How to ensure the results of your remote working experiment are positive
Rodolpho Cardenuto, President, Applications Group for Vonage
COVID-19 has been described by many as the world’s greatest remote working experiment and it has certainly left a lasting impact on the world we live in and the way we work. As remote working continues to be the norm for many, businesses are still finding their feet and learning to adapt to these new circumstances.
With social distancing measures predicted to stay in place, many businesses will remain closed, or at a limited capacity, for the foreseeable future. Reports suggest that even internet giants Google and Facebook plan to keep their staff working remotely until at least 2021. Due to this, the need for businesses of all sizes to accelerate their digital transformation has never been greater. It’s critical to ensuring business continuity and seamlessly enabling remote work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The impact of COVID-19 on office workers
The sudden transition to remote working hasn’t been an easy one for most office-based businesses, but has been especially difficult for those unprepared to communicate almost entirely online.
One of the most difficult barriers for office workers to overcome is the sudden breakdown of communications. As such, the demand for instant messaging and video communications is on the rise. In fact, total Vonage video minutes in April increased an additional 144 percent over March, as businesses transitioned to remote working and increasingly brought people together globally through live, interactive, video sessions.
During these uncertain times, maintaining a first-rate customer experience is imperative to business success. Organisations need to adapt their CX to meet the changing needs of their customers and in return will earn customer trust and loyalty. Consumers are seeking positive and meaningful communications more than ever before, which is why it's important to provide your sales and service agents with just what they need to make every conversation great. The way your business interacts with its customers right now will impact how it succeeds not only throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the future.
The impact of COVID-19 on businesses
Some businesses have seen a positive impact as a result of the early lockdown measures. Many organisations that offer essentials, such as food and online delivery services, saw an uplift in demand amid the pandemic. In fact, healthy recipe box company, Mindful Chef, reported a 452% increase in customers since the end of March 2020.
A rapid increase in customer demand can present challenges for a business – from needing to manage more calls, to maintaining existing customer relationships and managing orders. This can put additional pressure on resources when working remotely, but businesses should seek scalable and flexible cloud communications solutions to help manage the increase in customer enquiries.
Again, digital transformation isn’t just vital during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s imperative for ensuring future growth, with flexible cloud solutions scaling as the business grows.
The impact of COVID-19 on education
It’s not just office-based businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. The World Economic Forum says over 1.2 billion children in 186 countries have been adversely impacted by school closures amidst COVID-19. At the same time there has been a significant rise in demand for online learning tools and applications.
Taking lessons from offline to online has been critical for educational services in response to the pandemic. Through online video and interactive platforms, schools can host lessons and interact with students in a seamless and effective way, despite the distance.
Not only is it a great innovation for education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but setting up virtual learning environments for students will also yield benefits in the future, whether for private tuition or granting students access to education over school holidays.
Video collaboration for teachers and students is just the start. With cloud-based communications, you can bring in an expert on another continent for a virtual guest-lecture, enroll students from all over the world, maximise each lesson with customised asynchronous learning programmes, and record lectures for students to watch later on-demand.
As we move through new phases of lockdown and the new normal continues to shift weekly, it’s difficult to predict how COVID-19 will continue to impact remote working, learning, and living. However, what is certain is that digital transformation is key for all organisations no matter what happens next.
So, how do you adapt? In this current climate, the introduction of cloud communications to your business couldn’t be more valuable, whether it’s maintaining internal communications while employees work remotely, ensuring a smooth customer experience while your contact centre staff are away from the office, or keeping customers engaged through on-site or in-app communications.
The transition to cloud communications will only advance your business going forward as it gives you the ability to be flexible and adaptable, as well as yielding a host of benefits such as improved internal communications, customer experience, and productivity.
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