5 Trends To Consider When Researching Business Phone Solutions
Planning for your business communications cannot be done in a vacuum. To improve both employee productivity and the customer experience, you need to look at the bigger picture. Beyond your company’s internal strategic objectives, be sure to incorporate insights regarding changing external dynamics as well. An understanding of the larger trends will enable you to make the right choices that will best serve your business over the long haul.
With that thought in mind, below are five trends to consider as you map out your communications strategy:
1. Millennials now make up the largest share of the workforce. The youngest generation in the workforce became its largest in 2015, and their communications preferences and behaviors will most likely change the way in which business is conducted. Studies show Millennials highly value work/life balance, so they are gravitating toward companies offering flexible work hours. This is a benefit that often translates into remote or virtual work. According to research by consulting firm PwC, 41% of Millennials also say they prefer to communicate electronically at work, rather than face-to-face or over the phone. Businesses will need to provide mobility options and seamless collaboration tools to adapt to this generation’s preferences.
2. Worker productivity remains stagnant. Productivity growth has slowed over the last five years, a worrisome trend for economists. But this could also be a competitive advantage for those businesses that deploy tools to help their employees work faster and smarter. For example, a unified communications solution can streamline meetings. With a productivity shortcut such as the ability to start a meeting directly from Microsoft Outlook, employees can cover more ground in less time. Another productivity opportunity is in the contact center. With CRM integrated into the communications platform, agents can view needed background information with the incoming call, allowing them to resolve customer issues faster.
3. Businesses are in the home stretch of digital transformation. Cloud adoption continues, but according to CompTIA, business use of the cloud is maturing quickly, with more businesses at the optimization stage. As business process applications such as ERP and ATS are integrated into the communications platform, organizations are likely to seek outside expertise to address operational challenges and help them reach business goals faster. Communications consultants can help to accelerate the path toward full digital transformation.
4. Technology is improving the customer experience. The ability to retain and grow your customer base is dependent upon the quality of the customer experience. When you make it easy for customers to collaborate with you, you’re more likely to win their loyalty. Self-service options, text reminder notifications, callback features and web chat are all great ways to meet customers on their terms while also differentiating your business.
5. Geographically dispersed teams are today’s norm. Not long ago, members of project teams would work side-by-side in a conference room. But today, teams are often dispersed, with employees located on opposite ends of the building or in other locations halfway around the world. The modern-day project team might include an employee or two at headquarters, a manager working on an iPad at a hotel and a contractor at home. Efficient collaboration and communications tools are no longer a “nice to have.” Employees must to be able to move seamlessly from video call to chat conversation and desktop sharing to be effective.
Assessing your business in the context of these trends will enable you to identify communications tools needed to meet your future goals. A reputable communications provider can help you to keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape and implement solutions you need to stay competitive in your market, today and in the future.
The experts at ShoreTel are happy to help. Contact us.