Communication technology has been evolving at an exceptional rate; like almost all other industries around the world, it is continually transforming. Communication is integral to all businesses regardless of size: as technology continues on its path of transformation, the trends that are forming will continue to gain prevalence in the near future of business communication. It is important for businesses to consider the phone system they use as they will often embody these technological developments and offer many benefits.
Artificial intelligence is forecast to be at the front line of all business communications. The start of this development can already be observed with the introduction of chatbots for example. These programs automate responses from your business in order to engage more customers in addition to streamlining the process of customer service. With the generational leaps being made in machine learning, platforms such as these only stand to become more intuitive and intelligent with consistent engagement, freeing up time for a business’s employees to apply themselves to more strategic ventures.
As of August 2019 there were 96.2 million mobile workers in the US. This number has inevitably risen with the need for remote workers COVID has created, however that number is projected to rise to even greater heights (105.4 million) in the next five years. This increase is facilitated by the improvements broadband technology continues to make; mobile devices becoming more affordable; and an employee priority shift of focus onto remote working opportunities. As more companies seek to promote a work/life balance with these remote working opportunities, technology empowering flexible working schedules is needed.
The exponentially increasing number of devices connected to the internet creates a need for quicker and more reliable internet as business’s offices have greater dependence on the internet than ever before. 5G provides a solution. As businesses seek faster and more reliable sources of internet, Telecom carriers worked hard to provide complete, mass-market coverage by the close of 2020. 5G networks now provide businesses with fibre-level speed, low latency (meaning greater responsiveness), functionality regardless of weather (i.e. rain or snow) and the ability to connect more devices in the office at once.
What This Means for Small Businesses
If businesses seek to capitalise on these technological developments it is advisable to take advantage of the best business phone service possible. This is because it is thought to benefit the most from the aforementioned trends (AI, mobile workers and 5G). Companies might find the following business phone might be of use to them:
- RingCentral – this service connects several communication technologies with its comprehensive cloud-based ‘unified communications as a service’ (UCaaS) platform. To name a few, these technologies include voice, business messaging, team collaboration, video conferencing and online meetings. RingCentral also bridges the divide between all devices
- Talkroute – this is a business phone service provider that implements ‘voice over internet protocol’ (VoIP) to aid small businesses in appearing much bigger than they are. It ensures the business’s needs are met with its array of features, ranging from call routing, business hour settings, and call forwarding to hold music, SMS text messaging, visual voicemail and much more.
- Nextiva – this is a virtual phone system that connects a VoIP business phone with business apps, AI and automation to streamline the process of making and receiving calls. It is cloud-based yet smoothly integrates with desk phones and mobile devices. It also offers all the standard features of its competitors (i.e. call waiting, call forwarding, hold music etc.) but also includes team messaging, conference calls, text messaging, call recording, team member collaboration and call logs
- eVoice – another virtual business phone service that acts like any other regular one, but with one minor difference: calls can be made or received from anywhere using their cloud-based PBX phone line. In addition to this, a live receptionist service that can take calls and provide a plethora of administrative service is included in the price
- Grasshopper – an excellent phone system for small businesses, this service offers a range of features such as auto-texting customers if calls cannot be made or received, hold music, a free number, call logs and other business VoIP phone service features
- Kixie – described as the ‘perfect business phone system for telesales teams’, this service offers an integrated CRm platform on top of its VoIP system that will be greatly appreciated by small businesses relying on the latter system to reach out to lead that turn into customers
The current global trends in business communication of AI, mobile working and 5G networks can all be utilised and accessed with a good business telephone system. There are countless providers of this service, so in selecting which one is optimal depends on the business’s priorities. For example, if price isn’t an issue RingCentral is regarded as one of the best overall phone services, whereas Talkroute might be better for smaller businesses because of the amount and type of features it provides for the price.