customer satisfaction survey questions.

Now that you have clarity on your goals, it is time to write your questions. According to Survey Monkey, a survey software company, it is best to focus your survey on closed-ended questions. An example of a closed-ended question would be: “How many times have you bought from our business in the past 12 months?” However, this kind of question may not give you the ideas you need to improve the customer experience.

At the end of the survey, consider asking one or two open-ended questions to understand better what your customers like. Encourage customers to think creatively with a question like this: “If you could change anything in our business, what would you improve?”

Tip: Reduce your need for note-taking by using call recording, but make sure that you ask for permission first.

  1. Test the survey with a small group of customers.

With your list of customer satisfaction questions, make a few test phone calls to customers. The purpose of the test is to discover if any of the questions are unclear. If you receive confusing answers, revise the question to make them clearer.

  1. Train employees on how to gather survey responses.

Consider running a few training phone calls for your employees. Ask them to call you or other employees in a role-playing scenario. Making a few practice calls will help your employees become more familiar with the questions. Besides, practice phone surveys will help employees learn how to record survey responses accurately. Once the training is complete, give your staff a list of customers to call and let them get started.

  1. Review the survey responses for insights and follow up with customers.

After all of the survey responses are in, schedule time to review the results. In particular, look for patterns in the results. If a large number of people gave low scores to your website, you may need to make improvements. Also, review the survey responses received in the open-ended questions. You might be pleasantly surprised at what customers tell you.

  1. Follow up with customers after the survey when needed.

A phone survey lets you gather rich insights because you can quickly ask follow-up questions. However, merely gathering survey responses may not impress your customers very much. Instead, offer to refer problems to the business owner for improvement or offer to enter the respondent in a drawing for a gift card. That is a much more compelling improvement! By addressing problems and issues when they arise, you stand a much better chance of winning additional loyal customers.