The Importance of Business Communications
The business world is founded on communications, forcing companies to leverage innovative office phone systems to enhance operations and improve their chances of long-term success. If employees are unable to effectively collaborate with colleagues or contact center representative cannot efficiently interact with customers, the organization is bound to experience substantial short- and long-term problems. This is especially true for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that are already struggling to keep afloat in today's highly competitive and sophisticated private sector.
A recent study of approximately 1,000 business employees by j2 Global revealed that individuals share the same concerns about the ongoing economic outlook, whether their firms will be able to hire new individuals and how well their companies are able to communicate with customers. In many cases, the traditional business phone system is not providing a foundation stable enough to build a long-lasting reputation.
One of the biggest questions in the survey was how individuals would react when they called an organization and were unable to reach a company representative. Rather than leaving a message, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would simply hang up instead of reaching out. Another third said they would actually move on to the next business on the list.
"This is one of the key areas where small businesses are continuing to miss out on potential sales," said Paul Kinsella, vice president and general manager of j2 Global Europe. "We all have experience in having our calls unanswered and - in the age of instant communications - consumers are voting with their feet and moving on to the next business."
Success relies on that first interaction
Kinsella asserted that SMBs looking to expand their offerings, improve sales effectiveness and stay competitive with the rest of the private sector need to have the appropriate communication systems in place to ensure prospective clients are able to reach someone from the company on the first try. If decision-makers do not emphasize the importance of this metric, their organizations will likely encounter a number of difficulties when trying to grow.
A separate report by two major telecommunications service providers revealed that companies around the world are not prioritizing the contact center as much as they should. Because voice is still the most popular method for consumers to interact with corporate representatives, businesses need to consider replacing their old phone systems with more innovative offerings capable of connecting prospective customers to employees on the first go.
"The new challenge for contact center operators is to build the infrastructure that enables consumers to seamlessly switch between all of the channels they provide to give a truly cohesive and satisfying customer experience," contact center expert Mark de la Vega said. "The most significant factor, regardless of channel used, is that consumers reach the right agent equipped with the right knowledge and tools to resolve their issues in a timely and efficient manner."
SMBs and large enterprises that are struggling to find the right communication platform should look toward the cloud, as hosted PBX solutions can introduce a number of benefits for organizations of all sizes. Not only is the technology easier to manage because it is maintained off-site, but it is agile, flexible and capable of supporting a growing remote workforce without jeopardizing connectivity.
In the coming years, the private sector will continue to witness transformations in the collaboration landscape as the mobile environment expands and service providers create more innovative products. By emphasizing the importance of communication, decision-makers can ensure they are able to keep customers happy and employees productive.