It can be quite tough to manage logistics in any company. Most business owners use software solutions to simplify their daily life at the office by boosting the efficiency of company processes. These software solutions also reduce the strain of business administration by making corporate paperwork understandable and easily accessible. However, not all businesses benefit equally from software solutions. One may wonder why? This can be due to purchasing business software that does not match the needs of their small business. Second, some businesses use terrible software. Terrible software, by all standards, can be intricate, slow, with limited abilities, boring to look at, and hide critical information. Such software solutions can even make the simplest of tasks tedious and frustrating. So, which features are essential in business software?
Answer: Features that improve functionality and flexibility are absolutely fundamental to good business software.
Advanced features are vital in increasing the usability, flexibility, and effectiveness of the software solution. There are three important features that should be in all small business software offerings.
The first is search functionality. Humans have developed an instinctive culture of rushing to a search engine to find out about things. This habit is also predominant in workplaces. A software system with search capabilities enables employees to raise queries and get potential solutions. Software developers have integrated search features into business software to operate as internal search engines. The search design allows users easy access to files, records, and forms within a business system. The techniques people use in ordinary search engines are the same employees also have to use in their searches. An employee can search for a keyword, and the internal search engine displays or navigates them to the relevant information. Without this search, employees waste valuable time looking for information critical to their projects or assignments. The absence of a search feature can be costly when such an employee becomes understandably frustrated and gives up looking for hidden information.
Internal Search engines optimize the software by providing support and guidance on locating content in a business environment. The search option is like an in-built user manual. That said, the search form itself should be visible and accessible to all employees using the business software.
The second most important feature for small business software is an effective chat platform of some kind. Communication is always changing. The growth of digital platforms has opened several channels in which individuals can communicate in the workplace. A business software solution that comes integrated with chat capabilities helps improve communications in a business. Communication can be between employees and customers or interdepartmental. Other than the core business functions that the software performs, chat-enabled software can go a long way towards improving customer and employee relations.
With an increasingly dynamic digital environment, email is now arguably the least effective means of communicating. New communication channels like chat groups offer employees and customers rapid responses, especially if the chat comes with smart notifications. Whether it is employee-employee or employee-customer communication, a chat platform provides live engagement and immediate support whenever necessary. A live chat feature can also serve as a cost-effective means of maintaining contact with existing customers and leads. An effective chat feature should come with:
- A customizable chat window
- Ratings and chat logs
- Visitor analytics
- Agent monitoring
- Mobile optimization
- Agent-initiated chat session
The last and final feature is bots, but no ordinary bots. Smart bots or chatbots operate with the help of artificial intelligence (A.I). For some past years, most critics have been skeptical about the penetration of A.I. into homes and businesses. However, A.I is not intended to harm anyone. In contrast, it is beneficial in many fields, and many people are already benefiting from it.
The potential of artificial intelligence is nearly limitless and, with enterprise software, its use is simple. A smart bot operates as a virtual assistant that anyone can engage in a dialogue with. Chatbots can fetch information from a system, schedule appointments, organize business workflow, and respond to customer queries (which can sometimes be very monotonous for humans). An effective bot can make an employee’s work very enjoyable. It does this by removing the frustrating and tedious aspects of daily interaction with technology.
Small business software comes ina lot of forms with a lot of different features. It can be useful to research as many sources as possible for information on it. What follows are some of the most useful.
- Prism Virtual Software - This article outlines several benefits of using business software solutions. The website notes that computers and business information technology help businesses to use less of their staff, reducing their expenses. They also acknowledge that a business cannot compete fairly without the use of software solutions.
- Minute Dock - This article goes further to categorize the business solutions that are necessary for any business looking to optimize all its functions. According to purposes and functionality, software solutions fall into five essential categories. The site also elaborates on how each category is useful in improving the efficiency of small businesses.
- The Balance - Small Business is a site that gives insight into the best small business tools. The site relies on statistics from many small and medium-sized enterprises across the country to come up with their list. The article lists some of the best small business software offerings in different fields and areas.