Have you ever arrived at a sales meeting with a potential client, only to see a representative from your direct competitor sitting in the lobby? What about the time you arrived for a presentation at another location, only to learn that the potential client has decided to turn the opportunity into a bid process? Then there’s the time you had the awesome marketing idea and as your design team was finishing the details, your competitor already put the same concept to market.
It’s competition and it can be brutal.
This is where real-time communications is an important priority. Waiting for the technology you have in place to catch up with the pace you want to set for the market is not the best way to stay ahead of demand or the competition. Consumers have access to real-time communications at their fingertips and they expect you to do the same. If you’re not able to respond immediately, you may not need to respond at all.
Case in point – while helping a client navigate a software platform they use, it became obvious that they were struggling to get value out of the platform. They weren’t getting a response from their contact for support and we decided to take the issue to social media to get a better response. It was great on our end that we could post something immediately. The provider didn’t respond immediately, but did respond within 24 hours. Not exactly real-time, but getting closer.
Had the provider’s competition been paying attention, they would have leveraged their own real-time communications capabilities to reach out to this organization right away to offer a solution and replace the current provider. That opportunity was missed for sure. This is why the omnichannel experience is important and why you have to have the staff in place who can respond in real-time, every time.
The ideal scenario for the provider in question is real-time communications monitoring that notifies the local support individual when something is posted. The full name of the organization was put into the social media message. He could have been immediately notified of the post, with an opportunity place a call as soon as the notification appeared. If he wasn’t immediately available, the call could be assigned to a backup agent at the contact center. In doing so, he would demonstrate his commitment to the organization and keep the competition at bay.
For now, the organization is content that they at least received a call the next day. Given that they have already invested considerable time and money into this platform, they’re willing to take a few more steps before making a change. Yet, the social post is still live and a competitor could still court the organization with their own offerings. It still hasn’t happened – which, once again, is an opportunity missed.
Real-time communications is already available. If you’re not taking advantage of it, the competition will, quickly benefitting from the demand you’re too slow to recognize. In such a situation, long-term success is clearly out of reach.