First there’s the technology role we call “housekeeping”. This is the combination of software applications and computer hardware that supports day-to-day operations like inventory, accounting, e-mail, web access, customer records, invoices, banking, scheduling and other functions that allow your business to run smoothly with minimal interruptions. While these functions don’t contribute directly to the bottom line, they can seriously burn up time, energy and resources when they don’t work well or reliably.
Then, there’s the “front desk” functions provided by information technology components. These affect how well you interact with existing and prospective customers and attend to their desires and issues in way that stands out positively. Easy and fast interaction with customers makes your business stand out. It’s an adage that you really only have to compete with 20% of others in your industry for customers, because 80% of the competition is doing a rather mediocre job. You want to be in that 20%.
Don’t you hate it when you call a vendor and they put you on hold while waiting on “the computer” to answer your question or look up your records. Even more irritating is having to repeat your customer information over and over as you reach different people in the company. Then you get someone you can’t understand, they forward you to a non-working number and you’re back to dial tone. Your telephone handset then often takes the punishment. Now one of your customers calls and aren’t you in a pretty mood? We’ve all been there and we certainly don’t want your business perceived in that way!
Communicating effectively with customers takes seamless information flows, integrated with all communication types (phone, e-mail, web, video, audio) to effectively keep you and your employees on top of every situation. This level of I.T. involves carefully selected systems that go beyond housekeeping. They become sort of like a super-assistant who acts quickly, does the right thing without delay, plans ahead, never quits or takes a break during business hours and is always cheerful.
At Milagro, we take this attitude to heart in all situations dealing with your I.T. “Focus on the business problem; the technical will follow.”
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