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November 13, 2019

The Changing Face of Business in the Wake of New Communication Technologies



Communication technology is so much more than the ability to call from one phone line to another. It has evolved and adapted to modern technology just as businesses have. Today AI, machine learning, and Big Data are just as critical elements of communication technology as the internet is, and that is due to how customers today expect to be communicated with.



From personalization to chatbots and beyond, businesses are changing their very structures to rise to meet the challenge and potential of new and evolving communication technologies.

Succeeding, however, is a different story. To succeed, you must understand where the trends are headed and invest in the future rather than maintain a “wait and see” approach.

How Communication Technology Has Changed Businesses Thus Far

Communication technology has come far from the first phone line. It has evolved beyond the creation of the internet and now has multiple sub-branches. In many cases the communication element of technology is no longer backed by human voices but rather a machine.

Automation, chatbots, AI assistants, and more, all of these are the newest editions of communication technology and incorporating their potential and breadth into your business model is how you can provide unparalleled service to your customers that they are increasingly starting to expect.

If you do not adopt new technologies that improve communication on a person-to-person and machine-to-machine basis, then you will find your company falling behind. Call centers are not necessary when you can create a voice assistant that guides customers to the right information, and manually communicating between businesses or departments is not necessary when you have reliable automation.

The Varying Levels of Communication Tech


There are many varying levels of communication tech available to businesses. Go higher up the ladder and your business will demand greater specialist development to maintain progression and keep up with demand.

At the base level, there are phone and email communications. They are straight forward and have not innovated too drastically in the past decade. Yes, there are new tools that improve standards, personalization, protocols and more, but in comparison to the higher levels of tech this is still basic.

Higher up are telecommunications, which have now expanded to include Cloud computing and video services. Combined they have allowed businesses to expand their hiring pool from beyond their town or city to the nation. Remote working will allow you to hire better, reduce costs of overhead, and still benefit from an efficient and productive workforce.

Top New Communication Technologies and Their Potential in Business

There are many new communication technologies to invest beyond VoIP and call centers. You simply need to understand the varying levels of communication and that yes, in many cases, a human ear will not hear a single word pass between systems.

Artificial Intelligence

AI capabilities might never reach sentience, and that is probably a good thing, but with machine learning, businesses can offer communication services that offer personalization to the highest degree.


Chatbots


One of the most immediately beneficial components of artificial intelligence is the chatbot. This communication technology offers around the clock support for customers to get ahold of your company. Not only can they provide an instant reply through private messengers, but they can also work to troubleshoot and streamline issues depending on their severity.

                                   

Personal Assistants

Alexa, Google (News - Alert) Assistant, Siri – these are just a few of the examples of how personal assistants can benefit people, and, in turn, businesses. With personal assistants, you can turn your chatbot capabilities to the phone so that you can provide service to a greater number of customers during your off-hours.


This doesn’t mean you should attempt to fool customers, though Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Xiaoice bot has indeed done just that. People don’t want to feel fooled. To provide the best service that can then translate into greater brand loyalty or sales, you will want customers to know it is a voice bot, and the voice bot’s goal. In this case, voice bots can be instrumental in providing solutions to simple problems and for categorizing complaints so that they are dealt more effectively by human operators during office hours.

Big Data

Big Data is one of the most promising changes to the business world to date, and its implications towards business strategy are enormous. Big Data is the collection of behavior data in its entirety, and though you might not have access to the full lexicon (it is estimated that 70% or so of bought data is inaccurate) you can look deeper into your own storage.

A lot can be said through behavior data, and customers will communicate more through their behavior than with their words. Analyzing this information is key to provide hyper personalization and to improve the efficiency of your entire business.

Hyper Personalization

Personalization is one of the biggest trends today, and it doesn’t look to be relenting. People don’t want a one-size-fits-all approach, even if they want their data and their privacy kept private, even from you. By investing in stronger security methods and encouraging users to directly provide personalized data to you then you will be good to go.


Using machine learning you can then automatically assess and use this data to provide a unique experience for every user.

Statistical Improvement

Being proficient in programming is now a standard. Further specialization is necessary when hiring for your IT and Development teams. You can expect to pay out $60,000 to $111,000 per annum for a talented employee who can analyze the data available from Big Data models and transform the endless numbers into actionable reports.

The employee you will need in this case will need to have achieved, at minimum, a Masters in Statistics online. Online education means that they have obtained a quality degree from an institution regardless of where you are personally located. It also means that they are less likely to have taken time out of their career to pursue their education, and instead found a method to maintain their career while furthering their specialization. You might have an employee in place that would be perfectly suited to help this area of your business expand, and by opting to fund for their online master's degree you will ensure you are strengthening your team even more.

Blockchain

Blockchain is often associated with cryptocurrency, but in reality, it is a means to safely and  securely encrypt data and send it directly to the intended recipient. It is the most secure communication channel available, and its possibilities are endless. Look into how your business can implement and use Blockchain technology to improve security.

How Businesses Can Successfully Adopt These New Technologies

Knowing the top technologies that are set to facilitate and evolve communication channels is one thing, but knowing how to successfully adopt these technologies into your business model is another.

Understand Future Needs and Invest

You need to understand your business through and through so that you can understand how it can evolve, and in turn, what technologies you need to get there. Saving and budgeting in advance for technology, software, and tools that don’t even exist yet is smart business practice. If you need to invest now and don’t have the capital, it might be that a loan is warranted.

In Your Infrastructure

You need to be prepared to invest in the tools and software. This means more than subscribing to a service or downloading a new program. As you expand, you are going to want unique solutions, and for that you will need to develop or customize programs.

This needs to be done on your own servers, for your Cloud infrastructure, and for your front-end waypoints like your website.

In Your Employees

You will need to specialize your IT and development departments if you want to have a hope of keeping up with your competitors and providing your customers with a great experience year after year. After a point having a team full of jack-of-all-trades is not going to cut it. You will need to have specialists that work to improve the efficiency of your business and in your systems.

Improve Data Collection and Analysis

The best way to provide an accurate forecast for all areas of your business is to improve your business’ ability to collect and analyze data.

Improve Customer Service with New Features

Customer service looks a lot different from fifty years ago. Today customers expect businesses to be where they are. This means you need to be available in person, on-call, and even online. Social media is the newest frontier of customer service, but with this new frontier comes new rules. 24/7 engagement can be hard to provide to customers, but chatbots and voice bots can give customers the engagement they are looking for during off-hours.

Improve Efficiency with Communicative Automation

Automation is your best friend, and it works by facilitating seamless communication through different programs. You will need to have your own specialists on hand to customize, build, and improve this automation. Site Reliability Engineers are the perfect fit for this role.

Businesses have changed. They have always changed. New technologies, new laws, new trends will change a business and how it operates. Not adopting technologies yourself, and instead relying on the work of other companies is a mistake. You must hire on-site professionals to create solutions unique to your business.



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