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Utilizing the Web to Make Your Business More Streamlined

Utilizing the Web to Make Your Business More Streamlined

Your company’s website serves many purposes. One purpose that I feel often gets overlooked is that of automation and simplification of internal business processes. When created properly your website can act as another arm of your company, like a group of employees carrying out tasks – but without the overhead.

Let me give you a good example.

Recently part of the Freshlime team was blessed to be able to go to to Siesta Key, FL for a week of fun, sun, and business. Upon doing some prior research we went into Siesta Key Water Sports (SKWS) to rent some jet skis. When we got there it was total chaos. The poor single employee in the office was trying to juggling answering three (yes three!) phones, checking people in, scheduling outings, collecting money and insurance forms, dispatching boats, and a bunch of other things.

While I stood in line waiting I felt a little stressed because I could tell the staff was overwhelmed. I watched the office employee have a near meltdown because of all the things she had going on simultaneously, and I started to think about how many of these mundane tasks could be handled by an improved website and other online tools.

While the SKWS website clearly conveys what they do and how to contact them it certainly isn’t helping them be as streamlined or effective as they could be.

If I was their digital marketing consultant I would recommend the following to them:

  • Include prices on the website: About half of all the calls coming in were related to pricing. Having this info online would reduce phone calls for info that could easily be obtained online.
  • Put a map prominently on the homepage: Another third of the phone calls were people asking where they were located. By making a map a prominent feature on the home page should reduce these types of phone calls.
  • Utilize an automated phone recording: Since many people call SKWS after seeing the phone number on the side of the parasailing boats, when they call in they could be able to walk through an automated phone system which would allow them to choose which dept (parasailing, jet skiing, etc) they were interested in and would then provided all of the relevant legal and pricing info. From there they could then press another button to be connected to an employee to make a reservation.
  • Add the ability to make reservations online: Much like you reserve a hotel online, they would greatly benefit from an online reservation system that checks for ability and allows customers to reserve online.
  • Enhance the Facebook Fan Page: Since the target is mainly high-school and college students (and their parents) beefing up their Facebook fan page is helping SKWS fishing where the fish are. Using a service like TabSite they could include rental info and prices as well as FAQ.
  • Create a mobile site: Having a mobile version of the site, along with the ability to make reservations and view rental info is key for the younger demographic.
  • Photos and video: SKWS already offers a photo package but why not add video too? They could even offer to post pics/videos to your Facebook fan page and tag customers as a way to spread viral word-of-mouth.
  • Email marketing: Collect email addresses and send email newsletters through the year, and especially before spring break enticing existing customers to return and bring their friends.
  • Blog: Websites with blogs receive 55% more traffic than those without a blog. A well-written, engaging blog would increase traffic and search rankings and also help customers connect on a deeper level with the staff at SKWS.

Siesta Key Water Sports has a lot of things going for them. The are utilizing Google PPC ads and also appear at the top of Google natural search results. They have close to 1000 engaged fans on Facebook and have a great reputation in the Siesta area. By improving the effectiveness of their website and leveraging other digital tools they can streamline their business which will boost their profitability and bottom line. With less to do they will also be able to cater more toward their clients and create a better customer experience.

About the author / Jillian Koeneman

Juiced about social media & digital. Entrepreneur. Founder @freshlimemktg | Connector. #MSU Alum. #Detroit native. Dog lover.

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