Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about family, friendship, and gratitude. And as the holiday's popular nickname would suggest, Turkey Day is also very much about the food. While every family puts its own personal spin on traditional dishes, you're likely to see some form of certain staples — such as turkey, stuffing, or potatoes and gravy — fill most tables this November.
Enterprise organizations rely on their own kinds of staples — notably, various forms of communications tools — to improve the employee and customer experience and stay on top of technology trends in business. Here's a look at six communications staples that forward-thinking enterprises can be thankful for this season.
1. The Perfectly Carved UCaaS
However you slice it, there had better be a bird (or a well-prepared tofurkey) on the Thanksgiving table. It might not be the flashiest food, but it's the savory foundation around which you heap your tasty sides.
The same is true of unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS). It brings all your enterprise communication tools — phone, video, messaging, texting, conferencing — into one platform, enabling employees to interact with customers and colleagues across channels and seamlessly switch from one to another. So whether a team call suddenly needs to become a video call, or a customer messaging the company via SMS suddenly decides she'd rather talk on the phone, the conversation can continue without interruption. UCaaS also provides robust phone features, such as call recording and transcription, virtual receptionist, and mobile solutions, so companies can use this foundational communication tool in any number of ways.
2. Integration Stuffing
Just like turkey and stuffing, UCaaS and customer relationship management (CRM) are the perfect complements of one another.
Among the chief benefits of communication technology in the cloud is the ability to integrate UCaaS and an existing CRM. With fully integrated systems in place, sales teams are able to reach out to customers directly from the CRM, and customer service reps can see CRM data within the UCaaS platform via call metrics and reporting tools. Meanwhile, cloud integrations with cloud collaboration and productivity tools, such as G Suite, enable internal teams to communicate without switching between platforms, automating workflows for efficiency.
3. Sweet Video Souffle
Sweet potato souffle is arguably the most flexible menu item, as it can be finished with a variety of toppings and eaten with either dinner or dessert. What a treat! Video is just as versatile and vital to the modern enterprise technology stack as sweet potatoes are to the Thanksgiving dining experience, improving the communications experiences for everyone at their respective tables.
Reliable, high-quality video conferencing tools connect virtual or roving teams, while enabling sales and service reps to make face-to-face connections with buyers, a process that works toward building brand loyalty. With an effective video conferencing tool, you can also record team meetings or training sessions, letting absent team members catch up and preserving conversations for training purposes and corporate knowledge transfer.
4. Instant Message Potatoes
While you might not make instant potatoes this November, you'll no doubt have some sort of mashed spuds on your table. After all, they're a crowd favorite.
The same is true for instant messaging. Messaging apps and platforms today play an important role in both everyday and business communications. If you don't have enterprise technology for instant messaging, your employees might already be communicating with one another — and possibly with customers — via personal accounts on third-party messaging apps. Incorporating messaging apps like Viber or WeChat into your business workflow ensures data is sent through protected channels and information and interactions are recorded for future use. What's more, with a communications API in place, team members can access different apps through one central location, making collaboration that much easier.
As enterprises seek to connect with customers across the ever-growing list of communication channels chatbot APIs are a good way to lighten the load for human staff.
5. API Gravy
Gravy isn't a standalone food, but rather a way to enhance the flavors of other dishes. Similarly, APIs aren't standalone technologies, but rather ways to integrate business systems and enhance the functionality of communications solutions.
For example, communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) lets your team use developer-friendly APIs to embed real-time communication features — voice, video, text, and instant messaging — into your mobile apps, website, e-Commerce platform, and various social channels. Much like how UCaaS combines your internal communication tools, CPaaS unifies inbound customer communication, enabling customers to connect with your brand using whatever channel they prefer, without ever leaving that channel. CPaaS also provides contextual information about customers, enabling sales and service reps to personalize the customer experience.
6. Chatbot Casserole
Chatbots are like that mysterious-looking casserole that one of your guests brings. You're not sure what's in it or whether you'll like it, but everyone keeps saying it's delicious, so you're skeptical but curious.
Chatbot APIs might be among the newer communication technology trends in business. As enterprises seek to connect with customers across the ever-growing list of communication channels, chatbot APIs are a good way to lighten the load for human staff, instantly providing customers with 24/7 service, fast answers, personalized recommendations, and automated mobile alerts. Even if it might look strange, it tastes like success.
As you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner this year, try not to think about chatbot casserole and or video souffle. Instead, focus on the people (and food) right in front of you. But when you get back to work the following Monday, you might want to consider the benefits of communication technology and how these tools can transform your organization.