By Cecile Tizon, Regional Manager for Asia Pacific, Infobip
The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a springboard for digital adoption across several global industries. The mobility restrictions imposed during the virus outbreak, up until the recent loosening of the lockdowns, proved to be the greatest opportunity for digital transformation in the workplace. Brick-and-mortar businesses had to adapt by bringing their businesses online to reach their customers, enterprises dipping their toes into digitization were thrust into full-scale implementation, and early adopters became emboldened in their pursuit of innovation and future-proofing solutions.
Regardless of the stage your organization is in, demands for flexibility that remote and hybrid work setup increase just the same. If ever there was a year in which businesses need to boldly embrace change and grasp opportunities, it’s 2022. The seismic changes the world is going through will have a significant influence on how businesses conduct their relationships with customers and employees in 2022. With cloud communication technologies at the heart of this opportunity, Infobip shares its top 5 communication trends businesses across the world, including here in the Philippines, must watch out for.
- Businesses are looking into simplified communications
Businesses pursuing a customized platform that will help them navigate the ins and outs of the digital era are now driven to secure leading experts for each part of the business. This resulted in a disparate system comprising a myriad of service providers.
This outcome also applies to communication systems — whether it pertains to establishing different APIs and VPNs, integrating separate technology stacks, or working with varying stages of API upgrades, and maintenance. Running disparate platforms cripples the productivity of a company and can even be costly down the road.
The implementation of a successful communication strategy is not solely reliant on the variety of channels and messaging formats. An organization must understand what the right content is for every channel and maintain the communication vision even if these channels change over time.
This can be achieved by using a single platform approach where businesses are empowered with better visibility and insights into their customer interactions, can prevent manual errors with the help of an easy-to-use interface, automate resource-demanding tasks, and improve their customers’ journeys overall.
- Approaching hybrid work will require a communication redesign
The pandemic also caught enterprises off-guard in terms of operational continuity. These companies with well-established communication strategies had to rely on mobile messaging overnight, specifically in maintaining proper information dissemination across the board.
This measure was a band-aid fix that staved off the harsher consequences of a business that immediately had to operate outside the traditional office setting. For 2022, HR and IT leaders are expected to deliver more efficient protocols that will bolster not only manpower productivity, but also the security framework of the business as a whole.
These changes come in the form of producing new channels for communicating with the staff, new policies set in place that recognize the unique conditions of the hybrid work model, and platforms that accommodate the new demands of both the company as well as its customer base.
When integrated with cloud communication strategies, enterprises can approach the hybrid work norm more effectively, while evading the common pitfalls like time mismanagement, fragmented communication, and lack of visibility.
The new requirements revolve around a single concept — agility. Being prepared for a hybrid workforce means that the company is able to work out and rearrange shifts on the fly, provide a platform that facilitates better communication among separate remote teams, deliver different types of relevant information through different channels, and gather insights from all these practices mentioned to zero in on potential areas for improvement.
- Potential applications for 5G technology will surge
There is no doubt that the rollout of 5G connectivity will be a significant boost that enterprises will benefit from as communication and data-sharing processes are optimized.
On the surface, 5G is already increasing download and upload speeds, lowering latency to make remote execution real-time, and enabling cloud technology more effectively to reduce dependency on the internal memory of smart devices and their computing needs.
There is still a wide range of unexplored 5G applications that have yet to be seen and developed. With lower latency, holographic calls and both virtual and augmented reality experiences are now the reality. 5G technology is also on track to revolutionize smart farming practices, remote learning, shipment monitoring in logistics, remote diagnostics and robot-assisted surgery in the healthcare space, and automated manufacturing operations.
For businesses, this enhancement allows them to tap into richer sources of meaningful interactions with their customers from different messaging channels, especially when under a unified cloud communication platform.
- AI (artificial intelligence) will accelerate blended technology-human interactions
The great push for automation is often mistaken as a human vs machine scenario, when in fact, combining these two elements is the key to providing the best customer experience.
Relying only on AI-powered chatbots will result in inaccurate resolution for unique issues. Alternatively, exclusively using human interactions will negatively impact the service speed and convenience for the customer.
When integrated with each other, chatbots can free up human agents from time-consuming manual tasks, allowing the latter to prioritize complex customer issues and express empathy at the same time. This enables the business to handle a higher volume of queries and transactions, and provide readily available live agents who are now released from basic service tasks.
- SMEs keen on supplementing the omnichannel approach with the cloud model
2022 is starting to look like a year in which cloud communications become truly democratized. With the cohesive customer experience that the omnichannel approach offers, SMEs now have a greater reach toward their customers and can offer a seamless experience between communication methods. In the past, multi-channel strategies were adopted but eventually lost traction due to a lack of control in maintaining the brand message and the inability to transfer information efficiently.
Scaling up interactions, however, exposes different kinds of complexity that will make SMEs think twice about their cloud communications strategy. By using a one-platform cloud communications approach, these businesses can now support remote workers and have access to enterprise-level features without having to shell out substantial capital investments for on-site hardware.
As a leader in omnichannel communication, Infobip helps brands simplify their customer engagement processes with its programmable communications platform. This full-stack cloud communication platform-as-a-service combines advanced customer and engagement support with security and authentication features.
The power of customer experience can’t be underestimated in this evolving 5G and AI-powered, post-pandemic, digital era. For 2022, Infobip emphasizes the need to treat customer experience as a priority, giving it equal importance as a company’s product or service. It is imperative to ensure that every single interaction, across all channels and touchpoints, is useful, emphatic, and as frictionless and enjoyable as possible.