Since the dawn of the information age, delivering a high-quality customer experience has been vital to the success of an organization. Without it, your business will not survive in this hyper-competitive global marketplace. But now, delivering a great customer experience is only half the challenge. The current demand for qualified workers exceeds supply. So, we must now focus on both the customer and the employee experience to survive and thrive. In fact, 49% of workers say they’re likely to leave their current job if they’re unhappy or frustrated with workplace technology (Workfront, State of Work 2021).
With all the technology available to us today, people remain our most valuable resource. One requirement for success in business is the efficient use and management of technology to facilitate successful outcomes for both your customers and your greatest asset, employees.
Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. 70% of companies use 2-5 communication tools, such as salesforce, Google, Office 365, Slack, Zoom and Cisco. Astonishingly, 22% of companies use 6 or more communication providers (Hanover Research).
Many of you reading this right now can empathize with that research. With the advent of COVID, we were caught off guard. With many employees suddenly working from home, several organizations and their people took the path of least resistance to perform their job functions.
That bluish-purple Microsoft Teams icon on our desktop that we’d never used in the past suddenly became our friend. 10 million Microsoft Teams users before COVID, over 150 million today! Maybe it was Zoom that your company turned to in this time of need, or Slack for collaboration. In any case, the tools and applications each of us are required to utilize has increased significantly. And with that, so did the training requirements (if you received any), along with management and administration overhead. Plus, several of these applications didn’t integrate with each other, causing a tangled web of communication mediums, none of which being “aware” of the other.
Let’s face it, the rise of texting, social media and other digital communication mediums has fragmented business communications. Now that many of us are working from anywhere, while using multiple devices, a 360-degree view of both employees and customers presents a debilitating challenge amidst our digital transformation journey.
So today, we are presented with several problems as we utilize a host of tools to communicate with our customers and each other:
- Multiple tools increase training and management costs; not to mention multiple subscription fees.
- Several applications that overlap with each other in terms of redundant features and services, bloating costs and causing a tremendous amount of confusion with your employees. What tool do I use for what type of communication? The end-result being a loss of productivity and efficiency.
- Minimal or no integration within the various communication tools, again having a negative impact on productivity. For instance, presence/availability, contact lists and synchronized groups. “Application islands,” as we refer to them.
- Contact Center environments that are supported by a completely different platform than your standard communications platform for all other users. Completely disparate end-user and administration interfaces, leading to exorbitant training costs and overall inflexibility in how we communicate with each other and to our clients.
- Fragmented analytics from multiple communication tools makes it virtually impossible to make thoughtful, fact-based business decisions.
How do we wrap our hands around all of this? Enter the next generation of communications platforms that are increasingly becoming available today. Rather than using half a dozen completely disparate tools to perform voice calls, outbound campaign calling, instant messaging, chat, multi-media messaging, collaboration and video conferencing, advancements in technology now allow us to perform all those functions with one, simple to use and administer application. This application works seamlessly across all your laptop, desktop and mobile devices. And rather than use a separate application for your contact center agents and supervisors, those additional features are simply feature add-ons to the same application used by the rest of your workforce.
In terms of your greatest asset, your people, learning one application to perform all forms of communication improves productivity and drastically reduces frustration levels. As I mentioned earlier, 49% of employees will leave if they are frustrated with workplace technology. That goes for the IT support staff for your organization as well. One pane of glass for administration and management of one application that serves all the communications needs of your organization, dramatically reducing your support staff’s frustration level as well. Plus, you will experience tremendous gains in time and energy to positively impact other areas of your technology stack that desperately need attention. If you’ve been watching the news …. cybersecurity, anyone?
To learn more about the next generation of unified communications technology, we invite you to contact Van Ausdall & Farrar. We are a private, 107-year-old company that knows a thing or two about embracing the next generation of technology. We are experts at applying technology simply and effectively to optimize your digital transformation journey. Please contact us to start the conversation.
VP and GM, IT
Van Ausdall & Farrar, Inc.