When working across multiple venues and locations, creating a unified workforce and brand across all of them can prove tricky. This task gets trickier still when employees regularly switch between venues or departments with the need to maintain high levels of customer service and productivity. There’s communication, broadband, branding and collaboration to name just a few of the areas for consideration when connecting multi-sites. But luckily, with thanks to advancements in technology, there are a few simple ways to keep your sites connected and communicating so you don’t have to worry.
Save your stuff to the cloud
Cloud computing is the single most important development in technology for multi-located businesses. With the ability to save data and files in the cloud, your employees will be able to access all their documents with ease and pick up where they left off.
More important still is deploying a remote desktop. This is essentially a virtual computer profile which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. By using cloud computing technology, a remote desktop allows access to absolutely everything your employee may need so they can switch and swap location whenever they need to – at the office, in a coffee shop, on a construction site, wherever. They’ll have all their programs, emails and data so there’s nothing in the way of productivity.
Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
With staff across multiple locations and venues, it’s important to still uphold a good level of teamwork. If you need to cooperate on group projects or maybe just inform a staff member of an issue, you’ll need collaborative tools such as SharePoint or Microsoft Teams. These programs make it easy to edit documents simultaneously, no matter where people are located, for a joined-up approach to working. You can also instant message colleagues so that employees can stay informed and up to date of any immediate concerns for fast resolution.
With collaboration at the forefront of your business, it’s much simpler to create a national or global workforce, while boosting morale and employee engagement – it’s a win-win.
Record customer contact
There’s nothing more frustrating as a customer than having to repeat yourself to multiple staff members. With several locations, the probability of this problem occurring can increase as customers get passed between centres and employees, and information gets lost in translation. A customer relationship management system such as Dynamics 365 will reduce the odds, enabling your employees to automatically record conversions. Phone calls and emails are automatically stored in the CRM database, easily accessible to anyone with the correct permissions to the system. Record notes about a customer for all to see, or share information about your conversation to aid someone’s understanding of the situation next time. And don’t worry, a CRM is highly secure so all data stored is confidential.
The backbone of any business today is their internet. Companies without business broadband with a decent speed will experience regular downtime, and won’t be getting the smooth connection between multi-sites that you need for all parts of your business to work effectively. Make sure your locations are supported by ultra-fast internet that both your employees and even customers can benefit from (hospitality industry – I’m looking at you). If you’re based in Bristol, you may even be eligible for Gigabit speed internet!
Link up your phones
Linking office or shop phones to mobiles and computer profiles allows for a more integrated approach to communications. An individual phone number can stay with the employee, no matter where they are logged in, enabling simple communication at every site. With a full telephony system such as Skype for Business, you can ensure that all forms of communication are possible such as video calls, instant messaging, phone calls, conferencing, the list goes on. Voicemails and missed calls can go straight into your email inbox so you can stay on top of communication.
Don’t forget your branding
A multi-site business wouldn’t be complete without the correct social profiles and Google Business pages. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc need to portray the different venues of the business while depicting one unified brand. Make sure your brand guidelines are the same across locations so that employees can keep their own branch up to date.
Google+ may be dead, but Business pages are certainly not. Make sure they are updated with all your business details such as images, opening times, website etc to ensure the correct information shows in Google Maps and Google Search. This information will also show in your knowledge graph when people are searching for your services, so it’s vital that it’s correct. Link all the pages together with the same branding to clarify that the businesses are connected.
Linking your multi-sites doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right technology strategy at your disposal, you can make sure your businesses stay connected within the umbrella arch of your company branding and ethos. To find out how to adopt these technologies for your business, get in touch with SpiderGroup.
We tailor our strategies to your business objectives, so you get the right technology fit for your company. You can call us on 0117 933 0570 or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you.