It was a druggist in Hartford, Connecticut in 1877, that first installed a switchboard. He saw the commercial benefit of being able to connect his telephone with the local doctors. Business opportunity and competitive advantage continue to drive technological developments in telephony today.
Is your business relying on outdated technology? Check out this guide to learn about 4 types of communication technology to help elevate your business performance.
When instant messaging started to appear online, internet chatting was just another way to maintain your social circle. Now it’s a customer service tool you should be considering for your business.
Customers who once preferred to contact you via a call center now prefer using online chat via your website. Typing a question on your smartphone or laptop can be a convenient and rewarding customer experience.
Instead of calling a helpline and hanging on in a queue, customers can submit their query, minimize the chat window and get on with something else. Many responses to frequently asked questions can be automated reducing costs and speeding up replies. If you’re not considering online chat you may want to check whether your competitors are delivering better convenience and speed of customer service.
2. Video Communication
Meetings are the bane of many executives’ lives. They take so much time and often feel unproductive. Before the meeting, there’s travel, assembling, pre-meeting chat and getting coffee.
Even during the meeting, people often seem incapable of staying on topic, discussions can go on and on and then we do it all again next week. Frustrating and unproductive.
Video conferencing can make meetings so much more productive. Call a meeting and assemble in minutes. Stay on track and the meeting can be over before you know it. It needn’t be expensive either with Skype and Facetime being realistic forms of video communication for everybody.
Introduce video communication and watch your travel costs fall. Not only that but you can meet more frequently for shorter meetings. So much more effective for getting things done.
3. Communicate to Collaborate
Collaborative working is a way of pooling the talents of your team. Share information and expertise and you can get stuff done. It’s creative, energizing, and can be a source of competitive advantage.
How do you do it? Collaborative working is enabled by using the tools of collaborative technologies. They leverage the power of the team.
Take Slack as an example. It provides an online team hub. A place to chat, exchange ideas and solve problems.
Trello helps teams work together by providing a dynamic project management environment. It provides visibility of what people have to do and their progress so people can coordinate and collaborate on projects.
Google provides a collaborate environment in the form of the Google Suite. By sharing apps and a synchronized calendar your team can work as if they are all sat at the same desk even if they are halfway around the world.
4. Hosted and Cloud Services
If you have a telephone system within your company you are probably behind the curve on telephony. Having your own Private Bench Exchange or PBX means hardware and software costs, maintenance and upgrade management and probably a big cabinet to house it.
Telephony doesn’t have to be like that. The engineering behind this communication can be owned and maintained by a specialist hosted PBX provider. You don’t need to house the equipment and you can share in your provider’s economies of scale.
Having telephony as a service means you get up to date features and upgrades are easy. The provider handles all the engineering and you get all the benefits. Costs can be much lower and their all revenue costs rather than capital.
Cloud services have created other communication technologies more viable for even small businesses. Communications can take lots of storage capacity. Using cloud technology data storage is less of a problem.
Call centers can use cloud-based solutions. This frees them from the dependence on in-house data storage and software installation. The call center can be literally anywhere and access the service and data across the internet.
5. SIP Trunking
If you have a legacy telephone system it doesn’t make sense to throw it away. Surely there’s still value in it. What you would like to do is find a more cost-effective way of using it.
SIP trunking allows you to connect your old telephone system to the public phone network but do it via your broadband connection. Why would you want to do this?
The benefits of SIP trunking are first and foremost economic. It will allow you to access telephone services at a much-reduced cost. It will also provide you with the opportunity to integrate communication strategies including email, messaging, voicemail, video, and conventional telephony.
Often, SIP trunking solutions will be compatible with your existing telephony hardware. It’s scalable, handles multiple sites, and simpler to operate. For example, moving premises isn’t a major problem as SIP trunking makes it easy to manipulate outbound numbers irrespective of geographical location.
If you have a disaster plan you’ll appreciate the importance of having a resilient telephony service. That’s hard to do with conventional telephony services but SIP trunking makes it easy. Because you can move or divert lines irrespective of the geography you can respond to an emergency effectively and cheaply.
New Types of Communication Technology
The opportunities that new communication technologies offer mean businesses should review the market periodically. Innovation is continuous and it’s easy to miss news of the developments. This is especially true if communications are not your core business.
Specialists in communications as New Era Communication can help identify the technologies that are relevant to each business sector. Perhaps it’s time to take stock.
Where Will It End?
Since the first faltering steps in telephony in the nineteenth century to the rapid technological innovations of today, the need to communicate has been the key. There doesn’t appear to be any sign of our need for new types of communication technology reducing.
Here are more ways technology can improve your business productivity.