Month: April 2017

Reasons for Using Client-Interactive Quotes

Client-interactive quotesClient-interactive quotes can be created using responsive quote design. With a responsive quote design, the quote is essentially a web page. The client clicks on a link in an email and is taken to a web page with the quote. As a web page, we can add more information to the view than just the contents of the quote. And, the client can interact with this information i.e. click on links, watch videos, download files etc.

Client-interactive Quotes and Sales

Your quote “page” can also serve as a summary of your sales pitch. Your client will know about your service or products before you send a quote – perhaps from a call, or advertising or your website etc. Client-interactive quotes provide a second layer of marketing where the client can see the costs and benefits alongside one another. Display videos showing how things work, add in testimonials, give more details on the specifications, highlight the main benefits etc. For example, if your quote is quite technical, you may want to link to explanations or images of the items. You could link to a video showing how to use the product. Or, perhaps have a list of top 10 benefits of your service or products.

Client-interactive Quotes and Advertising

With caution, one can also use the space to include some advertising of other complimentary products or services. It is also an opportunity for upsells i.e. enticing clients to purchase upgrades, more expensive items, add-ons in order to increase sales value. We say “with caution” as you do not want to overwhelm the prospective client by giving them too many options and focus on items that are not directly related to the transaction at hand. As an example, a photographer could advertising having the client’s photographs printed on canvas. Healthcare professionals could include details on medicines or vitamins for their client’s problems. You are sending some flowers – would you like to include some chocolates with that?

Tracking

Anytime a viewer clicks on something on a web page, this can recorded. As such, you can monitor a client’s actions on your quote page. What information are they interested in? Are people investigating the up-sell options? Client behaviour can tell you a great deal and direct you with respect to what sells the product and what up-sells are popular and should be pushed more actively. You can use the results to improve the content of your quotes. In summary, Responsive quotes provide you with an additional chance to market the products you are selling (and possibly up-sells). Connect with your client again before they make their decision.

The Benefits of Client-Interactive Invoices

Client-interactive InvoicesFirstly, what are client-interactive invoices? Once we are using responsive invoices, the next step in harnessing their power is to add additional information to the invoice. Remember that, with a responsive format, the invoice opens on a web page. This can be customized as any normal web page. Customized, not only in terms of format, but also in terms of content. The page can start with the invoice and then, below this (or even within the invoice) one can add relevant information – images, text, links to articles or videos etc. These provide “post-purchase” benefit to the client. You can create a “conversation” with the client through the links and details.

Client-interactive Invoices and Additional Information

Your invoice “page” is the ideal place to add in any instructions or information on the services you have rendered or the products that the client has bought. For example, as a doctor, you may want to include some links to information (articles, videos etc.) about the condition that the patient is dealing with or a summary of the advice that you have given the patient. The client’s invoice becomes their resource too. If you are a lawyer and providing legal services, provide links to documents or videos relevant to the client’s case e.g. process details or country laws or a “what’s next” section.

Client-interactive Invoices and Advertising

A responsive invoice is also a place to advertise additional services / products that the client may find relevant – possibly based on their requirements thus far. Make these more attractive with discounts and preferential treatment for previous clients. A pre-school could include details on their after-care services or the extramural programmes that they are involved with. An insurance company could showcase their list of offerings. It is there, “in the invoice”. No extra documents or emails need to be opened and read. You are there, in their pocket.

User Tracking

Actions that the user takes on a website page can be tracked. You can monitor what other elements of your invoice “resource” are clicked on and viewed or downloaded. This information is powerful. Was the client interested in some of your other services or products that you advertised? What next steps can you take to market those to your client?

The Bottom Line

So, we can see that responsive invoices take invoicing beyond just a means of making payment. They allow for additional connection with your client. Cementing the relationship that has been established, and taking it forward to the next level.

