SMB Owner Uses Mobile Technology to Stay Competitive

Ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you, every customer counts. Miss a call or take too long to respond, and a potential customer is likely to go somewhere else.

Brian Doehler knows this. He repairs household appliances in the Rochester, N.Y., area. Doehler and his employee Mike Steele pride themselves on answering customer calls immediately and scheduling service appointments the same day if possible. To do that, Brian relies heavily on wireless technology to connect with his customers, maximize his time in the field, and run his business more efficiently.

All calls to his business phone number are forwarded to his cell phone, said Doehler, enabling him to take business calls and schedule appointments while on the go. “I average between 10-15 service calls each day and probably do 70 percent of my business from the road. I can be fixing a faulty dryer at one location and scheduling my next appointment at the same time.”

His tablet serves as a resource to research information on needed appliance parts and share service tips with his customers. When his service call is complete, he processes customer credit card payments on his tablet using Intuit, a mobile payment tool, simplifying the billing process.

“I can take the payment on the spot and send the receipt directly to my customer’s email,” he said. “It’s immediate and one less thing I have to do at the end of the day.”

Doehler acknowledges he was hesitant at first to process mobile payments because he thought it would be too complicated. Now, he said that technology gives him a competitive edge, helping him serve his customers better and streamlining his business practices.

Photo caption: Brian Doehler (left) and his employee Mike Steele use wireless technology to serve customers and grow their business in the competitive world of small-medium business.