The benefits of communications technology are sometimes difficult to quantify. For the Communications Skeptics out there — a group we discussed in part two of this series — this might be enough to dissuade useful integrations. And, of course, there are the Communications Unaware, who we discussed in part one, who lack a cohesive communications strategy. But that's not so for Communications Respecters, who value communication, and we will meet in this article.
Modern business communication solutions are critical to the success of any organization, but not all organizations are on the same page when it comes to business communications. We can categorize these perspectives into four general levels of communications maturity:
- Communications Unaware (level 1)
- Communications Skeptics (level 2)
- Communications Respecters (level 3)
- Communications Powerbrokers (level 4)
Here is an in-depth look at what being a member of the third group — a Communications Respecter — means for your bottom line, as well as the subtle changes in customer satisfaction, business processes, and key performance indicators that unfold as organizations reach that level.
Knowing Who You Are
What distinguishes a communications respecter from a skeptic? For that matter, what separates them from the highest level of communications technology maturity? Your organization might be a communications respecter if:
- You're not afraid to lean on more technology than the average organization.
- The majority of your organization's technology resides in the cloud.
- You've recognized the importance of automation in your business processes and use it regularly.
Reaching this maturity level as an enterprise involves not only accepting the role of communications technology, but also viewing it as crucial to the overall success of the organization.
If that describes your environment, congratulations. You've already discovered the benefits of communications technology. By leveraging your cloud-based phone system, you can enjoy the convenience of automated call logging, click-to-dial, and a work-from-anywhere empowered infrastructure. You've also at least started your complete digital transformation. This includes integrating these conveniences with other daily processes.
Customer relationship management (CRM) integration can unite the power of your client database with the convenient communication of your cloud-based phone system. This will propel your customer satisfaction to new levels as customer interactions become fueled by information pulled from your CRM and your cloud communications platform.
If the above doesn't quite describe the experience you had in the office today, here's the good news: With a little guidance from the following tips, you'll be well on your way to a more mature communications technology environment.
Shake off any old-school attitudes you might have that if it isn't broken, you don't fix it. That motto may have served your grandparents, but the only clouds they were aware of were the ones in the sky.
Tips for the Growing Respecter
First things first: Shake off any old-school attitudes you might have that if it isn't broken, you don't fix it. Sure, that motto may have served your grandparents, but the only clouds they were aware of were the ones in the sky. In all seriousness, sticking with a technology just because it's working now is not the best decision.
The moment you become complacent with the technology that composes your infrastructure is the moment your organization begins to impede its own innovation. You can't expect to be competitive in any industry without first getting competitive with your infrastructure. Your infrastructure should be in a constant state of competition to always be the latest and greatest. The minute any one piece of your communications technology fails to stack up, it's time to pull the cord.
But don't be a loose cannon. Take the time and energy to plan new communications technology deployments with wisdom and foresight. A good way to do this is to break your infrastructure down into applicable use cases. Look for areas that are underperforming and seek out technology to best meet those shortcomings. Conversely, if new tech has caught your eye, consider its potential benefits within your organization's everyday business processes.
And always remember, the ultimate goal with your communications technology is to empower meaningful interactions with your customers. By taking advantage of the benefits of cloud-based communications infrastructure, you'll be able to connect with your clients wherever they are and however they prefer.
Taking that next step in your communications maturity requires a culture shift — one that embraces a single source of truth. According to an IDC report, one area skeptics and respecters most disagree on is the importance of a common communications platform. If services such as phone systems, instant messages and video conferences include more than one vendor logo at your organization, some work needs to be done.
Embracing the Benefits of Communications Technology
Investing in the modern benefits of communications technology will help you to wrangle disparate systems. Cloud-based platforms can consolidate your communications technology under one roof while enabling seamless integration with neighboring infrastructure, such as your CRM.
At the end of the day, making the next step to become a communications respecter requires embracing change — well-informed, thoughtfully planned change.
Communications respecters are ready for business transformation. Download this ICD report to learn more, and contact Vonage Business to learn more about how cloud-based communications can aid your company.
Stay tuned for the last article in this series, which will examine a fourth group of enterprise professionals: Communications Powerbrokers.