The Value of Responsive Quotes and Invoices

Quotes and InvoicesIn most cases, a business will send quotes and invoices as  pdf-files attached to an email or perhaps a copy is handed directly to the client – in some cases it could even be handwritten. I think we would all recognize the inconveniences of handwritten invoices: time taken to write, any data required in your electronic systems needs manual input, the administration requirements of a paper-based system etc.  Electronic invoices are definitely easier to manage. But, what is the value of having responsive quotes and invoices? In other words, quotes and invoices that, when opened, are adjusted to fit the size of the screen on which they are being viewed. How does this responsive technology surpass the usual pdf when it comes to invoicing?  

Responsive Quotes and Invoices Create True Immediacy

One of the aims of a business is to “be in the client’s pocket”. And that is achieved fabulously by means of Smartphones. Smartphones are fast becoming the main devices used for interacting with the web. That is why responsive web design is currently such an important topic: your website needs to look good and be easy to use on any type of device – from a small phone screen to a large desk-top monitor. Using our PocketSME software it is easy for you to send a quote as soon as you have assessed the work required or an invoice as soon as the services have been rendered or goods handed over. Send it from your phone, laptop, IPad etc. And the client receives it immediately. Scenario 1: You send an email with a pdf invoice attachment. The client opens the email and then perhaps the pdf. But, the pdf is not responsive (it cannot be made responsive). A pdf document is not resized so that it is user-friendly on any device. If the client wants to view the invoice properly, he or she must scroll up and down, left and right, resizing etc. It takes time, it’s irritating, let’s do it later when I’m in front of a computer. The same applies for a quote sent in pdf format. Scenario 2: The client receives an email from you which contains a link to the invoice. When he or she clicks on the link it opens a web page – a responsive web page that is – containing their invoice. The benefits? It is easy to read and follow, in other words, it is user-friendly. Again, the same applies to quotes. When a quote or invoice is user-friendly, you are overcoming barriers to taking action i.e. accepting the quote or paying the invoice. This immediacy of responsive invoices increases the speed with which payment is made. People are more likely to make payment immediately if the invoice is received (and viewed) as soon as the services have been carried out.  

In-quote and In-invoice Functionality

If you are “sending” your clients to a web page you can provide them direct payment options such as immediate online credit card payment, or EFT options. They can settle their account or pay their deposit at the click of a button. Again, reducing obstacles increases positive outcome i.e. fast payment. In the case of a quote, you could also have “accept” and “decline” buttons for easy and quick response-time. We are creating client-interactive quotes as well as engaging invoices.  

User Tracking

Opening an email can be tracked. So, you can know if a client has opened your quote or invoice email, but you can’t track whether they have actually opened any attached documents. When you send an email with a link to the quote or invoice, you can track each time the link is clicked by the client i.e. each time the quote or invoice is viewed by the client. This ability to track user behaviour and actions is exceptionally powerful. You can follow-up on invoices that have not been viewed within, say 24 hours, and track for faster payments. Also, you can follow-up on unread quotes (or even viewed quotes) in order to keep the client interested in using you as the service provider.  

So,

the value of responsive quotes and invoices is clear: propel your business process with user-friendly interfaces. Oh, and the client wants a pdf? Well, that can be downloaded if they choose.   Read more about the benefits of client-interactive invoicing and quoting that you can achieve with responsive design.

Is our PocketSME Business Software For Your Industry?

Business SoftwareWe have developed the PocketSME business software so that it is suitable for all industries and organisations of varying sizes. Whether you are a one-man-band or you have multiple staff, the PocketSME business software is your “support staff”, your business facilitation tool and your marketer. Here is a list of some of the industries that we cover (obviously at a rather high level, but contact us if you are not sure):  
  • Repairs, construction and engineering services – plumbers, electricians, security, building, sanitation etc. Also, included are services such as car repairs and appliance repairs.
  • Healthcare – from doctors and physiotherapists to psychologists and chiropractors. Vets are another industry to use our software.
  • Real Estate – renting, sales, property management
  • Personal services e.g. beauticians, hairdressers etc.
  • Photographers
  • Entertainment – hotels / bed & breakfasts, wedding services, events, catering services
  • Legal Services
  • Financial services – including insurance services
  • Education – Tutors, pre-schools, after-care etc.
  • Transportation – perhaps you have a fleet of trucks, or maybe you are running a school lift-club service.
  • Retail – both online and offline. Whether you are selling vitamins as a side business or if you have a fully-fledged business selling decor.
  • Manufacturers. Perhaps your are supplying home industry shops, preparing biscuits and treats from your kitchen or you are manufacturing particular parts for electrical industry.
  • Business services such as IT, recruitment, management consulting, marketing, research etc.
  • Freelancers – for example, writers

Our business software is for you!

