The Benefits Of Rapidly Deploying Cloud Communications

My Post (12).pngDoes the traditional definition of “workplace” still exist? Will employees go back to the office once quarantine and lockdown rules end? Will all or some of the employees return to the office? These are some of the important questions organizations have been grappling with while they adjust to the new reality and a paradigm shift towards remote work that has happened in the last few months.

Do cloud communications only benefit traditional workplaces?

As businesses face new challenges, they’ve needed to find new ways to communicate and serve their customers, which is forcing them to ask tough questions about their current communications setup. For example, how are they currently communicating with their customers, and is it meeting their business needs? Can their organization wait multiple months to deploy software and hardware? How long will it be before the solution deployed shows return on investment (ROI)? Is moving to the cloud quickly an option?

What types of businesses benefit from cloud communications?

Today, we’re seeing businesses of all types facing these challenges and questions head-on. Here are just a few of the business use cases we’re seeing benefit from rapidly deploying their cloud communications services:

  • Work-from-home (WFH) businesses where employees use their computers for a softphone (no hard-phones needed)
  • Mobile workforce/cell phone-only users of large organizations who aren’t tied to a desk
  • Businesses where a secondary phone number is needed to mask the primary phone number (food and goods delivery)
  • Professions with a temporary or semi-permanent need for telephony (artists, construction)
  • Leveraging RingCentral Office as a low-touch contact center using basic call flows (retail stores)

What should you look for when deploying a cloud communications solution?

In today’s world, deploying cloud communication services that eliminate communication barriers is not only imperative but also financially beneficial. A properly implemented unified communications solution brings ROI in a variety of ways—two of the most important being reduced costs and increased revenue. With cloud communications, an organization has visibility into its communications costs with the ability to avoid surcharge surprises, allowing for better forecasting. Being able to bundle message, video, and phone services through one vendor brings additional cost savings. The added advantage of being able to integrate message, video, and phone with CRM and internal systems enhances an organization’s ability to improve customer experiences, connect on a deeper level with their customers, and increase revenue. – Read more

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7 Tips for Proper Team-Messaging Etiquette

My Post (17)Remember AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)? When it launched in 1997, it introduced a generation of internet users to the concept of instant text-based messaging. It went on to become one of the most popular applications of its kind.

Millennials, in particular, grew up with instant messaging. From AIM and MSN Messenger to SMS text messaging, these technologies shaped and defined how a generation communicated.

Despite AIM’s demise in 2017, the legacy of the once-popular messaging application lives on, particularly in how messaging has become a staple of business communications today. As it turns out, those Millennials who grew up with instant messaging now make up 35% of the workforce, and they’ve brought the concept to their business colleagues of all generations.

Rather than instant messaging, however, the 21st-century business version focuses on team messaging—a way for teams to form around business topics and projects using a powerful combination of team messaging, document sharing, and integrated solutions for calling and video meetings.

While messaging isn’t new by any means, this heightened role in workplace communications certainly is. With this new importance, however, comes the need to ensure you’re using proper etiquette. As many of us have experienced, simple text—without the context of body language and tone of voice, can often be easily misinterpreted.

Here are a few tips on how to effectively use team messaging applications to communicate with your colleagues.

1. Be a mindful messenger

While team messaging can help you be more concise with your communication, being too direct or short with your messages can also send the wrong intent. For example, abruptness can often be misread by colleagues as insulting.

Choose your words carefully. Before you send out a message, take a second to read it. Ask yourself how you’d feel if you’d received it. Also, keep in mind that your communication preferences may differ from those of your colleagues, so don’t be afraid to ask how they’d like to hear from you.

2. Reply in a timely fashion

Sometimes we all just need to tune out the world and focus on our work. There’s nothing wrong with that, but set expectations for when people can expect a response from you. If you ignore too many requests, colleagues might feel they’re not a priority.

To avoid misunderstandings, always acknowledge messages. A simple “received, thanks!” or “I’m busy right now, but I’ll check it out after lunch” can go a long way toward making your colleagues feel heard and appreciated. And if you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time in heads-down mode, give your team a heads-up beforehand so they know when to expect a response from you.

3. Praise in public, correct in private

Constructive feedback is a critical part of employee development. How you deliver feedback, however, is just as important as the feedback itself.

Good co-workers don’t reprimand others in the middle of a staff meeting, and the same goes for your team messaging platform. Public criticism can embarrass and demoralize employees, and can often lead to feelings of shame, avoidance of work, or outright resignations. It can also affect overall team morale. To avoid these problems, deliver feedback one on one, either in a private message or a call.

On the other hand, share praise publicly. Depending on the size of your company, employees can often find it difficult to appreciate their colleagues when they aren’t directly involved in each other’s projects. Sharing wins in a public team messaging group helps employees feel more valued and appreciated, and can boost morale for the entire team.

4. Pick your communication channel wisely

Team messaging apps aren’t appropriate for every conversation. For example, messaging groups work well for rewards and recognition (see tip #3), as well as project updates and discussions, but they’re rarely the best place for constructive feedback, personal discussions, or company announcements.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if a response requires one sentence or less, use messaging or email. If a response requires three sentences or more, schedule a call or video meeting. It’s best to deal with complicated issues face-to-face so you can take in non-verbal cues such as gestures, facial expressions, body language, and posture. – Read more

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Top Self-Storage Company Enables Thousands of Employees to Work from Home through COVID-19

My Post (17).pngReady for a positive business story in the era of COVID-19? One of the world’s top self-storage companies has found a way to maintain operations across its thousands of facilities—and keep its large staff employed—through this pandemic.

The company’s strategy: Leverage their cloud-based, work-from-anywhere communications solution to enable everyone in the organization to collaborate, communicate, and serve customers from home.

A Different Type of Disaster Leads to Cloud Communications

The organization actually switched to RingCentral’s all-in-one cloud-communications solution long before the coronavirus outbreak. Senior management decided to move off its legacy phone system, and do so as quickly as possible, when a series of rolling outages took down phone service to many of its locations over the course of a week and a half.

In researching their telephony options, several factors led the IT team to the unified communications solution from RingCentral—including the company’s reputation for platform stability, RingCentral’s ability to implement solutions rapidly for new customers, the wide range of integrated communication features available, and the solution’s future capabilities.

Of course, as it was rolling out RingCentral’s cloud-communications solution to all of its locations and employees, the company had no idea that one of those “future capabilities” would be its ability to respond to a worldwide viral pandemic by transitioning immediately to a 100% remote staff.

A Rollout So Quick and Smooth it Shocked the Company

With contracts signed, the IT team prepared itself and the rest of the organization for what it assumed would be a slow and frustrating migration to their new communications solution—but it turns out the transition period was neither slow nor frustrating. – Read more

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