What We Talk About When We Talk About Business Tools
We love “dumb tools.”
Our first post in this series:
highlighted the potential of your digital platform to function as a business tool. But what does that really mean? Google and Facebook have taught us that an online experience should do something for us, and do it quickly — we’re all so busy and important. Web-based tools can accomplish this while providing lasting value to your business.
We love the idea of “dumb tools” — that is, something that does one or two things really well. Complex tools that confuse defeat our purpose of simplifying user experiences, but if we can create a series of tools that work together, then we have an intelligent system. This system can greatly help your organization reach its desired future state.
We love “dumb tools.”
Of course, there are many third-party tools that offer turnkey solutions — they have their merits and shortcomings. Many of these third-party tools bring with them an aesthetic that’s different from your brand, and this is a more important problem than it may initially seem. Consider e-commerce: the moment someone is about to take an action (in this case, parting with their hard-earned money), they’re bounced out to an experience that’s disconnected from your brand. Sending your users on a fragmented journey doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their decision to make a purchase (and we’d bet your conversion rate could be improved).
Customization is key. We completely tailored the Loden Hotel’s third-party booking engine (Synxis) to address user needs, while matching the brand’s elevated aesthetic and personality. This consistent brand experience builds trust with their guests throughout the entire process and more importantly, leads to more bookings.
Geolocation is a powerful tool that can effectively communicate the scale of your organization and its projects. The searchable map feature we built for Coast Funds helps users understand the relationships between the many projects they support, First Nations, and protected areas in the Great Bear Rainforest. Taking this communication angle helps place Coast Funds’ users in the region and gives them a sense of place.
Business tools can also operate behind the scenes to make things more efficient. After all, you use your organization’s platform too. It’s why we put so much effort into creating intuitive Content Management Systems (we’re BIG WordPress fans). It’s 2017, there’s no way you should need a computer science degree to update your platform.
Earnest Ice Cream’s digital flavour board allows its staff to easily update which flavours are available daily at multiple locations. This had an immediate impact on their bottom line — without the need to answer a massive amount of customer phone calls about flavours, Earnest was able to significantly reduce staffing needs at each shop. The best part is that this gives their staff more time with their customers and the time savings are compounded with each new shop they open.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record but it all comes back to the user. Business tools need to focus on enabling users to complete tasks efficiently — bonus points for making processes enjoyable. And if these tools can create a new revenue stream for your business, that’s never a bad thing.
This wraps up our fifth installment of ways to improve your digital presence. How about this week you think about what business tools your organization needs. We’d love to grab a coffee and hear what you’re thinking — get in touch!