How can electricians use new mobile technology wisely this Christmas?
The Christmas trees are up in supermarkets, the lights have already been fitted on Oxford Street and this is one of the busiest times for electricians because people are beginning to discover that the heating in their home or office is no longer working. This is the time to ensure that people are heading to you for help rather than your competitors.
If you are an electrician, make sure you're taking advantage of this busy period. If you’re not up with the latest technology then perhaps now is the right time to start to get to grips with it. We're not talking about the specialised electrical equipment you use for your job, but the latest in computing, smartphone technology and social media.
Smartphones and tablets
New models of smartphones are constantly being released to the market by Apple, Microsoft, Samsung or the likes. Everyone is using the latest iPhone, Samsung and Blackberry. If you’re not, then perhaps you need to start thinking about getting up to date with this technology.
Smartphones and tablet computers enable on-the-go access to information and key applications that can undoubtedly be useful to your business. When you’re out on the job you can easily access all the information that you require. Throughout the 2000s, mobile phones were mostly used for talking, texting, e-mailing, internet browsing and sending images on infra-red or Bluetooth. Phones have now evolved though and you can do so much more.
With a huge range of apps available to download, your smartphone can turn into a credit card terminal, a full-scale online profile management device or even the main tool you use to manage your invoices, employees and customer requests. If you're still using pen and paper, fax machines and photocopiers, then is there any wonder why you're struggling to manage your work effectively whilst bringing in new customers to your company? These days, many business trades such as electricians are able to fit much more into their working day.
Smartphones and tablets have completely changed the way that people conduct business, communicate with customers and complete admin. They're are invaluable tools for electricians to help keep track of their businesses when they are out at work. Being able to quickly see work details gives your competitors an upper hand, especially if you do not use technology to manage your work.
Managing your invoices and emails from your smartphone while sitting comfortably on your armchair is all well and good, but is your website up to scratch? Websites are now extremely important for all businesses and need to be fully search engine optimised to even stand a chance of ranking well on Google and Yahoo searches. Many modern websites are optimised for smartphone and tablet use, meaning that all the content is properly displayed on every device it is viewed on. The information will be then quicker and easier to digest. If your website isn’t smartphone-friendly, you could potentially lose customers simply because the content is not adequately displayed on a smartphone screen.
The growth of smartphones and tablets means that the internet world has grown and will continue to grow. This means that social media is a must for electricians.in the past, tradesmen relied on word of mouth for new business and customers, but this kind of recommendation has phased out – not completely but it’s rare now. If there was any life left in word-of-mouth recommendations, it would be in the form of a tweet or Facebook update.
There is much research that shows the power that the internet and social media has on businesses across the world. According to Hager’s most recent Digital Adoption Survey, 55% of tradesmen questioned in the electrical industry stated that social networking has enhanced their business opportunities – this is an enormous 40% increase on the 2011’s results for the same survey. The surge of smartphones has undoubtedly been one of the key reasons for the expansion of social media, with 25% of electrical contractors agreeing that smartphones have enhanced business opportunities. Back in 2011 when smartphone usage was relatively new, the number of businesses utilising smartphones stood at around 40%. Nowadays it has dramatically risen to 63%. This does make you wonder, with the constant growth in smartphones, is it now the key tool to succeeding in business?
Social media is a quick and easy way to bring in new business, and setting up a profile on sites such as Facebook and Twitter has never been easier. Once you have a page, you can use websites such as Buffer and Hootsuite to write and schedule your posts. This allows you to interact with your customers on a regular basis, at the prime times of the day (Evenings).
Another benefit to having a social media presence is that loyal customers will often tweet about the excellent service they’ve received from a shop, tradesman or mechanic. With such tweet or posts, you could be recommended to hundreds of people in minutes!
Social media sites are also great for keeping up to date with industry hints & tips as well as the latest product information. Many manufacturers use Twitter to engage with their customers. Social media can provide additional avenues of communication and can help provide an avenue for recommendations right the way across the globe. In terms of Facebook, you can create relationships with a variety of people - customers, manufacturers and distributors. Facebook has many discussion groups that are based on certain likes or even specific locations across the country; such as Surrey, London and Manchester. They can even be more specific than that. If you can gain positive recommendations in these groups then this could be seen by thousands of potential customers.
You may be an experienced and hardworking electrician, but if you’re not optimised with the latest gadgets, you could potentially go unnoticed during the busy months of November and December. Make sure you are noticed and that you are helping people across your local area with their heating needs by being visible online, and managing your presence from your smart phone.
Just think, if you’re not using your smartphone to work smart, then there are another 63% of electricians across the UK who are gaining thousands of customers online which you may be missing. In January 2014, it was recorded that 74% of adults use social networking sites. If you're not online effectively then you are practically invisible to them.
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