Published on February 20th, 2017 | by Guest0
How Internet-Platform Answering Services Can Stabilize an Industry
Answering services, both as a business tool and an industry, have remained remarkably unchanged over the past 30 years. Despite the economic and business overhaul caused by the digital and internet revolutions, most businesses that use answering services still use an automated, telephonic form (i.e automated or voicemail services).
However, recently, there has been a surge in technological movement in this space. Specifically, internet-platform services–i.e automated email response, live chat bots, and social media monitoring–have begun to address market gaps in the industry for businesses that seek answering services better adapted to handle both traditional and digital forms of communication.
These internet-platform services will play an important role for the future of the answering services industry, as well as a game-changer for businesses that use answering services. Specifically, internet-platform services will serve as a buoy for the industry going forward through strengthening its application as a business tool.
The Problem: Similarity in the Market
Given the market domination of automated services, an interesting pattern of heavy movement between different service providers has emerged among users of answering services. According to recent research from Clutch, despite experiencing significant value and reported positive customer satisfaction with answering services, business are more likely than not to change answering service providers over the next six months.
This unique dynamic is a product of multiple factors, mostly regarding the typical structure of business agreements between providers and users. Specifically, the low cost and the fact that answering services are usually month-to-month services allow a great deal of freedom for businesses to transition or drop providers.
Another major reason has to do with the lack of distinction between providers, which is perhaps a direct product of the market position automated services hold. Given that automated services are an essentially familiar and there is minimal distinction between different providers, users tend not to care who provides it.
This dynamic is a thorn in the side of the answering services industry. The lack of stability and customer retention ultimately leaves providers overly concerned with making sure that they have businesses to serve rather than working to innovate their product.
The Solution: Internet-Platform Services
This instability, however, is where internet-platform services can potentially change the dynamic of the entire answering services market, and establish answering services as a business tool central to its users’ overall business operations.
Internet-platform services, as the name implies, use internet connectivity as the basis for their communication capacities. Given the ubiquity of internet and digital communications, particularly email and online contact forms, as primary communication channels for businesses, internet-platform services are remarkably applicable business tools.
Specifically, internet-platform services are designed to address the growing portion of business transactions which are being carried out online. Given the increased importance digital audiences hold as consumers, having the ability to communicate with them in an organized and efficient manner is paramount. Businesses must have need of a feedback mechanism, ideally in real time, in order to address any needs they may have. Particularly, automated email response and live chat bot features provide either quick or real-time communication capabilities with digital audiences, while social media monitoring features keep an eye on the status of your company in the social stratosphere.
Conclusion: Industry Stability Through Providing Value
Ultimately, the multi-dimensional capabilities internet-platform services serve to help both the answering services industry as well as its users. Given the value this technology adds to answering services as business tools, internet-platform services provide incentive for users to remain with, rather than abandon, their providers. As a result of the increased customer retention and loyalty from their customers, answering service provider’s will have stable means to innovate and invest in more applicable and topical answering service technologies, creating stability and ensuring a future for the industry.
Grayson Kemper is a Content Developer and Marketer at Clutch, a B2B research and review platform based out of Washington, DC. He specializes in telecom and enterprise mobility research.