Just a couple of years ago, we were talking about “social, mobile and local” as the three big commandments for marketing – but the Internet has been evolving at a rapid rate – and things are always changing.
The social, local and mobile or “solomo” phenomenon combined the dramatic rise of smart phones with the emergence of social media as a major consumer driver, along with Google’s reward for localizing websites. All of those things kind of came together in a perfect storm and solomo was born.
These days, we have some new paradigms – and one of them that’s getting a lot of attention is unified communications. But what is that? And how do you integrate it into your website?
The Lowdown on Unified Communications
Experts define unified communications as “the integration of enterprise communication services – exchanged via a network.”
In practice, what that looks like is the tying together of different communications platforms – the integration of instant messaging into a website. Mobile features built into videoconferencing. Email tied to the smartphone. All of these are steps in the process toward unified communications – and every company sets up unified communications in its own way.
Choose Your Unified Communications Adventure
When you’re starting out on a path toward unified communications or UC, it’s important to keep in mind that your company is unique. It’s not a matter of just copying someone else’s work – business leaders have to understand what channels are working for them, and how. They have to take all of those metrics they get from business intelligence tools and put that infomation into a plan to offer unified communications to their customers.
Your customers might love live chat – or they may not. You don’t have to leave it to guesswork. You can analyze what people do and then target your UC improvements accordingly.
It Has to Help – Not Hurt
The general idea behind unified communications is that you can send the same message careening around these different channels – and most people might simply assume that that makes things better. But that’s not really a great assumption.
Just like new electronic medical record systems, customer relationship management dashboards or anything else used in today’s high-tech business world, unified communications can be a net positive or a real burden depending on the specific changes that a business makes to its interfaces.
Different consumer groups are more and less tech-savvy – they have different needs. You’re not going to sell an older crowd on a platform that has more functionality, but less intuitive features.
In other words, you can build all the great messaging options you want, but if people can’t find them in a menu, or if they confuse the stuffing out of people, they’re going to fail in terms of being effective positives for your business.
So in reality the question of unified communications isn’t a simple one. It’s how you implement it that counts.
WebSubstance can help you build this new kind of functionality into your website. We know how to do it – and more importantly, we know why it’s done. We can consult with your company to show you what’s in your best interests, and what seems like too big of a gamble or is unlikely to pay off. Ask WebSubstance about comprehensive web design services that take into account new trends like unified communications to put your business at the top of its class.