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7 Ways an iPad Can Work For Your Local Business

Today, many local businesses are discovering how tablets like the iPad, Xoom and Samsung Galaxy can be efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly
complements to everyday duties.  Here are a few ways your local
businesses can use tablets to improve productivity, operational
efficiency, and the customer experience.

On-Demand Information
Tablets
are a great way for employees to demonstrate products, answer
questions, or provide other on-demand information whenever customers
need it.  An iPad could put helpful information like product photos and
videos, price lists, catalogs, and more at employees’ fingertips and
provide a quick and seamless way to share information with your
customers. Best Buy uses iPads to enhance the customer’s in-store experience, while hotel concierge can use them to look up local information for out-of-town guests.

Training and Orientation
A
tablet like the iPad could also be a great way to simplify employee
training or conduct business meetings. Tablets make it easy to create
content and provide a comfortable and social environment for sharing presentations, videos, and more - especially in a one-on-one or small group setting.

Credit Card Payments
Many businesses like San Francisco’s Sightglass Coffee are replacing traditional computers and cash registers with tablets like the iPad. With a credit card reader and app like Square,
cash registers essentially become mobile, saving time and reducing
lines at the check-out counter.  Receipts can then be sent to the buyer
via email to complete a smooth, paperless transaction.

Appointment Scheduling and Tracking
Does
your local business require clients to book appointments and check-in
when they visit? Try a tablet application to keep track of it all.  For
instance, Vagaro is
a tablet-friendly iPad app for salons and spas that lets you create,
change, and cancel appointments on the fly, keep notes on your
customers, send appointment reminders via email and text, and accept
online appointments.

Digital Forms and Notes
Tablets can help you increase productivity
 by enabling patients and customers to fill out and sign consent forms,
credit applications, customer surveys and more - all without a single
sheet of paper. Tablets also make it a cinch for staff to take detailed
notes during appointments and immediately save important information
without fear of losing paper or not being able to read their
handwriting.

Mobile CRM
Sales, service, or
delivery personnel can use tablets as a quick way to tap into the
company’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, to instantly
access leads, order histories, service issues, and other important data
while out in the field. For example, this furniture company
arms its delivery drivers with iPads that serve both as a point-of-sale
tool, complete with furniture catalog, as well as a device for
obtaining customer signatures.  

Restaurant Menus and Management
A handful of restaurants have already replaced their traditional printed menus with touch-screen tablet menus. Apps like LeMenu
let you custom-create a menu or drink list that customers can browse.
Some restaurants have even integrated an ordering feature that lets
either the customer or the waiter input an order directly on the tablet,
which is received electronically by the chef staff. Restaurants can
also leverage tablet technology for keeping track of vendor orders and
inventory, managing reservations and wait check-ins, and streamlining at-table payments.

What
are some ways you could imagine using tablets in your local business? 
What unique or exceptional ways have you seen businesses tablet
technology being used to improve their operations?


Tamara Farley

helps equip small business owners with information about local online
advertising, social media marketing, and more as a blogger for ReachCast and ReachLocal.

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