The importance of business connectivity increases year on year as our world becomes ever more globalized. We now need to keep in touch with our existing clients around the world and extend our global reach so we can grow our audience.
What is Business Connectivity?
Simply put, business connectivity is all the ways we connect with our clients, our vendors and with our potential customers.
Connection Via Video and Voice
Our colleagues and clients may be based in a different city or even country but we still need to keep in constant contact with them. The advent of not only voice but video conferencing via VoIP has made this easier and far more cost effective. Business meetings, internal training and even sales calls are far more effective if we can see the person we are connecting with.
The speed of our broadband connectivity is also important, especially for video conferencing, as more data is transmitted and you don’t want the connection to be continually dropping out. Therefore a business needs to look at both the quality and the speed of the service it chooses.
In the UK the government has recognised that the speed of internet connectivity is vital if the economy is to continue to grow. In 2013 it pledged an investment exceeding £770 million to ensure that over 95% of homes and businesses are connected via high speed broadband by 2017.
Connection Via E-mail
The figure is almost impossible to believe, but it’s a fact that over a billion emails are sent around the world every day. This number is even set to rise and it is estimated that it will reach over 132 billion by 2017.
Your business may receive a huge number of emails and as well as having the infrastructure in place to support the volume it’s also important to train staff to deal with the data effectively. Set targets for your customer service team so that questions from your clients can be dealt with efficiently. Email management systems are a vital component of large-scale customer service departments and in addition there is software which can help with the sorting and classification of incoming emails. Some software even offers a first line auto-responder which will provide solutions for initial enquiries.
If we want our brand to grow and to achieve global recognition it is important that we also keep current with how our customers want to connect with us. Instant messaging, online chat and screen share are now a mainstream way for consumers to gain information from companies about their products and services and are also hugely helpful if they have a technical query.
Google has introduced ‘click-to-call’ buttons for Adsense campaigns and it has reported that over 40% of people using the search engine now make use of this option, with over 40 million calls per month being made via the service. This shows what a powerful form of connectivity this can be for your business and thus how worthwhile it can be to add ‘click-to-call’ buttons to your own online advertising.
Data Storage and Disaster Recovery
With connectivity being so important to businesses it is vital to protect your data and services. Data storage and security should be of paramount importance for any business, with steps being taken to guard against malicious attacks and to secure both your own and your customers’ personal and financial details.
If you lost your ability to communicate both internally and with clients this could have a huge negative impact on your business. If the communication failure is catastrophic your company might well function at less than 10% after 10 days. Many companies will never fully recover from a disaster such as this and sometimes they will ultimately go out of business. No-one can say for certain where a disaster will occur but it is important to look at all your potential weak points and have a plan of action in place to allow you to recover quickly should the worst happen.
Your ability to communicate with clients around the world will increase your brand recognition; allow for organic growth; improve your potential for making sales and ultimately lead to higher levels of profit. When you consider the potential upside it is well worth investing both the time and money to make your business connectivity as fast and efficient as possible.