The linchpin of good customer experiences is how well we communicate. In the COVID era, thousands of businesses, restaurants and other social establishments sent employees home and required customers to order by smartphone for delivery.
As a result, millions are now working remotely, our meals are still arriving on our doorsteps, and a majority of our interactions take place via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. It seems safe to assume that developers are adding more communication capabilities to their platforms and applications.
As ServiceTitan Senior Engineering Manager Damon Prater notes, “We’ve seen increases in calls during COVID, because as people are home more, all of a sudden you need the plumber more. You need somebody to come out and take a look at that light switch that just fried. As our traffic has increased, thinQ Voice helped us scale to meet demand.”
While smaller SaaS companies have the advantage of being nimble and rolling out changes quickly, however, they are also more budget constrained. Our new survey asked: How have you responded to COVID, and how long will it impact our world going forward?
The Need for More/Better Communication
Overall, respondents agree that COVID triggered a moderate need for increased communication capabilities, with an average score of 4.7 out of 10. The individual responses tell a somewhat different story: a third of respondents saw a moderate need, another third saw little to no need (1.7/10 on average) while the remaining third saw a very high need (8.4/10), undoubtedly depending on their solution’s functionality and target audience.
Their changes in communication spend over the last year reflect those divisions. A whopping 48% saw an increase—with nearly 13% seeing their spend increase by an additional 25% or more. While 28% said they saw no impact on spend and 7% weren’t sure, 18% actually saw a decrease.
The open question is whether this has created a permanent change in behavior—i.e., will this continue in 2022 and beyond? We feel confident the answer is yes.
In addition to pre-COVID increases in cloud communications adoption, it is generally a bad idea to reduce a customer’s options—61% of respondents say the communication features that are or are not in their products have been a deciding factor in whether customers have purchased. Only 22% said it was not a factor (16% were unsure).
A recent Twilio survey agrees and says the impact on large enterprises is even greater, with 98% saying that a failure to provide high-quality, digital customer engagement would negatively impact their businesses—21% indicating to the point of bankruptcy. And, 95% say they will continue to maintain or expand their omnichannel interaction options.
The takeaway? Anyone who has been delaying the integration or expansion of smart, reliable cloud communications into their applications may find themselves irretrievably behind the competition.
Part 1: Enhancing Customer Experiences with Cloud Communications
Part 2: Maintaining Relationships in a Pandemic
Part 3: It’s a New Day – STIR/SHAKEN and 10DLC Messaging Rules
Part 4: The Ideal Cloud Communications Provider
Part 5: What Keeps The SaaS C-Suite Up at Night
Part 6: How SaaS Companies Change as They Grow