Over time, the best ways businesses can effectively communicate, both internally and externally, change.
From the days when newspaper and radio ads were the only real way businesses could communicate with potential customers, to the first bulky mobiles, to the onset of the internet and the rise of digital content and communication, the way businesses communicate is bound to change with new technology and opportunities arising.
Being a telecoms provider, we’re intrinsically fascinated by the underlying themes and trends that emerge in communication. We want to know how best our clients can take advantage of where people’s attention is and how telecoms can help with this.
We’ve delved into just a handful of communication trends likely to continue or emerge in 2018. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, and our role within telecoms, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
So, what should businesses focus on to stay on track with communication in 2018?
Greater bandwidth and Internet Connectivity
As every year passes, our expectation and need for super-fast internet connectivity gets higher. The opportunity cost for businesses having slow internet can be catastrophic. For businesses offering internet for their customers, such as within hotels and the tourism sector, having internet access that is quick is an expectation of all guests. Slow internet or unreliable connections can have immediately negative impacts on customers.
Similarly, the need for fast internet for the day to day operations of businesses is growing. Teams are using more data and more content and needing to download/upload/share larger and larger files. Many companies take sales transactions over the internet and run large, data hungry CRM systems. This can put strain on basic internet connections and leave businesses with lag time, resulting in costly downtime for employees, loss of sales and inefficiency in how a business operates.
Fast internet is often one of the easiest ways for businesses to improve efficiency. Business grade products such as leased lines offer businesses a dedicated service, constant connectivity, SLA’s and 7 hour fix times, ensuring that a company can continue to operate efficiently with guaranteed upload and download speeds.
Due to better connectivity and faster internet, many businesses are leveraging hosted/cloud based systems such as VoIP and other web applications for communication. For some businesses, this presents huge benefits. For example, businesses operating internationally, can arrange calls or even video calls over the internet and help deliver superior communication with other team members or clients.
VoIP and web apps also reflect the growing trend of video being a popular communication channel. Smart businesses can take advantage of this by offering video chat with customer support agents, helping to create an even stronger relationship with customers than simply just a call.
However, a word of warning, VoIP systems do not operate reliably over traditional residential broadband products. Therefore, any businesses considering a VoIP system which will operate along side other data requirements, such seriously consider a leased line connection.
The value of data is starting to become clear for many business owners. Collecting and understanding data about current business operations, the marketplace, customers and everything in between, means businesses can make better decisions.
Many small and medium sized businesses often risk a lot with cloud storage or a lack of back-ups and storage infrastructure. The value of having the equipment and network infrastructure in place to support your business, means you can grow sustainably and aren’t vulnerable to potential downtime of data.
Data analysis and the way data is managed will also become a growing need for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge.
The European legislation, GDPR, will help encourage better use of personal data and ensure businesses are using, storing and protecting data correctly.
Although the value of data is abundant, so to is the need for better data security. As data breeches and large-scale hacks continue to gain headlines, consumers and businesses understand more than ever, the need for telecoms, as well as businesses operating online, to be able to handle and care for sensitive data.
Instant messages and messenger apps are proving a popular consumer channel. Businesses that make themselves present here, can help offer more native communication to what the customer is already using.
For example, if a customer spends all day talking to their friends on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, it is likely reflecting a shift in how we like to communicate. Businesses can either see this as something that doesn’t relate to them, or leverage this to create customer support, sales, and internal communication that utilises this current trend in communication. Those that do adopt it, are likely to see more engaged staff, and customers who feel more at home communicating with the business.
Although 5G technically doesn’t “exist” yet, the 5th generation (5G) of mobile networks following on from 4G, is likely to start materialising very soon. 2018 is set to be the year initial tests and trials start to take place.
Although some predict it won’t be until 2020 until 5G officially roles out, what is certain is the businesses that start using 5G are bound to see improvements in efficiencies and productivity.
For updates and information on 5G, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re always happy to talk about the latest news in telecoms!
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) in essence describes a deeply connected network whereby a ‘thing’ (including technology, people and devices) can access and transfer data to one another. IoT is creating the next generation of communication that businesses can’t ignore, however, due to the internet creating lots of channels and platforms, businesses need to ensure they still offer a seamless and integrated approach to communication.
Employees may communicate with each other using email, intranet, messenger apps, phone, or face-to-face so it is important businesses can integrate this communication and ensure important information doesn’t get lost in the noise of all the data.
All our data and lives are also becoming more connected, as we expect our mobiles and desktops to align perfectly for efficiency.
This integration of communication also means collaborations, either internally within business departments, or externally, potentially with other businesses or customers, needs to be seamless. The sharing and collaboration of data and communication channels, will allow some businesses to make more of their marketing, sales and operations.
Better Communication with PureComms
Here at PureComms, we live and breathe communication. From helping your business experience better connectivity, to professional support and the hardware you need to run your business, we can help.
For more information about how we can help make your business more efficient through better telecoms, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.