2020 has dramatically modified the enterprise panorama in a means we did not assume was attainable. The occasions of final 12 months have impacted organizations throughout the globe, together with small companies, bringing each challenges and the necessity to stay resilient.
A current research carried out by 8×8 uncovered the important thing considerations that greater than 1,000 SMB staff have been experiencing since working from home. On the root of those worries was a disaster round communication.
Communication – the bedrock of enterprise success right this moment
At the beginning of the pandemic, customers had been affected person and extra forgiving with a lower than passable customer experience, as companies adjusted to the fact of distant service groups and elevated calls for. Nonetheless, practically a 12 months on for the reason that disaster emerged, the expectations of the on-demand era have slowly resurfaced.
And but, one of many core challenges SMB employees are going through is round customer support. Over half (54%) of respondents consider that extra frequent communication with clients will likely be essential to the success of their enterprise; solely 39% of these surveyed report their firm prioritizes customer support.
With nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents agreeing that frequent communication is important to the success of their workforce, it’s encouraging to see that staff are dedicated to enhancing companies ranges and perceive what must be achieved. Enterprise house owners that haven’t but reviewed their communication technique and know-how to handle this must take motion to make it a actuality. One answer could also be to introduce a unified cloud communications platform which permits staff to speak with colleagues, internally, and with their clients, each whereas they’re within the workplace or working remotely from their dwelling. The one platform would additionally provide extra effectivity and enhance communication throughout your entire group.
An incredible instance of this method is one among our clients, Eversfield Natural, a UK-based natural grass-fed meat and natural vegetable field firm, who skilled a 700% improve in orders throughout lockdown final March. The enterprise needed to reply quickly to not solely meet this surge in demand, however guarantee processes had been in place to proceed inside communication between employees, from a largely distant setting.
By deploying an built-in communications platform, Eversfield was capable of proceed to function effectively, be extremely conscious of rising buyer wants with name queuing and rerouting arrange on the platform to handle buyer name volumes, proceed workforce collaboration from disparate areas and guarantee customer support and retention ranges weren’t compromised.
Bettering productiveness within the distant period
Within the UK, productivity has lengthy been a problem, with analysis from the College of Gloucestershire highlighting that SMBs primarily based within the UK and the EU have decrease productiveness charges than their counterparts within the US.
It’s clear that know-how has a task to play right here. Since March 2020, video conferencing adoption has rocketed – enabling nose to nose interplay to proceed on-line. In response to our analysis, 44% of the SMB staff surveyed consider that with efficient communication instruments, productiveness can be probably the most improved enterprise problem. Nonetheless, at current, solely 47% of SMB staff really feel that the communication instruments their firm makes use of helps them to do their job extra effectively.
Discovering the fitting communication instruments that permit workforce members to attach with their colleagues, promote workforce collaboration and provide a extra agile working surroundings pays dividends this 12 months and past. Following the roll-out of the vaccine, we might be near enterprise restoration, nonetheless, the brand new working world will current a extra hybrid method which companies might want to issue into their planning; not solely enabling remote working however making a digital working surroundings extra conducive to excessive productiveness ranges.
What’s subsequent for SMBs?
Whereas the outlook for this 12 months is unclear, I firmly consider SMBs should be armed and able to embrace the alternatives that current themselves later this 12 months. Whether or not it’s slowly reopening their enterprise, making a hybrid enterprise mannequin catered for the digital client or innovating their present proposition. Whatever the method taken, they may all require a sturdy cloud communications technique to make sure the facility of dialog between employees, clients, and companions stay the center of their enterprise. When deciding on the most effective instrument for your enterprise, I’d encourage house owners to contemplate the next:
Ease of use. For a lot of SMBs, the tempo of enterprise has by no means been sooner. Subsequently take into account a cloud communications instrument that provides simplicity and integrates throughout all employees inside the group, from receptionist to your gross sales agent, to attenuate the variety of distributors you need to cope with.
The flexibility to scale up or down is essential to a small enterprise, as some could also be experiencing better demand and others needing to cut back prices in the intervening time. Cloud know-how lets you change your software program necessities as they modify, providing you true operational effectivity.
A number of communication channels. As client habits proceed to evolve, guarantee you may keep forward of those tendencies and have interaction with them on the channels of their alternative. Whether or not that’s voice, video, chat or SMS, make sure you take into account a variety of communication channels when deciding on a cloud know-how supplier.
- Chris Angus, Senior Director, 8×8.