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Top 3 Communication Trends in 2024

Top 3 Communication Trends in 2024

As technology increases by leaps and bounds, there are so many new trends to keep up with. In this article, we will sort through all of the latest trends and help you focus on what is important. In our view, there are 3 key trends in communication that will dominate the narrative in the coming months:

1. More Remote Workers Will Get VoIP Phone Systems

The pandemic thrust remote work from the sidelines into the mainstream. And now, while many companies are reverting back to a 100% in-office workforce, many are continuing with a remote or hybrid model (for a variety of reasons).

To support these remote workers, we anticipate more companies of all sizes to switch from a conventional landline phone system, to a VoIP phone system. There are several reasons why this transition makes sense both operationally and when it comes to the bottom-line:

  • There is no need for remote workers to install a dedicated business line. From their home office, they can make/receive calls using a smartphone, a headset that plugs into their PC/laptop (called a “softphone”), or by using a digital phone that plugs into their router (not a phone jack). What’s more, when remote workers make outgoing calls on their smartphone, the business’s name and number shows up on Caller ID, even if they are using their personal device!
  • Remote workers can easily send instant messages using their smartphone or computer. This is an important advantage, because often companies (especially smaller firms) have remote workers using various chat tools — some are using WhatsApp, others are using Skype, Slack, Teams, and so on. But with a VoIP phone system, everyone uses the same instant messaging platform, regardless of whether they are in the office or working from home (or anywhere else for that matter!).
  • Once of the most beneficial features of a VoIP phone system for remote workers is “Presence,” which displays whether a colleague is available, busy, or away. Even when workers are co-located in the same office, it can be difficult to know who is available and who isn’t. For remote workers, it is virtually impossible — unless they have Presence! This feature also significantly improves customer service, since workers can confirm if a colleague is available before transferring a call.
  • A VoIP cloud phone system leverages a geo-redundant infrastructure, which triggers automatic failover in the event of a power outage caused by natural disaster or any other event. What this means in non-technical terms is that remote workers (and all other workers using the phone system) will be able to continue making/receiving calls in the event of a local power outage (provided that they are using the smartphone app, and smartphone service is not affected by the power outage).
  • A big reason why some supervisors and managers don’t love remote work as much as remote workers, is that a lack of oversight can lead to reductions in performance and productivity. With a VoIP phone system, supervisors and managers can keep an eye on various metrics, such as call frequency, call volume and average call duration. This data can then be used for coaching, training, and other performance management goals.

2. The Growing Popularity of Texting

A moment ago, we noted that a big trend we see happening in 2024 is more remote workers using text and instant messaging to communicate. But there is more to the story!

In the year ahead, we also expect a growing number of companies to realize an important and, indeed profitable truth: many customers don’t just tolerate texts from companies, but they strongly prefer it. Consider the following:

Indeed, the question we expect many businesses to ask in 2024 isn’t “should we start texting with our customers?”, but instead “how can we afford NOT to text our customers?”

Before moving on, it’s worth highlighting that businesses that adopt text messaging must be aware of Acceptable Use rules and best practices, such as those listed here (these are the policies that we implement when engaging our customers through text messages).

3. AI Chatbots Will Get Better — but Not Perfect (Yet)

There is no denying that AI-driven chatbots will eventually become a basic stable for customer communications, similar to how email is viewed today. However, unlike email, chatbot technology is not perfected — which means companies need to proceed carefully and cautiously. Otherwise, instead of impressing customers, they could infuriate them.

In 2024, we expect to see more companies leverage chatbots for more “generic” customer service communications and AI-generated content, such as answering questions about orders (e.g., when an order was shipped”) or policies (e.g., how long customers have to return an item). But for more nuanced customer service issues  that involve natural language processing, at least for now  a human being needs to be on the other end of the phone (or computer or smartphone) to facilitate two-way communication, and meet customer expectations.

The Final Word

Nobody has a crystal ball to see precisely what will unfold in the year ahead — or considering the volatility of the last few years, even forecasting to the next quarter can be a bit iffy!

However, we feel confident that when the curtain closes on 2024 we will reflect and see that these 3 communication trends — the new reality for remote/hybrid workers, the growing popularity of texting, and the ongoing work-in-progress of AI chatbots — dominated the narrative, and will set the tone for years, if not decades to come!

Contact Us

To learn more about how we can help you take get ahead and take advantage of these communication trends — particularly the first two — contact Carolina Digital Phone today. Call us at (336) 560-4400. We can connect with your team in-person at your location, or over the web.