Enterprise communications has changed and continues to change at an increasing pace. No longer can a company assume that since they have an 800 number that their customers will call them to do business. Even their own employees are shying away from the phone, preferring to instant message and chat. This can be good news for enterprises as the amount of communication and customer contact is on the rise. With the proper communication strategies in place enterprises can ride this new communication wave into the growth they need for the future.
The phone call is the standard when it comes to enterprise communications. Customers, prospects and vendors all will be called or will call in to the business to get what they need. Employees will call each other to get the information they need to get their jobs done. But even phone calls have changed as they are no longer are on a separate network as the voice and data networks have converged. So enterprises have to adapt since the number of calls have not gone down and will not go down in the foreseeable future.
Email is the next communication media that is used for enterprise contact. Email can work well but is overrun with SPAM and is not real time. So enterprises have to spend a great amount of time and effort to make sure that the meaningful communication gets to the correct person without filtering out too much or to slowly. Email is also not real time and people no longer are happy to wait on an answer, they are asking now and want on answer now. Email has its place but it is slowly getting replaced as a mode of communication just as email replaced regular mail.
Instant messaging, SMS and web chat are the next communication mode of choice. Though more real time then email it has some of the same drawbacks. It is much harder to get complex discussions understood by everyone using short text messages. Message routing to the correct person in the enterprise can be a challenge as well as enterprises need a unified message to their customers. These text base system limitations can be handled and needs to be as these communication media are growing at an alarming rate of use.
Social media is here to stay and is the communication media of choice for the younger generations of customer. Enterprises need to be aware of what their customers and employees are saying about them on social media as many enterprises have found out too late to their dismay. This communication media is not only real time it is also very public so bad customer experiences travel very fast. Being able to manage the enterprise online reputation is very important.
Video is the communication media frontier. Although it has been around a long time it is now becoming more main stream. Soon customer will be video calling from their smart phones, and video calls between employees are becoming commonplace. Video has as all the upside of a real time person to person conversation without the need to be physically in the same place. The downside is network bandwidth as users will not tolerate bad quality any more.
With all these media choices what is an company to do? They have to be able to communicate on them all unless they want to be left behind and lose their customers to others they will use the media choice of the user. So the only way ahead for companies is to accept that they must communicate by the media of the user’s choice. So by allowing all the different media for communication the amount of communication with their customers goes up and the more information they can have about their customers. If companies do it right they cannot only preserve the customer experience they can enhance it. By enhancing the customer experience they increase the business they do per customer. More business means more $$$.