Meet Daisy. Daisy runs a small business that has remote teams of project managers, developers, designers, and sales agents. She also works with outside contractors and distributors, making communication technology a fundamental aspect of running her business. Communicating via email certainly helps, but Daisy knows that face-to-face interactions are best, especially when landing new business, negotiating with distributors, or working with specific clients.
Travel isn't always feasible, and while Daisy has heard about various types of communication technology, like video conferencing, unified communications as a service (UCaaS), and messaging tools like Slack, the market is flooded with options. Which is the best for her business? How is she to choose?
Many business leaders find themselves in a similar situation as Daisy, familiar with general offerings but unable to conquer the technology learning curve to decide which product is best for the organization. Let's take a look at how Daisy can find the best communications solution for her business.
1. Conduct Internal Research
Leaders know their businesses best, and their employees know how they work best. Conducting internal research for communication technology can help narrow down the options. What are the organization's main pain points? What do employees claim they need the most? Where is productivity lacking?
Since Daisy's teams work remotely, being able to stay connected while on the go is crucial. To account for this, Daisy will need to narrow down her solutions to those with robust mobile applications, not just desktop or web-based. If a team member is making a call while traveling, for example, they can use a mobile app to communicate with colleagues without having to log on to a website.
Through employee surveys, Daisy finds that her teams are struggling to collaborate regularly with each other and with clients. She realizes she needs an interactive solution. Calls are great, but video conferencing is better, especially since it has advanced to incorporate virtual whiteboards. Daisy's team includes designers, so being able to share screens and collaborate on a design together is important.
Conducting internal research shows Daisy where her most critical needs are. It helps her narrow down her focus and understand what her organization requires. And she's able to reflect on her business's needs without diving head first into the technological details.
Without having to immerse herself in the technological details of communications solutions, Daisy was able to lead her business to success, selecting and implementing the right technology for her organization's needs.
2. Check Out the Competition
Whether a business is launching a new product line, initiating a new service, or looking to improve existing products and services, conducting market research is critical. What exists already? How does it compare to your product or service? What are your competitors doing? Where can you differentiate?
Leaders like Daisy can apply the same market research methods to see how their competitors are tackling their digital transformation efforts. When you visit a competitor's website, does a chat icon appear? Is there an 800 number to call? What happens when you call it? Are you presented with a list of menu options, or are you immediately connected to a person?
After assessing the communications capabilities of her competitors, Daisy finds that many of them use a UCaaS system to allow clients to reach them at any time via SMS, voice, or chat app. UCaaS connects all communications through one platform, so her competitors' teams can take and receive calls on the go and seamlessly switch to a desktop when they get to the office. Daisy finds that her organization lacks this functionality.
3. Leverage Best Practices
Now that Daisy realizes she needs a UCaaS system with video conferencing capabilities, it's time for her to implement these solutions. The problem is, she doesn't know much about the technology or how to integrate it into her current workflows. This is where the technology learning curve rears its ugly head.
To get the most out of her chosen communication technology, Daisy follows best practices to implement it so that her employees — and ultimately her business — benefit. She involves her employees in the implementation process, seeking their input, thoroughly training them on new processes, and explaining how the technology will help address their pain points. She also draws on her IT team for tech expertise.
Next, Daisy provides a detailed implementation timeline so that her employees can ease into the new workflow. Perhaps they need to update their laptops and phones and have been putting it off. Maybe they're going to be traveling and will need to be able to install the app on the go and connect. By including her employees and IT team in the implementation process, Daisy beats the learning curve and ensures a smooth transition.
A Job Well Done
Without having to immerse herself in the technological details of communications solutions, Daisy was able to lead her business to success, selecting and implementing the right technology for her organization's needs. Now her employees are able to work from anywhere and from any device. They can easily collaborate and move from mobile to desktop to chat app without interrupting client or colleague conversations. And Daisy is able to manage all of her organization's communications from one central hub, without having to pay the upfront costs of several different solutions.
Daisy is a business expert, not a technology expert. But like many business leaders, she was able to beat the technology learning curve to find the best solutions for her organization.