Smartphones and tablets have quickly worked their ways into the hearts and minds of consumers, and into the hand of businesses. As the workforce quickly becomes more remote and mobile, employers are looking for new ways to utilize their devices to give their field teams the edge against competitors. With “ultramobile” device shipments and sales growing extremely quickly, traditional PC sales are slowly shrinking down. What used to be the exception is becoming the norm as small and large businesses alike ditch the office and opt to have their employees working in the field or remotely.
So why not just a smartphone? What benefits do tablets offer businesses over their smaller mobile counterparts? Here are 5 ways that reps can utilize their tablets in the field and truly get the most out of their technology.
1. Customer Presentations
Tiny screens can be a real strain on the eyes. Even with Ultra-HD smartphone screens, tablets are still the better option for field representatives who want to give presentations to current or potential customers. The ability to effectively communicate a message is vital to any task a rep in the field may want to tackle, and having one or two potential customers leaning over their shoulder to squint at the screen just isn’t effective.
2. Electronic Signature Capture
Anyone who has faced the colossal task of signing for a package or bill with their finger and has left what looks like a small bumpy line on the screen knows that electronic signing can be a pain. With delivery forms, service check-ins, and any number of tasks requiring proof of delivery or service, businesses should be aware of the benefit that extra screen real-estate gives in this area. Coupled with the fact that it is far more practical to use a stylus with a large tablet than with a smartphone, this is a no-brainer.
3. Bye Bye Paperwork
Gone are the days where three clipboards with a stack of paper each was the norm for employees in the field. With Wi-Fi and mobile connections on tablets, businesses can have all of their paperwork digitized and saved to a central database or the cloud. Businesses can take this one step further and find field activity management software that provides customizable forms, allowing field reps to access forms tailored to each individual customer or client while on the go.
4. Physical Keyboard Cases
Many users are still uncomfortable with using a touch screen keyboard—especially for longer documents. If reps are reporting from the field, or drafting proposals for potential customers on-the-spot, they’re going to want something easy to use, and something they are used to. The added size of tablets means having a physical keyboard as a Bluetooth or USB attachment is far more plausible than on a smartphone.
Perhaps the most important feature of all, newer tablets and smartphones offer the ability to have multiple apps running in the background. This means that while on a call with managers, field reps can pull up their daily reports and territory maps.
While these are just a few of the ways that businesses can utilize tablets in the field, the best uses are those that have not yet been thought of. Business that continue to innovate and stay ahead of the competition will find that customers appreciate them keeping up with technological trends, and offering superior service. While tablets are certainly not a replacement for smartphones, which have their own distinct advantages, there are areas where the added size and power of tablets provides a much better experience to field reps, managers, and customers.
Cam Garrant is the marketing manager at Repsly. Passionate about delivering quality content and data-driven insights, Cam's interests include SEO, basketball, and bad jokes.