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10 business communication trends for 2024

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Moving to the cloud is essential. Businesses that don’t move to the cloud can, to some degree, add complicated layers to their legacy systems in an effort to keep up with the times, but eventually, they will be forced to make the move. If you want to take advantage of technology, build compelling customer experiences and enhance your own efficiency, it needs to be in the cloud because every modern business communication development and trend depends on it.

Moving to the cloud can be complicated and could be a challenge for large enterprises. Small and mid-size businesses find it easier to migrate, which immediately unlocks the potential for using artificial intelligence (AI) tools, dynamic business intelligence, unified communications and collaboration platforms and much more. As we head deeper into our always-on reality, having open APIs is a prerequisite to automate conversational tools or voice-to-text discussions.

Of course, moving to the cloud doesn’t have to be an all or nothing exercise. Many large businesses are taking certain functions into the cloud and then using these as a bridge between the cloud and their legacy systems as part of a multi-year strategy. In its 2023 EMEA Cloud Business Survey, PwC presents the findings of speaking to more than 2,200 business leaders. The outcome is that for those who have made the move, adopting cloud-based solutions had a positive impact on their businesses.

Whichever route a business takes, the benefits are significant, and it is important to emphasize that much of what you read below will be impossible without the cloud. Understanding the role of the cloud, here’s a look at likely business communication trends that will shape 2024:

1. Generative AI’s intelligent revolution

The use of generative AI is going to continue increasing exponentially. Boston Consulting Group said: “To be an industry leader in five years, you need a clear and compelling generative AI strategy today.” The follow-on from this, obviously, is that once this is in place you need to execute on it.

The true benefit of Generative AI lies in intelligently automating experiences, navigating the delicate balance between digital automation and human interaction seamlessly. Digital when you want it, human when you need it.

2. Conversational marketing: beyond the chatbot

Conversational marketing has transcended mere chatbot functionality. In 2024, the demand for immediate gratification and personalized experiences propels businesses to leverage AI-driven conversations comprehensively. From generating meeting transcripts and crafting meeting summaries to automatically proofreading internal communications, the scope of conversational tools extends far beyond simple engagement. This trend reshapes customer interactions in real-time, redefining the CX.

3. The skills revolution

The skills revolution is more than a response to a longstanding skills shortage; it’s a paradigm shift in hiring practices. Companies are moving away from traditional markers such as educational qualifications, focusing instead on specific experiences and skills. This approach not only addresses immediate needs but positions businesses to thrive in an AI-driven economy. Investment in training and upskilling becomes not just a necessity but a strategic imperative, particularly in disruptive technologies such as generative AI.

4. Data-driven customization

Personalization has evolved into a strategic tool for building robust customer relationships. The ability to collect and utilize extensive customer data will continue becoming crucial as we navigate 2024 and beyond. Beyond meeting customer demands, businesses are harnessing data to offer highly customized solutions. This trend propels brands towards building deeper, more meaningful connections with their audience.

L’Oréal, for example, is implementing a multicloud strategy to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and internal company data to create personalized services for customers. The aim is to simplify the process of discovering products both online and in-store, ensuring a tailored and seamless experience that aligns with individual customer preferences.

5. The hybrid job is here to stay

The post-pandemic world is characterized by a fundamental shift in how we work. Hybrid work arrangements are no longer a perk but a necessity. The emphasis is on tapping into the potential of a global workforce while also ensuring enhanced productivity. While the return to offices is certainly a theme, the continued prominence of job postings with “remote” or “hybrid” locations underscores the enduring embrace of flexible work arrangements.

6. Monetizing data: Beyond operational efficiency

Data has transitioned from being a valuable asset to a lucrative business opportunity. Companies, inspired by pioneers like John Deere, which provides a holistic set of solutions, spanning machine performance, field management and data analysis which empowers farmers to consistently monitor, manage, and enhance their yields across different seasons.

Adopting approaches such as this not only streamlines operations but also monetizes data to create new revenue streams. This strategic approach positions businesses to drive innovation and explore new business opportunities, especially in niche and diversified sectors.

7. CX redefined: Beyond surveys and feedback forms

Designing CX in 2024 and beyond demands more than sporadic feedback forms which rely on users actually completing them. It requires a holistic approach, ensuring every interaction, from marketing to delivery and problem resolution, elicits a positive customer sentiment. This personalized approach, driven by real-time AI sentiment analysis and augmented by feedback mechanisms, will reshape how businesses understand and respond to their customers.

8. Omnichannel is here to stay

The shift from voice to text-based communication persists, with an annual expected decline in voice volumes. While South Africa isn’t shifting as quickly as other parts of the world, it is expected to follow the trend. This fuels the demand for comprehensive omnichannel infrastructure such as that provided by Telviva, ensuring businesses meet their customers on the platforms they prefer. The significance of this trend extends beyond contact centers to encompass all facets of daily communication.

9. Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B): Beyond buzzwords

DEI&B is not merely a buzzword; it’s a business imperative. Beyond compliance, integrating broader social and environmental issues into communications is vital. Having specialists in DEI&B on the team optimizes communication strategies and fosters inclusive work environments, enhancing both external and internal communication.

10. Video marketing’s visual symphony

The dominance of video marketing, particularly short-form content, continues to reshape brand narratives. Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels are not just advertising tools but avenues for storytelling, product launches, training, and authentic customer testimonials. In 2024, brands will continue to harness the visual symphony to engage audiences beyond the traditional advertising paradigm.

By David Meintjes, CEO of Telviva

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