The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has entirely transformed the way the retail industry operates. From business owners, vendor, and suppliers to customers, everyone is inclined toward digitalized buying and selling practices.
Retail business owners often face numerous challenges pertaining to data, invoice, receipt, sales order, and client order management. From item update, inventory information, and warehouse costing to tracking payables and receivables, several tasks require unprecedented attention. A single numeric error or computational discrepancy can lead to extensive problems in retail data management and storage practices.
If your retail business in growing rapidly or selling across multiple channels, it’s important that you consider automating your accounting and finance practices. These key tasks, if not managed appropriately, can lead to counterproductive errors in your business models.
When QuickBooks was first rolled out into the market, it greatly affected the accounting industry’s dynamics and brought an operational revolution. It allowed firms to be more productive and significantly enhanced their accounting capabilities. Few years on, it got further boosted when cloud accounting was born.
Hosting your QB solution on the cloud offers multiple benefits like remote accessibility, premium security features, business continuity plans, and reliable data safety. However, hosting your QB on the public cloud is different from a dedicated server and results in substantial differences during the cloud accounting experience.
A public cloud is shared by different users with different business needs – something which can affect your QB performance. Whereas a dedicated cloud server is privately managed under a sole organization or individual’s control.
Here are the top five reasons why a QuickBooks dedicated server might be the right choice for your business.
According to Gartner, 95% of cloud breaches often occur due to human errors. Substandard security configurations, faulty server layout, and insufficient technical expertise are human-caused issues that compromise server security and make it vulnerable to hacking attempts. Such risk factors become further magnified when you are using a public cloud.
Hosting your QuickBooks on a dedicated cloud server provides you a hassle-free solution and better security for your QB data. Since multiple users can access the public cloud and lead to more significant variations in the server database’s security standards, private hosting allows you to solely control your cloud’s access range. This way, you can limit the data visibility as per the employee role and keep the overall control under your organization’s administration.
Also, QuickBooks dedicated server offers enhanced security in terms of antimalware/antivirus solutions, encrypted data transfer, and high-grade firewalls.
Improved Cost Efficiency
There are various factors like customer management, lead generation, operational cost, etc., that can affect your business’s overall performance and determine its growth. Out of these, the fiscal expenditure involved in the operational costs plays a vital role in determining your business’s growth.
QuickBooks dedicated server improves your firm’s cost-efficiency and enhances its productivity as well. Since setting an in-house server needs a considerable investment for the necessary hardware and software requirements, a dedicated QuickBooks cloud server helps you mitigate the costs involved. When you opt for a QB dedicated server, all the IT-related costs are borne by your service provider. From the setup to its maintenance, everything falls under their service belt. This way, you can avoid those worrisome costs and focus on your business objectives.
Personalized Cloud Control
Imagine sharing a living space, only to have the roommates trespassing on your privacy now and then. Quite bothersome. Add conflicting daily work-life schedules and daily routine differences, and you can slowly see yourself regretting the decision of living in a shared space in the first place. Similarly, when you are using a public cloud, you lack the privacy and control that comes up with a dedicated server. It limits the flexibility of your organization and restricts your QuickBooks usage.
However, hosting QuickBooks dedicated server gives you the various benefits and complete control over the whole setup and lets you use your QB without any restrictions. You can easily access the root hardware and software configurations and personalize the cloud accordingly – something that is not possible while using a public cloud. This way, you can avoid other users’ decisions affecting your business performance and get the best out of QB hosting. Since you will be controlling the access, you enjoy better data privacy as well.
Sharing a public cloud is like running a relay race together. While an overall team can make you win, the same could also be the reason for defeat. When using a public cloud, you have to share the server’s RAM and CPU resources with fellow users. This can lead to their server usage significantly affecting your QB performance and ultimately hampering your business performance.
Moving to a dedicated QB server provides the necessary stability and reliability for your business and enhances your server performance. Since it will be only you who will be using the server, you can stop worrying about other users’ traffic weighing down your server resources. You can effectively handle your business traffic, monitor server usage, and have free rein over your resources. Also, as most server providers employ high-performance computing channels and multi-network connections, you further get an enhanced end-user experience while using QB on a dedicated server.
Freedom to Customize
How often has it happened that you wanted to customize something to your taste, but others’ opinions obstructed it? Choosing a public cloud for hosting your QB puts you in the same boat and takes away your customization freedom. Your hosting environment is limited to a generalized user requirement based on common client needs. It lacks the flexibility to adapt to your unique requirements and fails to offer the desired customization.
However, when you move to a dedicated cloud server, you can easily customize the hosting environment as per your needs. Since you are the one with total control, you can scale up/down as per your requirements and make the most out of it. You neither have to share your resources nor let other users’ usages affect your performance. Also, you can integrate as many add ons you need and enhance your QB experience.
Improved security measures, enhanced server performance, greater freedom over customization, and a personalized cloud environment are some of the features one gets while using a dedicated server for their QuickBooks. Offering the same functionalities as in the primary cloud usage further boosts your QB operations and lets you get the most out of your accounting experience.
