Time-poor customers don’t care about logistical issues of your modern workplace. When they call, it’s because they want to speak to someone – and 61% of consumers still prefer to use the phone. More importantly, they expect to be connected to someone who can answer their questions quickly and effectively, preferably at the point of asking.
There are similar internal productivity problems. According to SIS Research, the average employee in a 100-person SMB spends 3.7 hours per week attempting to coordinate communications between team members. They then spend another 3.5 hours waiting to receive information from their colleagues.
Changes to legislation, such as the legal right to request flexible working provisions, mean that every business has (or should have been) investigating the potential for remote access and connectivity through VoIP.
Technology that supports mobile working effectively will allow you to attract the right employees from a wider candidate pool, retain them, onboard them quickly and keep them connected in ways that make it easier to deliver revenue.
There are hundreds of tools available, designed to help your business better communicate and collaborate. But that’s a problem. The more systems you use in your modern workplace, the more complicated and costly it becomes to manage your IT and comms estate.
Research studies repeatedly find that workers waste 10%-25% of their time searching for data that should be readily available in their company systems. Without full access to data, your team will struggle to deliver an efficient, timely service to demanding customers.
The only way to effectively differentiate is through value-adds, particularly the quality of service you offer. In fact, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price13. Investment in technologies that improve communications and collaboration will pay off though – customers typically spend much more with companies that deliver a consistent, always-on, efficient service.
Landlines, mobile, voice, video, text… there’s a thousand apps and technologies to connect you to your clients. This year, look at consolidating and streamlining them all using omnichannel Unified Communications to deliver a consistent service to customers no matter how they make contact.
Empower your employees anywhere and everywhere by giving them tools that support collaborative working in a modern workplace. The ability to share information and work on data together allows them to be more productive – and helpful to your clients.
Think outside the office
The modern workforce is increasingly mobile and you need reliable ways to stay connected with your team. Unified Communications allows you to seamlessly communicate using the most appropriate channel at any given moment, no matter where you are in the world. It will also help you to meet employee demands for increased flexible working.
Break down silos
Finding ways to share data around your modern workplace will unlock new opportunities and help your employees to increase productivity. You should also be wary of adopting single-function applications that introduce new barriers to data sharing.
Free up IT budget
Take the opportunity to consider how much of your current IT spend is “dead money”, propping up systems that frustrate your employees and limit productivity. What is the cumulative cost of IT spend and lost productivity? This will help you properly quantify the benefits of future investment in comms and collaboration tools.