Indications are that the global economic outlook for 2018 continue to provide a positive climate for business growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates global real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.7 percent in 2017. (Source: World Economic Outlook Update, January 2018) That’s the fastest pace in five years. According to a Deloitte Insights article, international trade is the leader in this global growth with IMF reporting the fastest growth in exports since 2011.
2018 Favorable Indicators for Business Prosperity
According to Deloitte’s article, “Strong economic growth, improving labor markets, low inflation, and positive consumer sentiment have created the perfect scenario for businesses to prosper.” A recurring theme in industry reports is the focus on customer engagement and using technology to streamline the customer experience.
The Role of Voice Technology and Communications as a Service (CaaS)
As part of the customer engagement experience, virtual assistants, agents, web chat, and other enhanced services provide a path to streamline and support enhanced customer service interactions. Making it easy for customers to connect is fundamental. Voice technology and automation play a key role, but direct personal contact remains essential to generating a positive customer experience. For example, according to Deloitte’s 2018 travel and hospitality industry outlook, “consumers rely more on conversational exchanges to plan travel and interact with travel providers during their trips.”
Even the manufacturing industry tenets of Industry 4.0 address business growth initiatives for customer insights and to expand globally and in emerging markets. So, what role does communications as a service (CaaS) play in supporting business growth internationally? It’s simple. A cloud-based communication’s platform provides the functions and services for key business growth advantages:
Establishing Presence Globally and in Emerging Markets: Global Virtual Numbers
- Expand target audiences and customer reach with virtual numbers that enable easy access for your prospects, partners, and customers to contact you at no charge to them.
- Build a geographic presence without incurring cost of a bricks and mortar establishment. VoIP technology allows you to manage your bottom line by not incurring hardware and maintenance costs associated with traditional communication systems.
Customer Engagement: Cloud Contact Center
- Customer satisfaction levels influence overall business success and call center software facilitates business insight to enable actionable steps for positive customer engagement.
- Virtual call center software promotes quality assurance and provides visibility to analytics applicable to increasing customer satisfaction, such as average hold time, first call resolution, call queue management, training approaches, and more.
Streamline Customer Experience: Advanced Services
- Interactive Voice Response Systems (IVRs) and Auto Attendants provide customer convenience and ease in immediately accessing information relevant to the caller’s inquiry: product/service information, support, billing, etc. The function increases efficiency, decreases customer wait time, and lowers operational cost.
- Time of Day Routing lets your business configure incoming calls to route to a location or department based on time of day to ensure calls are answered and customer needs are served.
- Hosted Call Recording allows your business to record inbound and outbound calls from which you gain insight into customer interactions to help you maintain quality, identify common issues, and coach your representatives. You benefit by the immediacy of listening to the “voice of the customer.”
Emerging Technologies and Trends
Digital transformation propels such trends as 5G (check out the debut in Pyeongchang) artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Big Data analytics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). As businesses seek new revenue streams, expansion into international and emerging markets, and better insights to positive customer engagements, emerging technologies promise to redefine the communications landscape.
In its Tech Vision 2018 article, Accenture states, “Disruption courtesy of emerging technologies is nothing new, … But this latest transformation is unique. For the first time, the change is a two-way street. People aren’t just using products and services, but feeding information and access back to them.”
Communication platform technologies are well positioned to help meet demand by incorporating key aspects of these emergent technologies. Whether it’s video chats with your help desk representative, scheduling and appointment reminders through Short Message Service (SMS), or other Omnichannel medium, the result is improved customer experience.
In addition, machine learning, a branch of AI, offers the ability for software that operates on your communications platform to get better and better by “learning” how best to communicate with your clients and how to harness the power of information to better serve customers.
AVOXI is excited about the possibility of machine learning combined with Omni-channel experience within the communications space. We are actively working on solutions to better capture and present insights to our customers through enhanced software development. We would love to share a product roadmap walk through with you as you plan for 2018 and beyond. Contact us now!