Communication with customers has always been the cornerstone of business. In an age driven by changes and updates to technology, it’s never been more important to stay ahead of the game. This means being fully online and making the most of real time communication channels.
It’s no longer enough to simply have a static business website and an email address you monitor on a daily basis for new messages. While this was acceptable practice in years gone by, the world of business communications is constantly evolving. It’s imperative to your success – with customers and against competitors – to embrace new methods. As 2020 fast approaches, real- time communication is at the forefront of how customers are dealt with. It is now an expectation that you have the facilities to cope with this demand. It’s also of the utmost importance that you monitor new channels and stay ahead of the curve to maintain your competitive edge in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Free and easy
The vast majority of available messaging and communication technology is free of charge. It’s mainly conducted through instant messaging services available on any number of social media platforms and specialist messages services. The main social media players are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Messaging services, such as WhatsApp (which is owned by Facebook), and Skype also provide important ways of setting up messaging on an individual basis or group format. Both have the facility to allow regular and video calls. The main platforms can be downloaded to the desktop and are available in app format. The good thing about them is that they work in very similar ways and are not complicated to grasp. This is perfect for first time users. If you do need any initial support, YouTube is a great place to find introductory training videos to guide you through the basic steps to set up and start using.
The Waiting Game
Customers are no longer lacking in control of how quickly you respond to them. They now drive business communication. If you and your business do not have the technology and know-how, you’re in serious danger of being left behind and losing existing customers and potential new leads. Modern communication – and specifically real-time communication- is here to stay. It will only develop and improve further as new technology is tested and released. The days of sending group emails are no longer considered appropriate when you can now group chat with contacts and receive notifications of online meetings and messages the second they’re sent. It allows a business to move so much quicker and seriously cuts down time taken to make decisions. In terms of customers, they will no longer hang around waiting for a phone call or email. They want to get a hold of you immediately and ask you questions with swift replies. Instant messaging gives them the ability to do this. You must be on the ball when it comes to responding to them or initiating conversations. Channels must be continually monitored, and messages dealt with swiftly and efficiently. If you know you cannot respond in the same hour or day, an auto reply or holding message will suffice in the short term.
Feigning ignorance or technophobia of modern real-time communication methods is no longer acceptable in modern business practice. You must be up to date and technically savvy. If not, your business will fail to live up to its potential, and you’ll find that regardless of how great your product or service, your business will struggle.