One of the hallmarks of business success is having a keen ability to interact with your customers. If you can have smooth and painless conversations regularly, you can manage both your healthy client relationships and your not-so-healthy ones. This helps you get insights on both what’s going well and what areas you may need to improve.
For a long time, the assumption has been that business phone systems are essential for keeping those lines of dialogue open. To a certain extent, that’s still true. You still need to be ready whenever a customer may choose to pick up the phone and call you. But a significant trend is happening nowadays – in staggering numbers, people are abandoning old-fashioned phone calls and instead going mobile.
How will your company’s strategy change in the smartphone era? What will you do differently in terms of marketing, sales and customer service? These are questions that you can no longer afford to ignore.
How customers’ habits have changed
Traditionally, companies with an interest in strong consumer relationships have invested in phone systems for keeping the lines of communication open. That’s still somewhat necessary, but people’s tastes are definitely changing.
In just the past six months …
- Smartphone internet/app usage has increased by 15 million users.
- Smartphone video interaction has increased by 18 million users.
- Smartphone social media interaction has increased by 7 million users.
- PC internet usage has decreased by 1 million users.
- PC video interaction has decreased by 3 million users.
- PC social media interaction has decreased by 2 million users.
Clearly, mobile is gaining fast on PCs. As that gap continues to narrow, companies will need to adjust. A great deal of customer communication now comes from mobile web browsers, not callers. While Adobe Analytics revealed that more web visits still come from desktops (58%), that gap is closing. As the mobile web gains prominence, brands will need a new approach to carrying on customer conversations.
Redoing your customer engagement framework
For many marketing and customer service professionals, it’s time to rethink business phone plans, crafting new strategies that are a better fit for the modern landscape. According to CIO, this should begin with your organizational leaders sitting down and assessing their readiness for mobile marketing. Do they need new development talent? Additional funding? An entirely new strategy?
A great mobile strategy should incorporate a few elements. These include a mobile-friendly website – one that’s easy to navigate and has minimal flashy elements that might be distracting on a smaller screen. Additionally, responsive design is a valuable strategy as it helps create a smoother experience for mobile site visitors.
Balancing phone and cloud services today
At the end of the day, what we’re really talking about here is a need for companies to find balance. On one hand, they still need strong phone systems, as calls are still a significant part of the communication landscape despite their relative decline. At the same time, though, they also need cloud infrastructures for helping them gather and store the information culled through mobile communications.
This is why unified communications are the answer for the 21st-century business. UC is a way of integrating all your company’s communication portals – phone lines, cloud networks and everything else – under one roof. This makes it easier to keep your employees productive and your customer relationships strong without worrying about any information being lost or siloed.
This article was written by Kyley Del Bosque from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.