Digital communications platforms have the power to transform organizations by enabling them to efficiently collect, process, and deliver targeted information to customers and employees on any screen. Businesses should seek to build solutions that effectively drive action and help deliver results by connecting their two most valuable assets: people and data. Digital communications can help solve problems in ten different areas, from safety to culture to customer experience.
The safety of customers, employees, and visitors is an essential concern for all organizations. By providing timely information to employees, customers, and visitors via digital communications, businesses can protect their well-being and welfare. Digital communications can improve awareness and enhance emergency preparedness. This same solution can be used to deliver real-time alerts about impending storms or potentially dangerous situations on digital screens or mobile devices, and advise people of actions to take, the best evacuation routes, and where to take shelter. Additionally, digital communication can provide periodic updates on the status of an emergency situation to keep those affected informed of what is going on.
Businesses must take the precautions required to manage compliance and communications both within their organizations and with outside parties. From FDA compliancy in restaurants to ADA compliance to health and safety regulations, companies must be proactive and keep up with changing rules and regulations, and then clearly communicate that information to employees and customers. A robust digital communications platform can help in this effort, allowing businesses to meet regulatory requirements, improve communication with employees and customers, reduce costs, and manage complexity.
Delivering information has always been essential to running a business. However, traditional channels like paper memos, emails, and company newsletters are no longer effective, and in fact, can negatively impact employee engagement. Digital communications, on the other hand, can be leveraged to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Real-time Information empowers employees to make better business decisions more quickly. This information can include key performance indicators (KPIs), news, weather, and emergency notifications. You can also share more evergreen content reinforcing corporate, divisional and departmental goals, creating awareness of corporate policies, procedures, values, and competitive positioning, and sharing customer success stories.
By delivering this information to a variety of devices, employees become more likely to check in often on the channels they prefer, even after hours or when working remotely. This emphasis on digital communications is affecting employee engagement. A recent Gallup study found that 34% of US workers are engaged, the highest proportion in Gallup’s history. This relatively modest number, however, indicates the untapped potential in reaching the majority of the workforce. Gallup researchers found that work units in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile units by 10% on customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity.
Organizations dedicate significant time, resources, and money to collecting and securing their data. Unfortunately, much of this data sits unused because it’s challenging to search and retrieve. That’s why it’s essential to employ a powerful digital communications platform that allows this valuable resource to be accessed efficiently and used strategically when needed. The result is increased productivity, improved decision making, and better company performance. Digital communications help increase efficiency with visual dashboards and KPI screens while reducing errors by empowering employees with key information and stats.
The business case for creating a digital workplace is compelling. The Harvard Business Review, for example, reported that organizations with strong online social networks are 7% more productive than those without these tools. McKinsey Global Institute recently found that using social technologies to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration had the potential to raise the productivity of high-skill knowledge workers by 20-25%. Clearly, a digital workspace that can easily connect employees with data from any location is a powerful way to increase productivity.
From platforms like Skype to digital signage to mobile devices, digital communications are having a profound impact on organizational culture. Emails, printed memos, and even intranet sites are no longer meeting employee expectations. They want personalized real-time information where and when they need it. By embracing digital communications companies can reduce communication barriers, improve productivity and enhance company culture. Many studies have highlighted the significant benefits transparency and knowledge sharing have on the workplace. In an era when many companies have a dispersed workforce communication has become paramount to the success of the business.
In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, margins are tighter than ever. By leveraging digital communications on digital screens, tablets, mobile phones, and kiosks, real-time monitoring and communication across the business can be made more efficient, leading to reduced costs. Organizations can use these tools to provide real-time production alerts and metrics, enable dynamic inventory location and monitoring, and optimize inventory levels. Using digital communications also eliminates the costs associated with distributing and updating print media. Finally, these platforms allow employees to monitor operations and compare them to key targets and statistics. People can quickly find the source of a given problem and access useful data to make better decisions, eliminating wasted dollars.
Digital communications can not only reduce costs; they can also be used to drive revenue growth. When employees have access to tools that aid them in decision-making across a variety of smart devices, they are empowered to make smarter choices backed by information. This information might include real-time operations and market results, as well as increased awareness of competitor’s product offerings or services. With digital communications organizations can make timely adjustments to plans and campaigns to meet the changing needs of their customers, raise awareness of product offerings or services, improve sales through cross-selling and upselling of products and services, and drive revenues through advertising sales and promotional messaging.
Strengthening the relationship with an existing customer is a far more efficient way to increase sales than trying to sign a new customer. Digital communications provide a powerful tool for gathering information on your existing customers and engaging with them by delivering relevant real-time information on a variety of devices, including digital screens and mobile phones. In an airport this might include location-based information such as arrival and departure times, cancellations, and delays. For retail customers, digital communications platforms can help employees provide better customer service by linking inventory to POS to show what products are available. In a service industry, visitors can be provided with real-time updates on their place in line and entertained with news, weather, and other content while they wait. Finally, in any business, digital screens can be used to help visitors quickly navigate through buildings with interactive wayfinding or to help themselves using a self-service kiosk to obtain general venue information, schedules, and room locations.
In business today, there’s no shortage of data. Ways to effectively manage all that information, on the other hand, are in short supply. An effective digital communications platform allows an organization to collect, distribute and present information across an entire network of screens from one central location. It can empower employees as well, allowing them to update and make changes to digital communications content without help from the IT department. The fact is, it is only when data can be put to use by employees that it gains value.
Software and Technology
All software and technology are not created equally. Each organization needs to decide which information management tools are the best for its unique business needs and goals. First, a company should examine which technology it already has in place, how well it is serving its needs, and where the holes are. Next, it should consider which proven solutions are available to fill the gaps and ensure that it’s not a platform likely to become quickly outdated. Finally, the organization must choose a trusted partner that can provide installation, upgrades, troubleshooting, and security for the foreseeable future to make the most out of the investment.