Reap the benefits of:
  • Quick and easy quoting and invoicing
  • Reduced time spent on administrative tasks such as finance
  • Automate recurring, boring tasks
  • Ace your marketing
  • Increase your turnover
  • Increase the time you can spend ON your business and not IN it.
  • More sales
  • Be the expert in your industry
  • Retain clients
  • Maximize your leads
  • Send emails and SMS’s from the system
  • View client interaction
  • Maintain a database of clients
Read more about PocketSME services.      

Responsive Web Design For Non-technical Business Owners

Responsive Web Design Example These days there are so many different devices (i.e. desktop monitor, laptop, Ipad, mobile phone etc.) that can be used to browse the internet – not to mention all the different makes and brands of devices. In the past a website simply needed to look great on a “normal” computer, now it is much more complicated. We cannot create an entire new website for each device and screen resolution. There must be only one website that is designed to cater for whatever screen it appears on and this is where responsive web design comes in.

Responsive web design – the what

The important factors that are considered in responsive web design are: platform, screen size and orientation. Responsive web design involves designing a web page so that it “responds to” or resizes itself according to the type of device that you are using to view it, the screen size and the screen orientation. As you can see below, this website looks good on several different devices. That is what we are after. Responsive Web Design As one switches from, for example, iPad to mobile phone, the website should automatically adjust sizing and orientation to suit the screen. With responsive web design, a site’s layout changes to accommodate the screen size of device on which is being viewed. For example: if you have a wide screen desktop monitor, your website can have a number of columns of data across the screen. When this website is viewed on a mobile phone which has a much smaller width, the same data will be presented in a single column with images, text and links sized properly for the use on a smaller display.

Responsive web design – the why

What happens if your website has not been designed to cater for responsiveness? Then this is the type of problem you could run into – a website that is not mobile friendly.: Mobile Friendly Website   And we all know how cumbersome it is to navigate one of those tiny-looking websites; adjusting its size, scrolling up and down, back and forth, trying click on a menu item. Or you may even find that parts of your website are not displayed correctly. Fact is, if your website is difficult to use, clients won’t want to spend much time on it. And time-spent-on-website is an important factor in obtaining good leads. Don’t let it be easy to rather browse a competitor’s site than to stumble around yours. People are quick to click away from sites that are a struggle to use. Your valuable content which you have been creating for increased conversions is left untouched. Another “why” is the consideration of the long-term maintenance of the website. Every day new devices, software and updates are becoming available. If you have a responsive website, then you don’t need to worry about developing an entire new website to cater for the technology-upgrades. And, thirdly, on a more technological note, having a responsive web design helps you with your search engine optimization (SEO). SEO involves improving your website so that the search engines (such as Google) increase its rating and rank it higher in the list of results when a person searches for information in your industry. The higher your website is on the list of results, the more visitors you will get. When it comes to rankings, the search engines are not only interested in the content of your website, but also how user-friendly it is – and a website with a responsive web design is it. It is no secret that the use of mobile devices to access the internet is on the increase. More and more mobile users are turning to their devices for online browsing, shopping and social media interactions. You need to be there and you need to ensure that your website and communications are responsive and easy for people to interact with.

Responsive web design – the how

We don’t need to go into the nitty-gritty, but it is something you must discuss with your website designer. An important check to make on a regular basis is how your website looks on different devices. Check it on your desk-top monitor, Ipad, different types of phones etc. Ensure that your website displays correctly on any new devices that come onto the market. If there are any problems with the view, get it sorted out as soon as possible. You don’t want to lose potential clients from even one lead source.