The top 5 communications challenges that impact customers and employees

June 25, 2024 Austin Herrington 3 min

Communications challenges can negatively impact employees, customers and business operations, but there are solutions that can break down these barriers. Here are the top five comms challenges today’s businesses face and how to overcome them.

Communications disruptions can stop work in its tracks. Everyone has experienced lagging audio or a dropped video call that has derailed a meeting, but modern communications challenges go beyond just poor network connections or bandwidth issues.

Many organizations are quick to admit that they’ve experienced technology challenges that directly impacted their customers and business operations. And according to a recent Gartner report, these challenges extend to employees as well:

“Organizations still struggle to provide/create an equitable technology experience for all employees, creating gaps in employees’ performance and engagement. Continuing with existing legacy tools, processes and organization will prevent cost optimizations and limit agility and growth in the future.”

These concerns emphasize the need for reliable, collaborative tools that support the way today’s businesses work. Here, we’ll examine the top challenges to effective communication and the solutions business leaders are employing to resolve them.

Multichannel communication preferences

Phone calls, emails, instant messaging — both customers and employees have their preferred methods of communication, with some favoring in-person meetings and phone calls, while others opt for faster digital interfaces.

However, as organizations bring in more and more communication channels to satisfy an increasing variety of needs, it can become overwhelming trying to manage them all.

Disconnected connections

A secondary problem to comm channel overload is a disconnect between the various communication methods. When employees and customers have to switch back and forth between different apps or platforms to access the communication tools they need, it disrupts workflows, decreases efficiency and leads to miscommunications or overlooked information.

Dreaded network downtime

Employees rely on digital tools to communicate with clients, customers, vendors and one another. When the network goes down — often due to a reliance on legacy voice services —customers can’t access the support they need, leading to a negative experience. Meanwhile, employees are unable to use the basic solutions they need to do their jobs.

Here, there, remote work everywhere

Remote and hybrid work are here to stay, but companies are still struggling to efficiently connect their disparate workforces. Collaboration is particularly challenging, especially when organizations use multiple platforms for communication.

According to Gartner, by 2025, more than 65% of workers worldwide will join meetings digitally from their own desk or office — even when working on-site — which raises efficiency concerns.

For example, during a meeting, a team member may need to illustrate an idea, but the conferencing platform doesn’t offer a built-in whiteboard solution. So the team member either has to try and explain the idea without visuals, or the whole meeting has to stop and move to an accommodating platform.

Security questions

IT decision-makers are especially concerned about security for hybrid and remote employees, as today’s dispersed workforces have also exposed gaps in endpoint security. In addition, increasing cloud adoption has led to growing attack surfaces, leaving many organizations vulnerable to cyberthreats.

However, due to IT skill and resource shortages, these companies are struggling to close their security gaps and protect their data no matter where it’s accessed.

Investments for the future of work

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) helps companies streamline effective employee and customer communications. Whether hybrid, remote or in-office, unified communications tools support the way today’s employees work and interact with customers.

And when you pair your UCaaS solution with secure SD-WAN, you can remove the obstacles to effective communication and close security gaps, giving you a competitive edge. Your employees and customers get the collaborative tools they need at their fingertips, all within a secure environment, no matter where they log on from.

It’s a flexible approach that delivers a collaborate-from-anywhere solution for greater security, productivity and reliability.

See how Windstream Enterprise can support your UC and voice needs.

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Key Takeaway
As organizations look for ways to support the various communication and collaboration needs of their customers and employees, tech investments like UCaaS with SD-WAN are key to avoiding major communications challenges.

Breaking down communication barriers to improve the customer experience