One of the most fundamental changes Web 2.0 technologies have bought to business is the opening of a greater number of contact channels. Many companies wish to embrace all these new and exciting opportunities for customer contact, but realise that they must also keep open traditional communications channels such as telephone and mail.
But how can we open more communications, keep our old ones, and not become overwhelmed with the resulting information?
Evolution is the process through which organisms adapt to new challenges and environments over time, leading to a stronger and fitter population. Similarly, evolution in business requires companies to adapt to these new challenges in order to provide the best services to their customers, in the process making their brand stronger and fitter. So how can companies adapt to meet the Web 2.0 communications challenge? What fundamental change will see the evolution of business communications?
Adoption of New Technology
The first change must be the adoption and integration of new technology into your existing infrastructure. There needs to be a central hub through which multiple communications channels can be gathered. Communications such as SMS, email, web chat and calling cannot be successfully and efficiently managed if they are disconnected from one another and from the service agents dealing with them. Similarly it is impractical to have multiple web pages for each social media account sat open on a single agent’s computer. It would be far more efficient to gather all these communications into one platform that can be easily accessed by numerous agents.
So what new technology is out there that can help us to adapt?
BT have recently launched their Next Generation Contact Centre (NGCC) bringing calls, emails, web chat, SMS, web collaboration, fax and web calling all into one customer relationship management platform. They have combined this with skills-based intelligent routing – helping customers reach the right agent each and every time they call. This allows a truly multi-communications channel accessible from anywhere in the world.
Social media can be more efficiently managed through Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) which allow multiple agents to manage multiple accounts through one single platform. Combined with some more advanced social media bot’s, managing your social media network can become as simple as managing an email account.
Opening more communications channels, integrating them into one management platform, and giving the voice of all your customer and social communications over to a few selected agents dramatically improves the efficiency and effectiveness of your communications efforts.
However, it can also open the door to unprofessional and off-brand communication by your agents. Therefore it is more important than ever to solidify the content messaging across your brand.
By undertaking market research and brand positioning exercises, brand guidelines can be drawn up for your company. At Thread we look most carefully at style and tone of communications as well as aspects such as brand palette, typeface and image style to produce comprehensive guidelines. Guidelines help to reinforce your brand image and your values at each and every touch point – especially important with such an increase of communications channels.
These may sound like big changes to make to your communications infrastructure – albeit to allow for better communications management – and you would be right. However, the changes are structural and technological, meaning once they have been implemented then you have taken the necessary steps to evolve your business. Evolution is not about ‘making-do’ but rather about fundamental changes that help guarantee survival and prosperity.
To find out more about either the technology or brand content messaging involved in the evolved business then contact us today – we love to chat about these exciting developments.