Is your business losing its voice?

Sometimes email is just easier than a regular conversation. No awkward pauses or interruptions, time to think about what you’re going to say, and no catching the other person at an inconvenient time. And now, thanks to the integration of artificial intelligence into cloud-based email apps, our personalised replies can write themselves. Surely this is the future.

Well, yes and no.

If improving communication with customers was as simple as installing some nifty AI, life would be sweet. Needless to say, the reality is more… nuanced.

Customers do, in fact, want to talk to us. And we want to talk to them. But how and where we want to reach them – and they want us to reach them – depends on what we’re talking about.

Our latest research looks at channel preference according to task, both for customers and internal staff. It’s a valuable, data-driven look at the complex reality of what your customers and staff really want out of business comms and omnichannel engagement.

For original insights into how IT decision-makers are tackling digital transformation, read Gamma’s latest report: Winning the Digital Transformation Game.

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For original insights into how IT decision-makers are tackling digital transformation, read Gamma’s latest report: Winning the Digital Transformation Game.

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But the conclusions are clear.

Voice remains more relevant than email, video, chat and social media for internal comms – and even more so when dealing with customers. In fact, for 65% of businesses we surveyed, voice is their businesses preferred channel for opening up a conversation with a customer for the first time, and 40% prefer to deal with a customer complaint over the phone.

Yet, 71% of IT decision makers think that they are, as a business community, losing the art of speaking on the phone. For some, voice has become a casualty of digital transformation, often misinterpreted as a need to invest only at the cutting-edge. As a result, many organisations think they’re better at customer engagement than they actually are.

Fixing this just requires a simple reframing of the argument. It’s not digital transformation vs voice, forwards vs backwards. It’s digital transformation in order to better meet customer expectations – one crucial part of which is that they expect to be able to talk to you. What’s more, cloud-based services make voice not apart from, but a part of, digital transformation. A hosted voice network can flex and scale according to demand, and its minimal reliance on hardware frees up time for the IT department, right when they need it most.

Creating a seamless customer experience requires at least some focus on the seams. Your digitised internal business comms and external customer experience cannot be seamless unless they include the channel your staff and customers value most.

For a digitally enabled business, voice is vital. Ensure your business doesn’t leave voice behind when it comes to digital transformation with Gamma’s voice solutions.

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24 July 2017 | Jamie Ward

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The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.