We’ve all heard the expression, “There’s an app for that!” This statement is particularly true in the business arena, where mobile apps can now do an astonishing array of tasks. I’ve heard from several business owners who use their smartphones for everything from monitoring remote operations to receiving payment for their services. I like the innovative approaches they’re taking to run their companies. As workforces become more mobile, we can expect the trend to continue to grow — quickly.
Here are five ways businesses are using mobile apps to help increase productivity, improve customer service and boost sales:
1. Support sales activities
A business owner I spoke with recently told me how she uses a sales support app to help her salespeople reduce busywork so they can focus on closing more deals. The app lets them store contact information, use maps, and manage their sales pipeline more efficiently when they’re on the road, while she uses it to generate sales reports. They also use an expense tracking app to simplify expense reporting and reimbursement. They’re even able to snap pictures of expense receipts with their phone cameras and print, view, and email expense reports straight from their phones.
2. Improve fleet management
Companies of all kinds are using GPS-based workforce management apps to improve oversight of remote operations. I was interested to learn about a company called Streetblimps that uses an app to track its roving fleet of mobile billboards, allowing it to show clients where the ads are any time. Other apps include a time-card feature so employees can record and submit hours through their smartphones.
3. Complete and submit forms
Apps can even help companies make their products and services better. Here’s a video that shows how a pizza chain’s inspectors use an app to deliver instant feedback, helping to shorten their inspection process and improve pizza quality. Data entry apps like this one enable users to fill out and submit forms through their smartphones rather than faxing or hand delivering them to an office. They can be a significant timesaver for field workers in a variety of industries, including property management and healthcare.
4. Process payments
I’ve seen several point-of-service apps used at home parties, street fairs, and farmers’ markets. Users have told me they’re bringing in more sales because of them. The apps let retailers who sell their wares outside a storefront accept credit and debit cards with their smartphones. Business owners can key customers’ card information right into their phones or use an attachable card reader to accept payment. They can then email or text customers a receipt.
5. Serve patients better
My children’s pediatrician uses an app to retrieve drug and disease information, along with drug dosages, side effects, and pricing. Medical professionals are increasingly using apps of this sort to deliver care more effectively. In addition to providing information, the apps also help doctors and nurses monitor patients remotely.
As mobile devices and apps become more integrated in your workforce, having a secure way to manage them all is becoming more important. Mobile device management platforms can help improve your oversight of the devices your staff use and allow you to deploy apps across your company.