Communication, as a whole, is an incredibly powerful and necessary process for any business operation. It drives relationships internally and externally, and helps boost awareness and engagement all around. Everything from introductory and continued customer experiences to employee engagement hinges on proper and well-maintained communication.
In 2015, the communication software market was worth 8.8 billion U.S. dollars globally, which shows just how vital the concept really is. The forecast up until 2022 puts it even higher.
At the same time, it’s also evolved considerably in recent years thanks to the widespread development and adoption of mobile devices. The majority of communication is no longer carried out through face-to-face encounters, email, desktop messages or over the phone — although such mediums definitely still exist. They’re often handled remotely throughout a more prolonged series of experiences over the course of the day, week or even year.
Modern Mobile Communication
86 percent of corporate executives, employees and educators attribute “ineffective communications” as a major reason for failures within the workplace. Communication is key not only to success, but to building an efficient, consistent experience for any and all relationships. The problem, however, is that everyone is on the move, often, so it’s tough to not only collaborate or schedule meetups but to even connect with others at times, even within a local department or area.
That’s where mobile comes in, with instant communications, up-to-the-minute and real-time notifications, and always-on or always-ready access.
The beauty of mobile communications and experiences is that there’s no single form or solution. Instead, “mobile” is a collection of platforms and channels that work to provide a more comprehensive access point. Through smartphones, for example, everyone has consistent always-on access to a community — which can include both people and businesses — via social media, chat and community apps, email, messaging, and more.
In many cases, a single app even has multiple communication channels. Take Facebook or WhatsApp, for instance, which have instant messaging tools, social media feeds, additional content, games, and much more.
And due to the nature of mobile, people can access them at any time, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. This provides incredible opportunities in business and the enterprise, because you connections can happen whenever you (or they) are ready to so — it’s infinitely more beneficial for what you’re trying to achieve because the audience is coming to you.
Of course, that doesn’t mean every organization or party is successful when entering the mobile space nor does it mean progress is instantaneous; it can still take time and resources to achieve a win.
Because mobile exists and because it’s so lucrative, there are several trends playing out right now that are necessary to explore.
For starters, we’re seeing a major decline in email communications and usage, especially in regards to marketing. It still exists, obviously, and it will for some time, but people are less interested in engaging or interacting with email content. This can be attributed to the multitude of ways in which mobile offers like instant messaging, chat apps, and social media. A whopping 98 percent of text messages are opened and read, compared to only 22 percent of emails.
This brings us right to the emergence of chat apps and similar tools. There was a time when these experiences were exclusive — chat apps were just that. Now, however, apps and services are starting to integrate chat features, to provide yet another communication channel between parties. A conference app, for example, might include a community-based online chat that connects everyone visiting the local venue.
Integrated chat services tend to be highly successful within existing communities, because many of these audiences are already using the main apps or services.
But the one thing that serves as glue for many of these tools — including chat functionality — are smart, contextual notifications. This is something that’s almost exclusive to mobile platforms and devices. Notifications can be delivered via push or system channels, email, text messages, and even chat windows. In fact, these kinds of communications can actually improve engagement and productivity — by as much as 20 to 25 percent in organizations with connected employees.
On-the-Go Experiences Need On-the-Go Notifications
Mobile notifications are a modern form of instant communications, especially when used effectively. Through an installed app or service a company or business can send out real-time updates to customers, which can be delivered in many forms.
"#Mobile notifications are a modern form of instant #BusinessCommunications"
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When notifications go out they’re available for viewing right then and there. More importantly, the messages are delivered to the intended audience no matter where they are. This affords end users the power to read, respond or take action whenever they are ready. They can view or read a notification, and then continue what they’re doing in the real world.
It’s yet another way for companies, businesses or even individuals to remain relevant in the hyperactive world of today.
Types of Notifications
Not all notifications are created equal, or more specifically not all notifications are the same. Especially when it comes to interacting with a customer base or clientele, there are three major types of notifications to consider.
- One to One: This is the most basic and commonly used form of notification. It involves a peer-to-peer or brand to customer message that has a direct purpose. It’s important to understand that you may design or deliver this notification to multiple contacts, but the idea behind it is that it’s more intimate and can be personalized. For example, you might send a notification to all of your subscribed customers that you’re making changes to a service. The message is specific to each customer, in this case, even if it’s going out to several people.
- One to Few: It helps to think of this form as something a community forum might use. You’re not sending the content to the entire community, but instead individual groups within the community — like a single forum or subreddit. The message is generally more generic than something you’d compose for one-to-one communications and applies to a wider selection of people (but not all people).
- One to Many: Traditionally this is the most common form of communication in a community or at an event. All persons or the entire audience receive the same message as it is applicable to the group as a whole and has wider relevance. An example might be a blanket announcement to all registered and interested parties that an event is starting.
How On-the-Go Notifications Benefit Managers and Communication Personnel
Up until this point, we’ve largely focused on the benefits of on-the-go notifications for customers, audiences and clientele. Yet, there’s another side to all of this; something you may not have considered. Mobile and on-the-go notifications can also provide many benefits to the management and customer service professionals behind the wheel of forward-facing experience crafting.
Mobile notifications can be:
Accessed anywhere, anytime on-the-go
Scheduled and sent anytime
Custom tailored to meet specific behaviors or actions
Linked to a particular experience, event or location
Both timed to deliver exclusive, relevant content or evergreen to remain forever visible
Commanding so as to achieve a certain action, reaction or form of engagement (take this survey and share your opinion on today’s visit)
These types of controls in a mobile-first platform make the whole process of communication and customer experience essential from operations to the end-user.