In this article:
- Why tech spending seems immune to the economic slowdown
- 3 ways cloud communications can help make your business recession-proof
- In times of economic slowdown, focus on customer-centric technology
With a potential recession on the horizon, many businesses are chasing efficiencies and focusing on their core business objectives to reduce costs and stay afloat.
For IT departments, this means cutting non-essential and ineffective tools, consolidating their tech stack, and focusing on technology with proven ROI.
Recent years have shed light on the crucial role of cloud-based customer communications tools in driving sustainable growth in times of disruption and uncertainty, and tech-driven companies are once again leveraging these tools to navigate the murky economic waters ahead.
Whether it’s CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) or UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), cloud communications can help your business secure relationships with its customers through meaningful conversations, all while creating efficiencies internally.
Read on to learn more about the growth-fueling benefits of cloud communications and discover how it can help your business thrive through the economic downturn — and long after it ends.
Why tech spending seems immune to the economic slowdown
As recent years have shown, embracing the right tech in times of crisis can help your business power through it and set it up for future success.
While consumer spending has been hit hard by the inflation in recent months, tech spending keeps going strong despite the economic slowdown.
Gartner’s recent forecasts predict that worldwide IT spending is expected to reach $4.5 trillion in 2023 — that’s a 2.4% increase from 2022.
On a similar note, recent IDC research found that 82% of corporate technology managers in the U.S. expect a recession this year. But 62% expect their technology spending to be the same or increase compared with 2022.
What type of technology are businesses prioritizing in times of economic uncertainty? According to the Wall Street Journal, “businesses see more value than ever in tech that enhances customer experience and gives them an edge in an increasingly tight market.”
That’s because investing in technology that helps you meet present and future customer expectations — like cloud communications — is the best way to drive sustainable growth and differentiation, even in the direst of economic times — or, maybe, especially in such times.
3 ways cloud communications can help make your business recession-proof
What are cloud communications?
Cloud communications, as the name suggests, refers to communications technology that’s hosted in the cloud, meaning it uses an internet connection to send and receive data and enable communication with customers or employees. It allows businesses to add real-time communications features like voice, video, messaging, email, and more to their workflows without having to manage their own infrastructure or stitch together multiple complex solutions.
Why does it matter? How can these solutions help businesses thrive through a recession? Let's dive in!
1. Reduce costs by updating and streamlining your communications stack
Updating legacy communications systems can be a smart cost-saving investment during a recession, because these tools can be costly and complex to evolve and often lack the features needed to keep up with changing business and customer needs.
Cloud communications solutions like CPaaS eliminate the need for businesses to build and maintain their own communications infrastructure, saving them both time and money.
Instead, developers use the provider’s APIs and SDKs to quickly and easily integrate real-time communications features into their applications — no need for an entire IT department to get up and running! This also means you'll never have to worry about upgrades — the provider will take care of it for you.
Another major cost-saving advantage of cloud communications solutions is their pay-as-you-go pricing model and their ability to replace multiple existing solutions and avoid feature redundancies — businesses only need to pay for the services they actually use. Replacing overlapping communications and collaboration tools with comprehensive solutions is the focus of many companies looking to cut costs as the threat of a recession sinks in.
2. Meet evolving customer needs with flexible, scalable solutions
In addition to cost-effectiveness, cloud communications solutions give businesses the flexibility and scalability they need to adapt to ever-evolving customer demands. Being able to manage your communications in an agile way to meet customers on their own terms is key in securing lasting relationships and growth — because brands that prioritize customer experience will be better positioned to power through an economic slowdown.
Communications APIs easily integrate with existing systems and can be customized to businesses’ needs, allowing them to scale up and add new channels to their workflows when they need it.
Businesses can then leverage the power of real-time, meaningful conversations on customers’ preferred channels to better engage, serve, and understand them. The result is an improved, more valuable experience across the entire customer journey.
Cloud communications platforms also typically offer analytics tools, allowing businesses to monitor the performance of their communication efforts and helping them identify areas for improvement.
3. Empower your teams and optimize internal efficiency
Businesses are always looking for ways to improve operational efficiency, but in times of economic uncertainty, doing more with less simply becomes vital.
From employee collaboration tools to contact centers, AI, and automation, technology is key in making the workplace more productive. With the right tools in place, businesses can build custom solutions to fit their specific needs and make internal processes smoother and more efficient:
Incorporating automation and AI to your workflows can help speed up basic processes and reduce costs by freeing up time for your teams to focus on value-adding tasks.
An omnichannel contact center is another powerful way to increase the efficiency of your support team and reduce average handling time, as it gives agents quick and easy access to customers' conversation history across channels. These solutions also usually include skill-based routing, which helps increase first-contact resolution by connecting customers to the best-suited agent.
A UCaaS platform puts all your essential communication channels (voice, video, text messaging, instant messaging, email, and more) at your employees’ fingertips in one convenient location, allowing them to easily communicate with customers and team members without having to juggle multiple apps. This means increased efficiency and productivity! Using UCaaS also helps streamline collaboration between remote and on-site employees and reduce the operating costs associated with a large office.
In times of economic slowdown, focus on customer-centric technology
Regularly re-assessing your tech stack is a smart move in any situation, but it’s particularly crucial when faced with economic uncertainty, as it can help make your organization more efficient and cost-effective.
But investing in technology isn’t just about reducing costs and upping productivity to navigate a potential recession. It's about setting your business up for long-term success — because the right tools will help you build a sustainable business model and support your core business objectives — like CX — in any circumstances.
Need more tips on how to help your business thrive in times of uncertainty? Discover 6 strategies to make the most of your marketing dollars during a recession.