To compete in our increasingly globalised society it is vital to have excellent lines of communication open with your potential customers and existing clients. Business connectivity allows you to reach more people; grow your business; and ultimately increase your revenue.
How Can We Connect?
There are now more ways than ever to communicate and technology makes it ever easier to reach our audience wherever they are based in the world.
Video and Voice Connectivity
VoIP has made it lower cost and easier to connect via both voice and video. Colleagues or clients can be based in another office or even overseas but we can still carry out face-to-face training; pre-sales calls; and business development meetings via video conferencing. This makes the meetings far more effective, especially when we might not always speak the same language.
VoIP however depends on good broadband connectivity as more data is being transmitted and therefore you need fast and reliable upload and download speeds. Choose your provider wisely and look at their historical data concerning up-time and quality. The government is conscious that fast internet connectivity is vital if businesses within the UK are to thrive, therefore it has pledged to invest over -£780 million to bring high-speed broadband to 95% of homes and businesses by 2017.
VoIP has also made it easier to connect with potential customers in real time. Online chat, instant messaging and screen share are valuable tools, especially in a technical support environment.
Many more people now access the internet via their mobile and this has made the ability to embed click-to-call buttons on websites and in emails hugely powerful in reaching more people. When a potential customer has a query, if they can connect with someone at the click of a button, you are much more likely to make a sale. Google reports that over 40% of people using its search engine now take advantage of the click-to-call buttons embedded in Google Adsense. If you arenâ€™t using click-to-call in your marketing, you can be assured your competitors will be.
Over a million e-mails are sent around the world every day and this is set to reach 132 billion by 2017. If you send and receive high numbers of e-mails within your business you need to ensure you have systems in place to deal with them effectively. This means your hardware needs to be up to date and efficient; you have sufficient data storage in place; and that your data is backed up daily so you donâ€™t lose important correspondence.
Your staff should also be trained to deal with e-mail as efficiently as possible, especially within your customer service teams. There are now e-mail management systems which can reply to initial emails automatically to point people towards online help, and which can also sort and classify incoming mail.
Losing Your Ability to Communicate
One drawback to our heavy reliance on business connectivity can be if we lose our ability to communicate, either through a natural disaster; breakdown of our technology; or hacking attempt. Therefore make data security and disaster recovery planning a priority. Itâ€™s easy to become complacent and believe that nothing will touch our individual business, however if you suffered a catastrophic connectivity loss your business may well function at less than 10% after 10 days. Unsurprisingly many companies which suffer a loss such as this will either never get back to their full potential or may even go out of business. Therefore put a robust disaster recovery plan in place and revisit it frequently to check for any new areas of potential weakness.
The power of business connectivity lies in its ability to allow you to communicate with more potential clients than ever before. When you make it easy for customers to reach you in multiple ways you open the door to organic growth and therefore minimise your reliance on advertising. This leads to higher levels of sales and increased profitability, well worth the investment in the reliability and speed of your systems.
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