How SME business communications can be elevated by the cloud

The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted many factors for employees globally.

How SME business communications can be elevated by the cloud

The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted many factors for employees globally. It has driven hybrid working to a new level, with over 80% of businesses allowing their employees work remotely post-pandemic (Gartner). To keep their customers happy and stay competitive, businesses need to focus on the employee experience (EX) as they navigate this new hybrid-working environment. This is reinforced by a report from Gartner, highlighting that companies need to provide their employees with a technology experience akin to their own consumer experiences – one that they would describe as easy, personalised, seamless, consistent, and empowering. In this way, the businesses would benefit from better staff retention, employees putting in more effort and aspiring to be high achievers within the work force, positively impacting ROI and long-term revenue growth.

Digital transformation

Customer behaviours radically changed during the pandemic, with consumers turning to online and digital services to communicate with brands, purchase what they need and get the help they require. 

To provide the best and gain a competitiveedge, a business needs to embark on a digitaltransformation journey. They need to incorporate the necessary digital technologies to modify, existing business operations or to create new ones; ensuring that they continue to meet the ever-changing business and market needs and improve the company’s bottom line.

New data from PWC states that 60% of senior executives believe digital transformation is imperative for business growth. However, failure rates range from 60% – 80%, with recent research revealing a mere five percent meet or exceed expectations. Odds are not ideal for a number of reasons, from misjudging the work involved, choice of technology, and lack of management support. Transformation is not an easy option for many companies but what is important is to get started and a good place to start is with business communications as this has a positive impact on the employee experience as well as the customer experience.

Good communications

Everyone remembers how an experience made them feel, so an SME needs to create positive experiences for its hybrid workforce and its customers. Businesses use Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to expand their communications options — moving beyond simple voice into chat/messaging as well as video meetings. Additionally, it can simplify your communications. For example, an employee can have one number for voice, texting, and fax, and that number carries across all their devices, whether they are on a desk phone, mobile, or laptop. For customers, UCaaS means improved access, and having an all-in-one solution creating a holistic customer experience that makes them feel valued.

Advancing customer service (CX)

After having worked for two or more years remotely, staff have clearly demonstrated they can successfully interact with colleagues and customers alike when not in an office. However, efficiencies can be perplexing when provided with multiple communication channels, which may hamper productivity. Many may be using one app for team chat, a second for video conferencing, a third for a company’s file-sharing platform and forth as a task management tool. According to research, only two-fifths of workers are able to limit the number of tools and apps they use to under three in order to complete a work project, resulting in app fatigue.

When reviewing customer information with colleagues, many may have to change between their choice of apps to another the client prefers to use. On top of this, various platforms request the creation of password for accounts, forced downloading and installing of clients, plugins or apps which can cause delays, frustrations, and confusion for all parties. Time-poor employees and clients will see these builds as unnecessary and unwelcome on a busy day.

It’s imperative for staff today to be able to connect with clients and customers in their preferred way, either using chat, meetings, video, file sharing, task management, collaboration, and virtual rooms. So, organisations need toprovide staff with the right technologies, such as a UCaaS, to enable them to be well-connected, and communicate painlessly and efficiently with customers and colleagues. 

The best UCaaS and single-app team collaboration solutions elevate the client experience for customers who want to connect via multiple touch points whenever they want. It should also allow for their own preferences for call forwarding, availability, presence, messaging, and video meetings, to be easily managed, removing the burden from IT admin, staff, or a reception.

EX equals CX

To surmise, a well-executed employee experience forms the basis for a great customer or client experience. With the right tools, employees can solve problems quickly and easily in partnership with different team members, departments, and disciplines.

The rise of hybrid working presents an excellent opportunity to reimagine collaboration and productivity. So, make sure to use the right tools that alleviate stress instead of cause it.

Neal McMahon
Neal McMahon

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