I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” —Steve Jobs
Let’s take a closer look at the ways a modern cloud communications solution can help your business remain always open, regardless of your business hours.
First and foremost, be proactive.
The digital economy has not only changed how we communicate but also the way we conduct business. Even prior to the pandemic, the shift to digital communications and online commerce was growing at a fairly rapid pace. The pandemic has rapidly accelerated these trends and fundamentally altered for good how consumers choose to interact with businesses.
McKinsey consumer research calls it the great consumer shift, and expects more consumers to want to do business online than ever before. A whopping 75% of consumers have tried a new shopping behaviour, and will consider doing business elsewhere if a business cannot accommodate their preferences.
Now, more than ever, your business needs to be proactive in keeping your customers and prospective customers informed of your availability to serve them the way they demand.
It also means being available to them whenever they want to reach your business. At any time.
A modern cloud communications solution allows your business to operate virtually and is available always, even when you can’t be. Through automated greetings and customized routing rules for calls and messages received in and out of hours, your customers can always reach you but know when you are available or not, and when to expect to hear back from your business.
Get your employees collaborating.
You’ve spent considerable time and resources transforming your business to a virtual way of working. Leverage it now and use it as a differentiator to continue to grow your business.
Open, frequent communication and collaboration between employees is critical to helping your business grow and to respond to your customers’ needs as they evolve. And collaboration should be as easy to accomplish virtually as it is in person.
Collaboration has always been critical to a business’ success, and this is particularly true for small businesses. Collaboration is key to productivity, and productivity means getting things done and making your customers happy. But with the emphasis on increased remote work, there is evidence that communication and collaboration continue to be a challenge for employees and organisations that operate remotely although most would prefer to continue operating and working remotely.
Fostering open collaboration requires two things:
1. A willingness to make it a foundational element of your business’ culture
2. The right technology to remove barriers and make collaboration easier.
A single application, running on any device, that allows employees to call, chat, message and video conference and easily transition from one mode of communication to another makes collaboration effortless. And that encourages more collaboration by removing any barriers and making the experience enjoyable. And happy employees lead to happy customers.
Ensure you have the right technologies in place.
Meeting the new demands of your customers in this digital economy requires that your business’ have the right technologies in place to be successful.
1. It’s all about that bandwidth.
If there’s one thing the mass transition to remote working has taught us, it’s that internet connectivity cannot ever be taken for granted. Connectivity needs have evolved, and the bar for bandwidth and reliability has been raised significantly. Many employees do not have the right connectivity and service plans to support full-time collaboration and working while other family members are also using the same bandwidth.
According to a recent OpenVault Broadband Insights Report, home broadband consumption trends have accelerated by almost a year in only the last 6-8 months, with median usage up 60%. At the same time, the number of subscribers that subscribed to gigabit speed consumption plans jumped by 97%, meaning that many remote workers opted to pay more per month to get the appropriate bandwidth needed to get their work done.
Your employees need sufficient Internet bandwidth and a reliable Internet connection to meet the needs of fully remote collaboration and work. Beyond finding the right Internet provider, partnering with a cloud communications vendor that provides clear guidelines for bandwidth and connectivity requirements, that supports bandwidth forgiveness and that can rapidly adapt to changing network conditions will ensure your employees can continue to effortlessly collaborate with each other while continuing to make your business responsive to your customers.
2. Three Things: Security, security, and security.
Perhaps the most prominent of security concerns for remote employees is social engineering attacks, when a hacker attempts to gain the trust of an employee in exchange for some critical information needed to gain access to your protected information. Employees may not be properly trained in understanding how these attacks are engineered.
Other common security practices include a strong password and authentication policy, ensuring your employees have implemented sufficient protections against denial of service attacks and other attacks that can compromise the security of their home networks, keep their software and operating systems updated with the latest security updates and avoiding text and email phishing schemes.
3. Equip with the right software and services.
A proper cloud communications solution must always be available so that you capture every opportunity to interact with your customers and prospects and gain new customers.
The same solution must effortlessly enable your employees to collaborate and work together to serve your customers and meet their needs, so that they continue to do business with you. Losing a customer is costly, and gaining a customer comes at significant investment and cost. With the right cloud communications solution in place, every customer investment will be preserved and amplified.