3 Ways You Can Cater to Your Clients Using Cloud Storage


Share on LinkedIn

A company is only as good as their customer service. After all, an unhappy customer is a non-returning one. We have all heard the statistics saying that it costs a lot more for customer acquisition than to retain an existing one. However, your business is like a machine with a thousand moving parts. How can you possibly cater to each client while still managing the behind the scenes details required for success? Knowing the right tools to use and how to incorporate them is the first step to managing an efficient operation.

In one way or another, we are all accessing the Internet cloud regardless of what business you are in. From sending and receiving e-mails to creating a website to interacting on social media, the cloud has become as commonplace as carrying around our smart phones. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are either too busy to learn a new program or too scared to give it a try. With this in mind, countless cloud providers are developing platforms that are user friendly with tools that are invaluable. Regardless of the size of your company or the industry that you are in, there are great cloud apps that can make your business run seamlessly. Here are a few to consider for your business:

Product Management
You may have one location that you work out of or manage a number of chains. In either circumstance, inventory and product management can be a huge headache. Knowing what you have in stock, how much has sold at what price, what quantities to re-order, or where the items are located can be confusing at best. With the right cloud based POS system you can monitor your inventory, track trends, and even calculate customer reward points. Additionally, many are even going beyond the traditional cashier stations in favor of mobile device check-outs using iPads. This allows staff to get out from behind the counter, greet customers, find out where the exact product is if it’s not found on the sales floor, and these newer apps can even track customer’s previous purchases so your sales people can make recommendations to further cater to your customer’s tastes. Vend POS and Lightspeed are two companies that are at the forefront of cloud-based POS systems and you don’t need to be tech savvy to master their platforms.

Furthermore, accounts payable and receivable can all be managed online from any mobile device, anywhere. You can also supervise employee management tasks including scheduling, timecards, and sales per staff member. (A smooth running company equals a better customer experience!)

File Access and Sharing

Freelance work and telecommuting are indisputably on the rise. Consider these findings from Global Workplace Analytics:
• Regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005.
• 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.
• Fortune 1000 companies around the globe are entirely revamping their space around the fact that employees are already mobile. Studies repeatedly show they are not at their desk 50-60% of the time.
• If those with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home did so just half the time (roughly the national average for those who do so regularly) the national savings would total over $700 billion a year.

Cloud storage and the Internet are obviously the major contributors to the rise in telecommuters and freelancers. Instead of a local potential customer base, now companies have the capability of connecting to a worldwide audience. Many business owners aren’t in the restaurant or retail industry, but their product management is just as vital. There are plenty of cloud storage providers to assist; Google Drive is one company that is greatly impacting this arena. With their Google Docs and Spreadsheets, these documents can be shared and edited among multiple users simultaneously. Moreover, while e-mail can be clunky with its limited attachment space, cloud files can be shared and opened without long downloading times or size limitations.

Storage Space
A public or hybrid cloud save can save you considerable money in several ways (and therefore you can pass on that savings to your clients while also knowing that their information is secure). First of all, hardware is expensive to purchase and costly to maintain. Most applications that run in the cloud automatically update themselves. Secondly, cloud platforms create copies of your data off-site where it will be safe from any local natural disaster, theft or malfunction. (No more fear of “what if my computer crashes?!?!”) Next, the cloud allows you to shift the storage of large files off of your local system, saving local storage for the files you need to access every day.

Changing the way you run your business can be scary and an investment of time, but the benefits far outweigh the risk. However, as a business leader, you obviously know about risks and changing with the ever-evolving marketplace. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

Alex Miller
Alex is an analyst at Clutch, a Washington, D.C. based IT research firm, where he is responsible for the cloud research segment. Alex is originally from Dalton, PA and graduated from the George Washington University with a B.A. in Philosophy & Public Affairs.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here