Small business owners must embrace the digital transformation of telecoms.
Well, consider how more receptive competitors will be leveraging robust, scalable, and far more cost-effective software, at your expense.
The world has also endured a two-year long pandemic, the likes of which has accelerated the shift towards hybrid working, and with it, greater need to find remote business productivity tools which maintain strong and reliable communication.
And if that wasn’t enough, the ever-looming PSTN switch off date, when we say goodbye to traditional landline phones, really has made modern telecoms software a ‘must’, rather than a ‘nice to have’.
Are you a small business owner? Do you want to align your communication for the future? Here, we explore cloud software, and how this will continue to shape business communication for many years to come.
How does cloud communications work?
The term ‘cloud’ is emblematic of what this communication type offers, and that’s how data is sent into virtual spaces you never see, rather than something more tangible like a computer hard drive.
Your cloud-based phone system for business will be powered either through private data centres, or public cloud providers like Google Cloud or Amazon AWS.
Using the cloud also means UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) can be leveraged more effectively, since both functionality and data related to a variety of applications, such as instant messaging and voice recording, are readily available in one place.
In fact, this stretches to CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) platforms, giving contact centres the means to receive and collate information, all of which contributes to superior customer experiences based around efficient inbound calls.
Cloud communications is almost standard practice
Cloud communications is now widely used by lots of business types, owing to a slew of benefits relating to efficiency, productivity, and cost.
These days, small businesses are becoming more concerned with the latter, and now 44% of them use this to scale, showing that modern software only being workable for much larger and cash-rich enterprises, really is a myth.
Still on the fence?
Below are just some of the key advantages that small businesses can see from using cloud communications.
Flexible working is here to stay, so get used to it.
65% of employees expect to be working either fully remotely or in hybrid environments and coupled with 74% of businesses looking to implement this going forward, it’s clear how most are in favour. (Gartner)
The fact is, remote communication is something to embrace, rather than shying away from, especially since contact can now be made anywhere.
Cloud software will facilitate this, enabling team members to carry on with their job, even if road closures, or more topically, a worldwide pandemic, make travelling into work an impossibility.
So long as they’ve got access to the internet, they can make use of a desktop or mobile application with intelligent routing, interactive voice response, and other common features now integral for modern communication.
Protecting data is paramount for every business.
Without reliable security, data breaches are more likely, and these are now costlier than ever before having risen by 8.1% during 2022.
For context, the UK are now placed fourth globally, ahead of France, Japan and Germany, with the average cost now £4.56 million.
Compared to traditional systems, which often rely on multiple technologies, all of which could require separate protective measures in place, with a unified cloud solution, your chosen provider deals with everything, protecting all your business information in their data centres.
You’ll also be joining major brands like Apple, Netflix and eBay, who all use the cloud to keep their data safe and secure.
When you grow, your cloud-based software grows with you.
What does this mean?
Through its subscription-based model, businesses simply pay whenever they need to add new team members – this can even be done remotely, making the entire process streamlined, but more importantly, fast.
You can also integrate with relevant business apps, so HR, sales or marketing will have the very tools they need to get on with their specific roles.
Keeping up with trends is a constant struggle for many small business owners.
There isn’t always time to get their head into emerging technologies, and more specifically, how this will fit with their current set-up.
Thankfully, cloud providers will routinely add new features and integrations, keeping you perfectly aligned with what’s new, and all without the troublesome task of combining this with software already in place.
In most cases, new features, whether that’s improved video conferencing or new automations, will become immediately accessible for team members, who can often use these without upgrading, so expect them to be performing with the best tools constantly by their side.
Cloud communications software can also be a gateway to better, more attentive customer service, all the time – when used properly.
For starters, call handlers can login into call queues from wherever they choose and whatever device they prefer, enabling them to support customers from a traditional office environment, or from home if needed.
On top of that, there is an almost unlimited amount of data extractable from customer calls, and this can then be used to monitor and improve the levels of service provided through contact centre analytics, which tracks call times, on-hold times, quality of conversation, and call dispositions.
Call recording platforms like CallCabinet can even spot keywords, phrases, and caller sentiment, providing actionable data for improving not only customer experience, but also agent performance.
Certain solutions allow businesses to meet their customers on a multitude of channels, with agents only needing to be logged into a single system.
With third party platforms seamlessly installed, this enables an omnichannel strategy, providing customers with consistent engagement levels however they choose to communicate.
Whether they reach out via phone, email, Facebook, Instagram, webchat, contact forms, or chatbots, you can manage all your responses from one platform.
But, perhaps more importantly, WhatsApp business integration can be included, made all the more crucial with over 80% of the UK now using WhatsApp regularly. (Statista)
Again, using the cloud, your data is safely stored across all channels, and this can be passed around your network, creating far more streamlined and responsive levels of service all-round.