We’ve all watched high-performance athletes lose a race by mere fractions of a second.
Whether the athlete is running on a track, racing down a ski hill or skimming across a swimming pool, it’s compelling to watch. It’s also heartbreaking, because that margin, no matter how small, meant the difference between winning the race and being left behind.
The business world isn’t much different. Competition is extremely tight in almost every industry. It’s all-too-easy to be left behind by competitors who are faster to market, work more efficiently and do more to keep their customers happy.
Your business systems are key to increasing your competitive edge and winning the race, no matter what industries or markets you serve. Every system you rely on must reliably operate at peak performance levels at all times. Especially your business communications system.
Your business communications system is at the heart of every strategy and tactic you employ to stay ahead of the competition. It is the lifeblood of your organization. And if you don’t keep this vital business system in peak condition, you’re far more likely to fall behind.
There are many reasons you can’t afford to let your communications system fall behind, but here are three important ones.
Seamless Communications Accelerates Time to Market
It takes unconstrained teamwork across every area of your organization to get new offerings to market faster. Every member of every team needs the ability to quickly and easily connect, collaborate and share information, from anywhere, at any time.
If your communications system isn’t up-to-date, your teams can’t leverage the latest features and functions available in the web, mobile and desktop applications they rely on to stay connected.
Like high-performance athletes, your teams need every advantage they can get. No matter how seemingly small that advantage is, it makes a difference — especially if you multiply the effects across your entire organization.
Keeping your communications system up to date means your teams always have the most recent voice, messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing and file sharing capabilities at their fingertips.
Depending on how long your communications system has languished without updates, getting current could bring you entirely new capabilities that will jumpstart collaboration initiatives across your teams.
Lost Productivity Is More Expensive Than You Think
In a 2019 survey of 2,500 business professionals across five countries, respondents said they spend half of the average workday communicating and collaborating.
They also said about 13 percent of their day is wasted due to communications inefficiencies. When you add up the lost time, those inefficiencies cost more than $10,000 per employee, per year.
But productivity losses aren’t only measured in dollars. Almost half of the survey respondents also said that inefficient communications and collaboration had created friction with co-workers and with other departments.
While these types of losses are more difficult to quantify, no business can afford them.
Communications technologies and the systems that deliver them are constantly evolving to deliver more features and functionality that are key to making communications and collaboration more efficient.
The capabilities that were cutting-edge just a short while ago are no longer at the forefront of what’s available. Your staff knows this, and they’re looking for you to provide more efficient solutions.
Of the 2,500 survey respondents, only 15 percent of respondents felt their current communications technology had poor features. But 80 percent felt productivity would increase with better communications tools.
If you look at these statistics in another way, it seems employees are saying “we like what we have, but it needs to be enhanced.” The easiest way to deliver on this requirement is to keep your communications system fully up to date with the latest enhancements all the time.
A Great Customer Experience Depends on Great Communications
We’ve already shared a few statistics in this article, but we could fill pages with the statistics that confirm a better customer experience leads to increased business revenues.
The communications that customers have with your organization are central to their experience, and those revenue increases. The key is to ensure your customers have a great experience at every touchpoint across your organization.
To do this, you need to look beyond your contact centre technology and the service delivered by your contact centre agents, and take a holistic approach to the customer journey.
According to customer experience consultants Temkin Group, “every single person in a company plays a direct or indirect role in determining whether it provides consistently good or consistently bad human or digital interactions.”
Your business communications system plays a major role in those human and digital interactions. When evaluating the current state of your communications system, think about how:
- Customers interact with your sales team and employees located at remote sites
- Your internal teams connect and collaborate to deliver on customer requirements, especially when customized solutions are required, delivery dates change or supply chain issues slow down processes
If your communications system doesn’t provide the capabilities needed to ensure customers have the best possible experience, they can become disillusioned with your organization.
They might assume the outdated communications system they encountered when they called your sales team reflects the overall state of your organization.
And they might assume the challenges they’re experiencing with their order or inquiry is due to lack of effort or care, rather than internal disconnects caused by out-of-date communications technology.
Don’t Let Your Communications System Slow You Down
With these few examples, it’s easy to see that if your communications system falls behind, your business can also fall behind.
If high-performance athletes could easily access new capabilities that would help them edge-out the competition, they surely would. High-performance companies need to do the same.