What are the most essential business communication trends to adopt in 2024?
As you know, efficient business communication is a key factor in team productivity and customer satisfaction.
Statistics show that smooth customer communication is a cornerstone of building a positive customer experience and boosting customer satisfaction. Overall, that can increase brand loyalty and boost sales by 25% to 95%.
Similarly, multiple studies in recent years have shown that team communication is one of the prime areas where friction losses reign supreme. Team members waste significant amounts of time on inefficient internal communication. That’s a painful drain on productive work time.
Plus, considering the massive shifts in business communication that have happened since the pandemic, many businesses are still lagging behind. With the general economic climate and the associated challenges, that is not something you can afford moving forward.
But which ar the most important developments to watch? We’ve got your back. Here are ten trends to adopt going into 2024.
Streamline Internal Communication Channels
To begin with, you need to get your team communication up to scratch. That means reviewing your current set-up, streamlining communication channels, and putting SOPs into place.
In most teams, internal communication is still fractured across multiple channels. Even though many businesses have invested in team collaboration tools since the advent of Covid-driven remote and hybrid work, use of these tools is far from consistent. Many team members still rely on email, as well as different messaging apps, to exchange information.
As a result, many workflows are siloed. Consequently, it’s easy for people who should be involved in projects to get left out of the loop. And for misunderstandings to proliferate. All that leads to frustration and missed deadlines.
If so, you need to vet which of your team members are using which channels for what type of communication. Review which of these channels are most efficient – and secure! – and then standardize your team’s SOPs across the board.
Crucially, you need to check that your teams actually adopt the changes you implement. One way to do this is to make communication efficiency a regular agenda point on your team meetings.
Try Asynchronous Video Conferencing
Next up, one of the significant current business communication trends is asynchronous video conferencing.
Since the pandemic, video conferencing has become a fixed part of most of our professional lives. Using tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams has become second nature.
However, video calls also swallow up significant amounts of time that could be spent productively. After all, we’ve all sat through Zoom meetings thinking, ‘This could have been an email’.
Even organizing a video call can be challenging, especially if you run an international remote team distributed across multiple time zones.
Asynchronous video conferencing offers a time- and effort-saving alternative.
Tools such as Loom allow users to record a short video, including screen sharing, and to easily send it to team members via a link. The recipient can then watch it at their own convenience and hop to the parts that are most relevant to them. Or even just skim the AI-generated transcript. If they need to revisit parts of what was said, they can.
Going further, they can also leave comments on each video or send a recording of their own in response.
Integrate AI for Internal Communication Efficiency
Surprising absolutely nobody, AI figures prominently in various business communication trends for 2024. Let’s start with how your team can harness it to boost internal communication efficiency.
Many AIs are specialized in natural language processing (NLP). Trained on a vast repository of different text formats and audio clips, they can quickly generate and proofread texts, as well as transcribe and summarize entire conversations.
For internal team communication, this offers considerable time-saving potential. Some workflows you can automate or speed up using NLP AIs are:
- Generating transcripts of team meetings
- Creating meeting summaries and action items
- Generating first drafts of internal email copy
- Adding automatic proofreading to all internal communication
Implement Chatbots the Right Way
Chatbots are another AI application that has become ubiquitous in recent years. And we’ve all encountered painfully obtuse chatbots that just stoke frustration. However, they have a massive potential for boosting your productivity and conversions.
Chatbots can save your team members the time it would take to answer routine inquiries. That leaves them free to focus on truly tricky customer requests.
For another, statistics actually show that a well-implemented chatbot can increase website conversions 3x.
So, how do you properly harness a chatbot to reap all its benefits without sacrificing the integrity of your customer communication?
First off, you need to be very clear about the chatbot’s target audience and the goals you want it to achieve. Next, you need to carefully select the channels you want to launch your bot and select a corresponding provider of chatbot services.
Then comes the crucial part – training your bot with data from existing customer conversations. The more data you can feed it, the more authentically it can re-create these conversations.
Finally, you need to maintain your chatbot. That means reviewing its protocols and fine-tuning them for maximum customer satisfaction.
Deep-Dive into Analytics and Battle Data Siloing
In the section above, we mentioned that training a chatbot on authentic customer data is key. In fact, communication data is crucial not just for training bots but also for launching analytics protocols that can give you invaluable insights into your customer base.
AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms are amazing at unearthing patterns from terabytes of data. Understanding these patterns can be a fantastic basis for strategy adjustments and new marketing campaigns.
However, the main impediment many businesses face when harnessing AI for analytics is data siloing. Too often, valuable information is fragmented across platforms and systems.