The key to having happy customers is to provide them with credible and actionable information on using your product and extracting maximum value from it. This train of thought also applies to the act of resolving any doubts or queries that your clients face while using your offerings.
To facilitate and offer help in this regard, organizations compose data repositories to aid their clients in more ways than one. Such a service enhances the customer experience and lays the foundation for long-term customer lifetime value (CLV) and loyalty.
Creating a knowledge base is an excellent start to such an ambitious initiative. Let’s take a look at everything that it entails, its importance, and how to pick the best knowledge base software.
A knowledge base is a collection of documentation that contains crucial information such as answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), step-by-step guides, video tutorials, process or feature introductions, how-to guides, tips and tricks, glossary, and troubleshooting help.
It acts as the primary source of information that is readily available to the users. They can refer to these inputs either to use the product or to gain more value from it. Businesses employ knowledge base software to collect, manage, update, and publish this information to their readers. And knowledge management is the act of curating such a database.
Importance of Knowledge Bases for SaaS Products
If you have a business FAQ page, you may think that you are all set on the knowledge base front. However, that is less than the bare minimum expected from you in this customer-centric age.
A knowledge base is particularly vital for SaaS products where the learning curve can be quite steep. Similarly, based on the application, the skill and expertise required to operate the SaaS product may also vary. Hence, merely resorting to the standard FAQs may not make the cut if you wish to position your business as “user friendly.”
Here are a few solid reasons for developing a strong knowledge base for your SaaS product:
1. It Supports Success Stories
Naturally, your customer’s success with the SaaS product primarily depends on how effectively they can utilize it. And knowledge base acts as the foundational pillar to this success story. An insightful knowledge base offers beyond basic guidance – it unlocks efficient ways to carry out the intended task and deliver spectacular results.
2. It Reduces Customer Churn
In case it isn’t obvious enough, an unhappy customer is bad for business. And a user’s sense of frustration aggravates when they find themselves at a loss of using the product you offer.
Resolving their issues right at the earliest stage can nip this problem right in the bud. And the best way to ensure that they remain hooked to your product is by offering upfront value through query resolution. Once they notice that they are deriving continuous value and benefit directly from the product or through its use, they will be more open to renewing or expanding the subscription.
3. It Cuts Down the Load on Customer Service Executives
In an age when organizations are trying to cut down labor costs and reduce manual intervention, having a knowledge base comes as a boon. The self-servicing capacity of the knowledge base can reduce the load on your customer service or technical support team. As a result, only high-level escalations will require their attention, improving their service quality.
4. It Positions Your Brand as a Domain Expert
Given that you are the creator of the SaaS product, you should also develop a repute as a reliable source of information on everything related to it. Having an enlightening knowledge base can establish your stand as a domain expert and an industry leader. Once you stake a claim as an informational authority, you can gradually develop your product as a formidable brand that needs no introduction – essentially, it is marketing at no extra cost!
5. It Attracts Traffic
Interestingly, your knowledge base can earn you organic traffic in several ways.
For starters, it can act as a hotspot where you can add keywords and use them to rank on search engines. Secondly, since it resolves customer issues or offers solutions to their queries, you will gain credibility through relevance, further skyrocketing your rankings. Finally, your domain expertise can also translate to improved ranking and greater visibility.
Knowledge Base Checklist for Start-Ups
If you are checking out a knowledge base software to host your SaaS product details, here is a quick checklist of questions and considerations that you should deliberate upon before making your pick:
Where does your current knowledge reside? How does one access it?
Where do you stand in terms of documenting all the available knowledge?
When was the last time you updated your knowledge base?
How often would you like to update this information?
Are there any restrictions while granting access to the knowledge?
Does the knowledge base software offer search functionality?
Who shall be accessing and using the knowledge that you make available?
Do you require multi-lingual support?
Can readers, staff, and customer service executives collaborate on articles or discussions to improve the information quality?
Can you disable comments, reviews, and ratings on certain products or posts?
Who is the competent authority to review the knowledge base? How often should it undergo review?
Does your knowledge base software collect any vital statistics and reports regarding its usage?
Do you offer subscription services wherein the readers can sign up to stay up-to-date on all discussions?
Does the knowledge base software offer Cloud support with adequate backup?
What are the security parameters available to maintain data protection and confidentiality?
Does the knowledge base software possess enough room for branding and customization?
How easy is it to navigate through the knowledge base?
What is the information density ratio for the knowledge base?
Fortunately, most knowledge base software solutions come equipped with features and functionalities listed as considerations above. They can enrich your customer experience and cultivate brand loyalty.
An information-rich knowledge base could be the “it” factor that propels your business as customer-centric. It also makes your product worth the investment as users can derive immediate results. However, to make it happen, you would require an equally competent knowledge base software to help staff and users alike. So choose wisely, as it will indirectly affect your bottom line!