For many of us, our homes have now become our offices and classrooms. As companies shift to virtual work environments to maintain business efficiency during the global pandemic, there is some worry that productivity will be negatively impacted as employees juggle multiple responsibilities from behind their computer screen. But having the right communications tools can help play a critical role in continuing to drive output and productivity. When a business's communications processes are inefficient, the organization faces a productivity lag that can have detrimental effects on customers, suppliers, and employees.
Understanding the consequences of lagging productivity is an important step to creating better workflows during the global work-from-home movement. And implementing the right communications solutions to prevent and solve productivity issues is even more critical no matter what industry you’re in. Here's a look at some of the effects poor work productivity could have on your business, and how communications tools can help.
Lagging productivity can hurt customer interactions. Here's an example: During a turbulent month of stock market volatility, customers of a wealth management firm flocked to their financial advisers. Because the firm didn't have the right communications infrastructure to handle this tidal wave of contact volume, advisers were left trying to manage calls rather than provide the personalized attention they were used to giving. The lack of productivity led to unhappy customers who were reaching busy signals and, eventually, taking their business to competitors.
If the firm had a unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) platform, it would have been able to adjust to the increase in client communication. UCaaS allows clients to communicate via voice, video, SMS, and chat on a single device. During heavy communication periods, the financial advisers in this firm could engage with clients by video conference since physical meetings are impossible today, freeing up personal access to more clients and even groups of clients at a time.
With API integrations, advisers could reach out to clients with personalized SMS messages, providing reassuring and relevant messaging during extreme market climates. And by integrating business applications like Salesforce and G Suite into UCaaS, the firm could empower advisers to multitask by managing their calendar, sending vital emails, and analyzing data, all while providing personalized client engagements.
These cloud-based solutions enable teams to collaborate and stay connected no matter where they are.
Lagging internal work productivity can also impact employee recruitment and retention. Consider a marketing firm that had difficulty attracting top talent, even when they could offer higher compensation packages. The firm's lack of mobile and remote work options at a time when this is really the only option for many is a huge obstacle for candidates.
For a firm like this, adopting cloud-based solutions enable teams to collaborate and stay connected no matter where they are, even as we may slowly return to a physical office setting. If this marketing firm offered long-term telework positions and tools it would empower future employees to work from anywhere while staying connected to one another. This flexibility would improve productivity and attract new talent in the future, making current employees happier and solving potential recruiting issues.
When a business grows quickly and suddenly has to manage an onslaught of customer interactions, lagging productivity can be detrimental. Take a rapidly growing insurance agency. When the firm grew from a five-person firm to a 200-person firm, it was on the verge of layoffs due to rising costs and a lack of communications infrastructure. Agents were busier than ever, constantly answering calls and unable to focus on more strategic work for the company. Negative customer complaints started to roll in and online reviews centered on the inability to reach the right specialist in a timely manner. Despite the massive growth this agency had undergone, it was still operating like a five-person firm.
An omnichannel cloud contact center would have provided this agency with scalable and flexible access for customers through the channels of their choice — voice, chat, social media, or SMS. And a virtual receptionist could take initial communications off agents' plates, addressing general inquiries, routing customers to the right department or individual, and reducing wait times. With these solutions in place, the insurance agency would have adjusted to meet the needs of their customers and freed up their agents to focus on strategic insights for the firm. As productivity increases, so does the bottom line.
Whether you're a financial firm looking to provide personalized customer interactions, a marketing firm hoping to boost employee recruitment and retention, or an insurance agency needing to adjust to mass customer communications, improving work productivity can help. Indeed, businesses in any industry can benefit from increased productivity — and adopting the right communications tools can make all the difference.