The new year is right around the corner so it’s time to consider the digital communication trends you want to implement in 2021. The technology below is not new, but it’s improved or being used in new ways to connect, engage, and improve safety.
Electronic Message Center
Creating an electronic message center improves communication and supports your ongoing pandemic protocols. Invest in a variety of strategically placed scrolling signs and HD signs that can post text, images, and video. Unlike paper signs, digital displays can be updated remotely—empowering you to provide real-time updates. A few options include:
- LED signs support social distancing because they can be viewed from at least 200 feet away
- Eliminate menus, paper price lists, and other high-touch documents by upgrading to an electronic message center
- Hang a vibrant digital sign in your business or office window to share your current pandemic protocols
- Your electronic message center can be updated in real-time, so use it to notify patrons waiting in their car that they can come in
- Create a digital directory to minimize patrons getting lost, especially if access areas have changed or are limited during the pandemic
- Share instructional images and videos for safety reminders or any product or service you provide
Instant Messaging Clients
Instant messaging has primarily been used for personal communication. With the pandemic however, many companies are embracing instant messaging. Your CRM (customer relationship management) software likely has the capability to send automated emails or instant messages, so explore your options. For example, to send a text reminder of any type of scheduled appointment—doctor, dentist, haircut, massage, spa service, car wash, and more.
In addition to automated IM, the pandemic has created the need for reduced service capacity and scheduling appointments that aren’t typically scheduled. Many companies are utilizing instant messaging apps such as FB Messenger, WhatsApp, and direct text to keep clients apprised. For example, to have them wait in the car to pick up their prescription or to wait until your text that it is their turn to come in. No need to use or create a proprietary app, as patrons already prefer to use the tools they know and love.
Intelligent Call Routing
Businesses are experiencing higher call volumes, so more companies are upgrading to intelligent call routing for a variety of purposes. A voice over internet protocol (VoIP) provides a variety of features ideal for WFH business operations. For example, the ability to route office calls to personal mobile devices during office hours—and directly to voicemail or another team member when you aren’t available.
VoIPs allow you to create customized call trees to control the increased flow of calls. For example, “Press 1 for our updated pandemic protocols” or “Press 2 to learn your remote payment options.” The goal is to improve customer service, as many of the incoming calls don’t require a live person to answer questions or resolve client concerns.
Updated Website, Social Media, And Online Directories
Another way to minimize phone calls is to keep your website and social media up to date. For example, many businesses have adjusted both their hours of operation and the days of operation several times during the pandemic. This makes it more important than ever to ensure you clearly communicate these changes to your clients. For example, changing the hours on your website, business Facebook page, Google, Yelp, and other online directories.
In Facebook, you can pin your most recent schedule and business updates to the top of your page. Consider adding a COVID page to your website, and maybe even a pop-up with pertinent changes to schedule, delivery options, shipping delay notifications, and more. Don’t forget to add all changes to your electronic message board. These changes are all part of your larger omnichannel strategy.
Clients like to have options, so consider utilizing an AI chatbot on your website, Facebook, for text messaging, and on your other digital channels. When you set up your chatbot you will inform it of your FAQs and common “next” questions, which will resolve up to 80% of your inquires. Again, ensure all information is up to date—because it may continue to be in flux until you are able to return to regular business hours. Integrate an RSS feed onto your electronic message center so you can alternate some of the best questions you have for customers to see.
Modern chatbots are intelligent, so most of your clients won’t realize they aren’t speaking with a live person. When your chatbot doesn’t have an answer it provides the prospect with an alternate communication route, such as email. Your AI software will also alert you to any unanswered questions so your chatbot can answer them next time. Your chatbot will get smarter the longer you have it so fewer inquires will require you or your team.
If you haven’t created targeted client email lists, now’s the time. With more of your communication being completed through digital mediums—you can access advanced analytics and in-depth data science. Identify a digital tool that integrates your data sources so that you aren’t trying to piece together different reports. Once the data is compiled, you can use what you learn to personalize your emails, mailing lists, text messages, and direct outreach.
Consumer and client preferences have shifted drastically over the last year, so you should also create a system to analyze and retarget all clients per their updated preferences and goals.
Secure Digital Communication
As we continue to conduct business with as much social distance as possible, the need for secure digital communication channels increases. This includes everything from the security of at-home and office networks, individual electronic devices, email accounts, file sharing, video conferencing, project management tools, and any other software, devices, or tools that are at risk for a data breach. This isn’t something you should go alone, so if you don’t have an in-house IT security team—search for a local company.
Need To Upgrade Your Electronic Message Center?
If you are looking to upgrade your electronic message center, Mega LED Technology is here to help. We custom build digital signs for indoor and outdoor placement that can be utilized for general communication, safety updates, community outreach, advertising, and more. From scrolling text signs to digital displays that can post HD videos and images. Reach out today to learn more!