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5 signs that you need to update your company’s business communications tools

Your communications tools should work the way you work – not the other way around. Here are some signs that your systems aren’t keeping pace with your business.

If you’re an IT manager, you probably have a lot on your mind.

Between supporting employees, keeping systems up and running and putting out fires, you may not have enough time to think about improving or evolving your business communications tools.

Meanwhile, employees may take it for granted that they need to check multiple phones for voicemails or that their conference calls will have technical difficulties.

If your systems don’t keep pace with the needs of the business, you run the risk of low productivity and increased IT costs.

Here are 5 red flags that your communications tools are out-of-date.

1. Productivity is on a downward spiral.

Today’s employees need the flexibility to work at any time, from any location, and on any device – even when they are on vacation!

In fact, 61% of employees plan to bring up to three work-capable devices on their next vacation, so they can check emails, take business calls, and access documents.

If employees in your organization don’t have the right mobile communications tools, they may fall behind, and their output may suffer. Poor communications have a direct impact on customer relationships and revenue.

Do your current communications tools help your company’s mobile employees stay productive?

If not, it might be time for an upgrade. Productivity tools, such as Microsoft Office 365, can help employees stay connected – no matter where they are working.

2. Employees have difficulties collaborating.

Anyone who has attended a conference call can relate to the humour in this video:

We’ve all experienced dropped calls, distracting background noise, the inability to connect as well as trouble sharing screens and files. These problems can inhibit our collaboration and productivity.

Look for a solution that enables mobility. For example, employees can use Skype for Business to conduct virtual meetings, collaborate on documents, share their screens, and more.

3. Wireless costs are growing.

Do you regularly pay overage fees for employees’ data?

If so, it might be time to reconsider your options. For example, you may currently assign everyone to the same plan – whether they are road warriors who use tons of data or desk-jockeys who rely on the office network. If you have this type of arrangement, it’s only natural that your power users will surpass their data limits.

Look for a wireless plan that gives you flexibility. You might be able to group employees with similar data usage and allow them to share data. You can also choose a flexible plan with tiered pricing that automatically changes based on how much data or how many voice minutes employees use. That way, you won’t need to micromanage their plans or worry about them using too much data.

A confusing wireless plan can also drive up your costs. Find a plan that is simple to understand and has clear pricing.

4. Employees are afraid to roam.

The fear of a massive bill can make employees afraid to turn on their devices, especially outside Canada. After all, they don’t want to run up a huge sum and then have to explain it to their boss.

But people shouldn’t worry about using their work-enabled devices when they travel for work.

Empower employees to have productive, worry-free business trips. Look for a roaming plan that automatically applies their preferred rates when they leave the country. That way, you won’t need to set up roaming packs before every trip. Meanwhile, they can stay connected and get the job done.

5. Customers can’t reach you.

Do your company’s customers have trouble reaching employees who are away from their desks?

For example, a customer might leave a message on a field worker’s desk phone and not get a timely response, since that employee only checks her mobile device regularly for voicemails.

Or, you might have multiple business listings including fixed, mobile and 800 numbers. Too many options can confuse customers, as they won’t know which number to call.

While some customers might call back if they don’t reach a company representative the first time, many will give up and go to your competitors. Research has shown that 80 percent of callers do not leave voicemails,[RF2] because they think that no one will answer them.

Your communications platform should make it easy for customers to connect with your sales, service and executive teams. Look for a system that gives you the best office phone features across all devices, so your employees won’t miss a call.

Next Steps

Do you have any of these red flags in your business? If so, it might be time to update your communications tools, so the people you support can work seamlessly wherever work takes them.