‘Tis the season for shopping and spending. But it will be a challenging one for small businesses and retail. “This year, everything is going to take longer, be harder to find, and there’ll be more competition for inventory, employees and customers. Even something as simple as sending greeting cards to your clients is going to be more challenging this year,” small business expert Rhonda Abrams said in a recent USA Today article.
For a smoother and more profitable holiday season, the ability to reach customers, vendors and employees is essential. Modern communications technology such as a mass notification system (MNS) can be your extra hands while you’re dealing with the busy holiday season by automating much of the work. You can contact whoever you choose reliably, with whichever device you choose, in just a few clicks. You can send messages to groups of people – even multiple groups of people – instantly.
A number of small businesses and retail organizations are seeing the value in an MNS. According to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by OnSolve®, 22 percent of small businesses surveyed are planning to implement critical communications/mass notification solutions in the next 12 months. Additionally, 24 percent of retail organizations surveyed are planning to implement critical communications/mass notification solutions in the next 12 months.
Read on for three ways small businesses and retail operations can grow their businesses this winter with the help of a mass notification system.
1. Gift customers inventory information and seasonal specials.
Imagine those customers who contacted you months ago to be put on the list for that special toy of the season. Cue the unending photos of the massive ships filled with hundreds of containers sitting outside of California ports that process close to half of all incoming shipping for the United States.
The shipment isn’t going to make it to you. Now you have dozens of phone calls to make, while potentially losing sales and customers.
With an MNS, you can create one message for customers who ordered this special item and, perhaps, offer other ideas from the toys you have in stock. One click and the message is sent, keeping customers informed in a timely and efficient manner.
Additionally, a mass notification system can help you better manage your supply chain by alerting stock managers at warehouses about delivery date changes and vendors when you need to change a supply order.
2. Wrap customers in solid COVID safety protocols.
Requirements for COVID safety such as masking, social distancing and capacity limits are of concern to your customers. It’s easy to let them know their safety is top of mind by using your MNS to share your safety measures and update them about any protocol changes.
So, too, if a COVID exposure limits your business for a time. Using your MNS, you can notify existing customers of changes in your operating hours and offer an enhanced discount when business as usual resumes. Employee exposures and affected staff can be quickly and easily addressed as well through targeted messages to impacted workers.
3. Put a bow on crisp communications for smooth staffing.
A report from the National Federation of Independent Business said 51 percent of small businesses it surveyed for its monthly jobs report said they had job openings they were unable to fill in the current period. That can create a real problem when it comes to scheduling employees.
A mass notification system is a gift when it comes to filling shifts. Automated sequential calling can be initiated for open shifts, leaving managers free to deal with customers while the technology handles the staffing issue. Recipients can set their own preferences for language, modality (text, voicemail, email or push notification) and device (landline, smartphone, laptop or desktop), and employees even have the option to opt-in to cover shifts.
Whether you need to deliver clear, concise instructions to employees or entice customers to shop, OnSolve® One Call Now® is a simple and affordable MNS ideal for small businesses. It’s the kind of gift you can appreciate.
Want to learn more about how an MNS can help your small business and why it’s a good investment? Check out our ebook How to Calculate and Analyze ROI on Mass Notification Systems.