To overcome this challenge and level up your business communication, you need to audit your data storage approaches and workflows. Make sure that there is a centralized, secure, regularly backed-up data storage location—and one central point of access.
Hyper-Personalize With AI
Next, another amazing application field of AI is hyper-personalization.
Any marketing expert will tell you that personalized communications are much more effective for improving customer experience and increasing conversions.
AI can help you take your personalization game to the next level in 2024. As mentioned above, AI and ML can process astronomical amounts of data. More than any human expert ever could.
By harnessing that capacity, you can fine-tune your personalization to resonate with every audience member.
Once you set up and streamline your workflows, emails to customers will not just address them by name or celebrate their birthdays. They’ll also be tailored to individual customers’ specific sub-interests in your products and overall their demographics such as the number of children they have, where they live, and what field they work in.
Change to Cloud Communication
If you haven’t already, 2024 is the year to switch your business communications to the cloud.
Cloud-based communication offers a much more versatile, secure, and flexible alternative to locally-based systems for anything from data storage to telephony.
Cloud contact centers, for example, allow your team members to take customer calls whether at their workplace desktop computer, on their laptop at home, or on their cell during a business trip. No matter which device, they’ll be able to access their work numbers and make sure that every customer demand is met to maximum satisfaction.
Convert to Mobile-First Customer Communication
Regarding cell phones, another essential 2024 business communication trend is mobile-first customer communication.
Statistics show that 58% of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. That means it’s crucial to tailor all your customer communication channels to be eminently usable on these devices.
Making sure your website is mobile-friendly and adding click-to-call buttons is just the bare minimum. You also need to ensure that options such as live chat, chatbots, and contact forms are displayed on phones and tablets.
The gold-standard is to have mobile- and desktop-specific versions of your site that offer different, tailored communication channels on your Contact Us page.
Invest in Short-Form Video Content
Among the 2024 business communications trends we present here, few are more dominant than the massive drift toward video content. Especially short-form and vertical video.
Not only are social media channels like YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and TikTok still growing rapidly and presenting considerable marketing opportunities.
Statistics also show that most consumers (96%!) prefer to learn about products and services via short video clips, rather than reading stale descriptions.
For your business communications, you need to invest in video content production, both in terms of showcasing your products and promoting them on social media.
Creating clips that highlight how your products and services work and what exactly their advantages are, already goes a long way.
To go further, you can launch this content on your social media channels and integrate it into recent trends and challenges. Attention to trending audio and hashtags can be effective in signal-boosting your videos.
Finally, you can aim to foster short-form video collaborations with influencers in your niche. In terms of marketing trends, influencer partnerships are high on the 2024 list of priorities for most professionals as well.
Make Social and Environmental Issues a Communication Priority
To round out our list of the most essential business communication trends in 2024, there are broader issues that you need to integrate into your communications. In particular, social and environmental issues.
As recent public discourse has highlighted, it is more crucial than ever for businesses to demonstrate awareness of social justice issues, and to foster diversity and inclusivity. Having a DEI&B (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belong) specialist on your team can go a long way towards helping you optimize copy and vetting public-facing communications.
Plus, showing this awareness can also help you improve communications within your own team. Making sure that all of your team members feel valued and welcome does more than just warding off potential accusations of discrimination. It also creates a much better work climate that allows people to reach their fullest potential in terms of productivity.
Regarding customer-facing communication, paying attention to factors such as ethical backgrounds and gender identities is also a massive plus point.
Similarly, environmental issues are now perceived as critical by many customers. This is hardly surprising with the looming climate crisis and corresponding disasters being broadcast across the news cycle.
Especially for younger target audiences – think Millennials and Gen-Z – it is essential that businesses demonstrate they’re environmentally conscious. In terms of communication, that can be as straightforward as including your carbon-saving measures in blog posts and newsletters and highlighting them on your website.
Conclusion: These Are the Key 2024 Business Communication Trends
With various business communication trends surging and disappearing throughout the last few years, it can be difficult to pinpoint the ones that are here to stay.
The list above is meant to serve as a reference point for deciding which trends are worth adopting to meet your business’s unique needs.
All the trends listed above – from integrating AI into internal communications to prioritizing short-form video content – is set to play a growing role in business communications in 2024. But that doesn’t mean that every business must adopt them all. For instance, if you have a small team all working in the same time zone, asynchronous video conferencing may not be for you.
Your next step should be to carefully vet the above trends and see which ones best apply to your business use case. Based on that, you’ll know which tools to research and which strategies to develop together with your team.
At the end of the day, this will help you level up your business communications in 2024, boost your productivity, and enhance your customers’ experience.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Fauxels; Pexels; Thank you!