By Boris Kluck, Senior Vice President, Commercial Mass Market for Frontier Business
They are scrambling to keep up, squeezing every minute out of each day. Their customers are relentlessly demanding. Their competition is fierce and, more often than not, they don’t even see new competitors coming at them. On top of all that, technology is disrupting and changing business models at an increasing pace. This is what typical Small and Medium Business Owners (SMBOs) face today. Sound about right?
The Digital-First Business
Most SMBOs know that becoming a digital-first enterprise will be key to not just surviving, but thriving in the future. Many understand that dependence on technology is mission-critical to better serving their customers better, yet the challenges of running a small or medium sized business, and the resulting time pressures that SMBOs face, means that many don’t know how to embark on a digital transformation journey. However, what they do have is a strong sense of the parameters they need to assess when buying new or upgrading existing information and communication technologies.
Based on a recent study we conducted for the small and medium business segment, the key purchasing criteria for technology investments were:
- Ease of use
The good news is that there is tremendous opportunity for trusted technology advisors in this market segment. By understanding an SMBO’s business challenges, you will become well positioned to propose the right solution to address that customer’s needs. And, by working with the right provider, you can be sure that what you put in front of your customer checks all the boxes above.
Digital Transformation by Example
Let’s use a specific example of technology-driven transformation.
In the food service and hospitality industry – restaurants, cafés and bars – we know that service, ambiance, quality and price are all key drivers when it comes to selecting which food service establishment a consumer will choose to patronize. However, technology-tethered consumers are increasingly making decisions on where to dine or drink based on the availability of Wi-Fi. Why? So they can check in on Facebook, post “foodie” pics on Instagram, share Snapchat stories with their friends to show they are having a good time, and post a ratings and reviews of the establishment on Yelp before they even leave the premises.
While the owner of the establishment can provide Wi-Fi to their customers by cobbling together a DIY solution of basic Internet and a Wi-Fi router, will it be secure enough for the business owner but, more importantly, for its customers? Doubtful. Will it have industrial-scale reliability? Unlikely. How about ease of use for customers? Will it be simple to manage for the business owner? Probably not. And, does it come with advanced analytics capabilities to get insights on customer behavior that the restaurant, café or bar owner can then leverage to drive more business? Not a chance.
By properly positioning and selling that business owner on a managed and secure Wi-Fi service, you can help that restaurant, café or bar owner leap past the competition and improve the customer experience. This is digital transformation in action.
Frontier Can Help: At Frontier, we understand how vital information and communications technologies are to businesses small and large. You can count on us to help you help your customers become digital-first businesses.
Boris Kluck is Senior Vice President, Commercial Mass Market for Frontier Business where he is responsible for leading the sales channels and customer care functions that support the small and medium business segment. He has over 20 years of experience in the information and communications technologies (ICT) industry, in Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America and the United States, with expertise in sales, marketing and operations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from York University – Schulich School of Business.