Creating the modern workplace
Your guide to how Unified Comms can deliver a
more productive, profitable and customer centric
environment for your organisation
Driven mainly by advances in capability, consumer behaviour and demands have changed significantly in recent years. They expect choice, consistency and a seamless service from every business they deal with.
Technology has been instrumental in helping businesses respond, allowing new disruptors to challenge established vendors. Challengers are forcing businesses to present their customer service abilities upfront, allowing customers to assess potential suppliers before they commit.
This guide highlights:
- The challenges being faced by your
industry in more detail.
- Advice on equipping your organisation to
As your customers become more mobile, so too does your workforce. Indeed, travel is a key requirement for your industry. In some cases your most knowledgeable, proficient employees are almost entirely field-based, rarely at a desk with a fixed phone.
Time-poor customers don’t care about these logistical issues. 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.
As the Millennial generation becomes more powerful in the marketplace, the
issue will only become more pressing — 66% of Millennial consumers expect realtime responses and interactions.
More than half of your potential new opportunities will go elsewhere if you can’t deliver first time.
The people fielding customer queries need to be properly empowered to assist. You must provide access to key documents and data, allowing them to be fully productive in the field and at their desks. You can further increase productivity by allowing your team to knowledge share on expert matters through real time collaboration.
You should not underestimate the importance of these tools. Take sales reps for instance – according to Pace – Productivity, just 22% of their working week is spent on actual sales activities.
Other tasks like administration and customer support eat into their schedule, reducing the time available to generate sales. With more efficient communication and collaboration tools they could achieve a better balance. At a time when economic growth remains sluggish, reducing inefficiency remains one of the best ways to maintain – or grow – profit margins.
Challenge 2 - Growth opportunities
In recent years, mobile working has moved from being a niche requirement for a small subset of employees to a mainstream operational necessity. Changes to legislation, such as the legal right to request flexible working provisions, mean that every business has (or should have been) investigating potential for remote access and connectivity.
However, the challenge here – and indeed the opportunity – isn’t to do with meeting regulations. 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. Connected with who? Their wider team, important business assets and (most importantly) your customer. As alluded to already, candidates themselves now consider remote working provisions as one of their criteria when job hunting. According to a prediction from software giant Citrix, 70% of people will work away from the office as often as they work at a desk. For any business concerned about retention, it makes good sense to invest in remote working tools. Employees have
notably higher job satisfaction than those who aren’t allowed the same work-fromanywhere perk—they’re 48% more likely to rate their job a “10/10” on the happiness scale.
When it comes to delivering revenue, it’s the ability to deal with customer queries any place, any time that will attract more leads and close new deals. 50% of consumers would use a company more frequently after a positive customer experience, so improving the quality and responsiveness of your service will also allow you to maximise revenue from your existing client base. With the right collaboration tools in place, you can grow your business even before you find new customers – and, when you do, it’s easier to build relationships thanks to personalised remote communication methods e.g. chat or video.
Remote working is also a powerful tool for growing the geographical reach of your business, or developing new ways of working, such as the use of short-term contractors (“gig workers”). A centralised comms platform allows you to expand into new regions and territories quickly. Whether you plan to open a branch office, or to create international franchising options, connecting those new corporate outposts to internal systems can be simple with the right choice of platform.
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, the more complicated and costly it becomes to manage your IT and comms estate.
Most organisations more than a few years old have already acquired several isolated technology solutions – CRM, PBX, finance, helpdesk etc – to deliver against the changing demands of customers and business processes.
The situation is so severe that most companies have just 20% of their IT budget to invest in new solutions to drive their business forward – the other 80% is spent maintaining existing legacy platforms.
This problem is not restricted to mature businesses either. Agile start-ups that rely on Software as a Service subscriptions, cloud platforms and mobile apps can fall into the same trap very quickly.
Yes, they may have an application for most eventualities, but the cost of operating them all can quickly spiral.
Consolidating and reducing the application estate will help to bring these costs back under control. You will also benefit from centralised data, making it easier and quicker to retrieve the right information when you need it.
Research studies repeatedly find that workers waste 10%-25% of their time searching for data that should be readily available in their company systems.
Collaborating within teams is already a challenge, but the complexity of a multisystem set-up increases exponentially for businesses that operate across multiple sites. Traditional on-premise applications create an additional barrier to company-wide collaboration – information is simply too hard to share and work on effectively.
Without full access to data, your team will struggle to deliver an efficient, timely service to demanding customers. Finding a solution that brings disparate channels together allows you to consolidate and connect data to improve personalisation and overall quality of service, which means you’re better placed to improve productivity and profitability.
Challenge 4 - Increasing competition
Mature ecommerce technologies have dramatically simplified the buying process for consumers making it incredibly easy to buy from sellers based anywhere in the world. This increase in choice is great for consumers, but ultimately causes more vendors to now compete for each sale.
Increased choice also exposes commonalities between products and services, making it even harder for businesses to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace – depressing sales and profits in the process. Worse still, increased access to similar offerings is helping to drive down customer loyalty.
People wouldn’t care if 77% of brands disappeared.
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 price. 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.
UK consumers are willing to spend, on average, 15% more with companies that have a history of positive customer service experience.
There are several practical steps your business needs to take to remain competitive during 2020 and beyond.
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. 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 the business 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 for strategic projects
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.
Your business is facing fundamental challenges from both inside and outside the organisation. Increasingly disloyal customers who have the entire world at their fingertips are looking for a better quality of service in return for their cash. At the same time, employees are demanding flexible working provisions that allow them to better manage their work-life balance.
To stay competitive in this constantly evolving environment will require change. Or more specifically, the ability to embrace and support regular change in line with
shifting consumer demands and priorities. The backbone of any such system is your communications, the ability to keep data flowing wherever it is needed – and to help
your team to work more effectively.
Gamma provide UC and collaboration solutions to help
companies like yours overcome these challenges, giving them a reliable platform on which to build.
Give us a call today to discuss what we can do for your business, or use our ROI calculator to find out more about how we can help you succeed.