In the face of growing consumer expectations for wanting an immediate response in real time from the company, there are tools, such as Apple Business Chat, that have the opportunity to revolutionize interactions with companies that are still almost exclusively limited to phone and email.

These tools are designed to improve customer experiences and sometimes replace email and customer service centers, although despite innovations and advances in this topic, email is the most of companies’ internal communications.

Phone calls lose popularity

Although the smartphone has become a must-have, only a small amount of time is spent talking for them. Real-time direct communication on mobile devices is five times more likely to be done by texting than by voice calls.

Recognizing this tendency to move away from voice calls, corporations like JP Morgan Chase and Coca Cola are saving money by removing the voicemail of many of their employees. At Coca Cola, only 6% of the workers choose the option to keep their voicemail.

With all this data, the need for new communication channels seems insatiable. In this context, communication does not simply mean that one person speaks to another, but that an individual or company communicates with another entity.

Google Home is an example of a new communication channel: an individual who interacts with businesses and information without physically touching a device. Apple, for its part, has acknowledged that, although social communication is constantly evolving, business communication has lagged behind, and following its thinking launched a new communication channel called “Business Chat”, which is designed to meet the real-time need for the customer experience.

B2B (Business to business)

Although email makes up the majority of internal business communications, the need to collaborate as a team in real time has resulted in a wide range of additional channels. Today, business strategies are often based on application suites, which allow for dynamic feedback, video conferencing, and telecommuting.

Phone calls, although they have decreased in frequency, are also essential for most companies in conducting their day-to-day business.

Email has been king in business interactions for decades and there is a rush to be the first company or product to supplant it. Slack is one of those products, designed to completely remove email from B2B and internal business interactions.

Instead of email, Slack fully integrates all digital channels into a single communications platform, providing the ability to participate in real-time file sharing, voice chat, text chat, private messaging and archived with searches, no need to switch between applications.

Companies still prefer email

Despite the popularity of such versatile platforms, email shows no signs of disappearing from the workplace. More than 100 million business emails were sent every day in 2015, according to a Report by Fortune magazine, and it was forecast to reach 139 million in 2018.

The business world continues to spin around the core of email, and no platform has appeared that can actually take its place.

In fact, a new Adobe study claims that emails are still at the forefront in the business field, and remains the primary form of business communication with 52% of respondents who said that. It is followed by in-person conversations (20%), phone (13%), instant messaging (9%), video conferencing (4%), and corporate social networks (2%).

Another piece of information provided by the report is that 82% of the work emails and 60% of the personal emails are opened by the people who receive them. In addition, 61% of the respondents in this study prefer that brands contact them via email.

B2C Communications (Business to consumer)

Customer interactions with businesses are still almost exclusively limited to phone and email. When consumers want to contact a bank or an insurer or retailer, they usually do so through phone calls, although they may be frustrated if the caller is a machine that makes the user have you push a lot of buttons before you can talk to an agent.

They also use email at times, although email communication is limited for customer service due to the time-out between the question and the answer, which makes it an unoptimal channel to maintain a conversation between a customer and the company, although it remains at the center of B2B internal communications

Chatbots is another means of communication between the company and the customer. These are as partial substitutes to meet the needs of customers. The rise of Artificial Intelligence has made these chatbots more flexible, but they don’t yet have the intelligence and natural language of processing to cover all possible interactions with customers. They can save time by facilitating more routine transactions and directing inquiries to the right person, but it is rare for a chatbot to satisfy a non-standard customer service request without the intervention of a human being.

Social media channels are also another means of communication between the company and its customers. They interact with businesses through some digital apps and social media platforms. While these channels are increasingly used, they also have intrinsic defects. Twitter directs consumers directly to businesses, but these communications are unreliable to both parties and may become inadvertently public. Facebook now has about 1.2 billion monthly users, and is promoting its Messenger app as a means to conduct business. However, Facebook’s Messenger strategy is based on intensive use of automated chatbots and greetings, and customers are not entirely satisfied with these innovations.