Enterprise Deployment Guide for Digital Business Cards
Updated: Jun 16, 2020
This guide overviews the major considerations for an enterprise evaluating digital business cards.
According to Salesforce: "Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements."
Social distancing and remote workers are driving business cards to become digital, but it’s also a digital transformation that adds immense value to each card interaction.
To get the most out of digital cards, consider the following:
Expand the objectives
The first thing to recognize about digital business cards is that there’s no need to limit them to contact information. They’re interactive digital touchpoints. Let marketing define other engagement goals.
Digital business cards can help to:
Collect reviews or surveys
Initiate fulfillment experiences
Streamline support services
Promote products and services
Distribute product guides
Further social engagement
Acquire customers and more
There should be no standard form for digital cards. Start with a clean slate. Design them to accomplish your business goals. If a goal is to engage with more of a personal touch, embed videos from the card owners. If a goal is to incentivize referrals, make sure a “Share” button is prominent. If the goal is to verify the identity of a technician to a homeowner, use a trusted domain with a profile photo.
View digital cards as high-intent digital touchpoints
A user opens a digital business card to engage with the employee or company. Like a google search, it’s a high-intent interaction. Because digital cards can include much more than contact information and it's smart to leverage these impressions and clicks.
Remember how much Google and Facebook charge. Digital cards create valuable impressions and clicks that flow directly from personal interactions. Make the most of them and they pay for themselves.
Don’t make all cards the same
Recognize also that an enterprise is not limited to a single card design.
Implement different master designs for different divisions or roles within the organization. For example, a field installation rep might need a card that invites a review and streamlines follow up support, while an inside sales rep might need a card that doubles as a digital brochure to extend the sales process.
Use trusted, linkable URLs
To be effective in the widest range of situations, digital business cards must be linkable URLs. It allows them to take full advantage of the web and be shared in any online channel. Alternatively, native apps are not part of the Web and are thus limited in how and where they can be shared.
Moreover, make sure that these URLs are plain language and trustworthy. A prospect will feel comfortable clicking the link “jane-doe.card.acmecompany.com” whereas many will not click “digidbz.gg/ajdiaHj%%9s8(ksfnfhs76askk-fg-t7.” Strive to minimize friction and maximize trust.
Actively manage the content
Paper cards are unchangeable, but digital cards are dynamic. Take advantage of this to optimize the user experience. A “specials” section on a card should always have current specials.
Active administration does not have to be burdensome. Manage content for thousands of unique cards in one place. Changes can be made by schedule, context, or via API as a part of other business processes. Set up centralized content administration and plan processes from the start to keep card content fresh and engaging.
Distribute card administration
Determine what content is provided by employees (e.g., telephone number, email, profile photo, etc.) and what is administratively managed (e.g., product links, surveys, company news, etc.) and divide the update responsibilities.
Implement role-based permissions to separate and delegate responsibilities.
Much of the cost of paper business cards is in coordination and distribution. Give employees a personal dashboard for digital cards so they can update their profile photos and monitor metrics. It’s even possible to make digital cards self-service while keeping them under administrative review.
Watch the metrics
Use the feedback loop built into digital business cards. Monitor how often people are engaging but also what is getting their attention.
If no one clicks on a survey, either enhance the call to action or replace it with other content. Utilize the metrics feedback to improve the user experience continually. It’s a home run when customers add a digital card to their home screen for ongoing engagement.
Management also benefits. Allow managers to analyze the relative engagement with the digital cards of different employees.
Fortunately, if one deploys digital business cards as progressive web apps (PWAs), then instead of cookies, one can use “service worker” technology to collect detailed engagement metrics while maintaining user privacy. Service workers will even capture metrics when digital cards are used offline.
Standardize on PWA technology
There are other benefits to deploying digital business cards as PWAs. The user experience is the key to a successful deployment, and the PWA standard delivers the best user experience while avoiding the significant friction of native app-based cards.
PWAs are mobile-first websites that have the user-experience of an app. They are widely used by companies such as Google, Adobe, and Microsoft, and they work across all major browsers and hardware platforms. PWAs make digital cards practical by using familiar browser tools to standardize the sharing and saving processes.
Get the most from digital business cards
Once deployed, educate employees on using digital business cards effectively. As digital touchpoints, they serve in many more situations than paper cards. For example, use digital cards:
As a link in a signature line
In the chat window of a video conference
As a QR on a video background image
Attached to presentation content
To safely airdrop info to several nearby prospects
In a quick email, text message, or social connection
Business cards create a host of new opportunities when they are digital. They are a valuable touchpoint that should be a part of any enterprise’s digital transformation.
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