If you work in an office environment today, you may not remember the introduction of office work done by computer. Over the past three decades, computers have gradually replaced typewriters, adding machines and paper-based processes, giving businesses the tools they need to be more efficient and productive. From creating letters and mailing lists to updating social media to processing payroll, computers are essential to businesses across all industries.
No matter what type of business you’re in, chances are you use a computer for a large part of it. Some of the many uses of computers in office work are writing letters, sending emails, scheduling meetings and collaborating with co-workers and clients. This has extended to mobile devices, which professionals now use to read and respond to email, access business files, update social media and more. Cloud technology has made it easier to view and edit files from anywhere since they can be stored on a remote server accessible from any approved device.
Finding and nurturing customers is what keeps a business going. If you’re in charge of getting those customers, you may post updates on your company’s social media account or use a tool to help you find the best sales leads. You may also use a computer to create and maintain a database of prospects, using that list to send email messages or make cold calls. After the initial outreach, you may then use technology to follow up or take further action based on the customer’s initial response.
Customer service is an important part of any business, and computers are essential in that function. If you have a large client base, you likely have a customer relationship management system that houses all of their information. CRMs are more advanced than ever, offering insights about the contacts stored inside that can help you customize your interactions. Customers enjoy the personalized approach, which makes them want to continue to work with you. You can also pull reports from your CRM to learn more about your overall customer base.
Although there are still a few holdouts, most businesses use technology to handle their accounts payable processes. Gone are the days of conducting bookkeeping using a paper-based ledger. Instead, businesses can log invoices and manage payment approvals using a cloud-based software solution. Paper can be scanned into a document management system where it can easily be accessed when needed. Payroll is also handled electronically, with many employees logging in and updating their own timesheets before submitting them for payment. Instead of a paper-based check you must take to the bank, you’re more likely to be paid through an automated clearing house, which means your paycheck is directly deposited into your bank account. All of this not only makes things easier for the employer and employee, but it also saves businesses money.