Unified Communications (UC) leads to a successful convergence of all communication tools, methods, and devices into a single interconnected organism. The improved efficiency helps remove all communication barriers within the organization. Moreover, when used for managing customer relationships in a contact center, UC can lead to a rapid improvement in the quality of customer service and provide a satisfying and uniform user experience.
Below, you will find more information about how unified communication solutions work for businesses and which benefits you can expect from implementing them in conjunction with customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Problems Solved By Unified Communications
In modern companies, employees use a variety of means of communication at work – emails, landline and mobile phones, messengers, and social networks. Accordingly, all these means of communication exist separately from each other, have their own interface, and each of them needs its own device or app.
To work with each type of communication, employees usually have separate identifiers – email addresses, mobile numbers, links, etc. To find the information they need, the employee needs to figure out exactly where it was sent first. Then, they also need to determine which channel is more convenient to contact a particular client or colleague and find the necessary identifier.
This is when unified communications come to the aid and simplify this process, making it more efficient in the chaos of communication means and notifications.
Unified Communications (or UC) is a technology that combines all types of communications into one system for more efficient employee collaboration. In the UC system, several products are integrated with each other and combined into a single interface – this allows employees to stay connected at all times, even while they use different devices.
Unified communications systems include the following tools and capabilities:
- IP telephony (such as cloud PBX phone system or VoIP)
- email address
- audio, video, and web conferences
- working with files and apps
- user activity status
- unified address book
- voice mail and answering machine
- instant messages
Unified communications make all types of communications available and accessible to each employee. This solution connects various tools in real-time (for example, a phone or an app for organizing video conferences with messengers) and integrates them with standard business apps using APIs.
As a result, UC solutions can help businesses use their human resources more effectively and create a smoother customer experience.
Benefits of Using UC for Business
Integrating unified communications and customer relationship management (CRM) software will bring some valuable benefits. Still, it is essential to know how to use them to the company’s advantage and provide more efficient customer service. Here are several benefits of successfully implementing UC.
Reduced Time of Project Implementation
The integration of all means of communication allows employees to exchange information faster and work more effectively, leading to increased work efficiency.
When the time that needs to be spent on projects is reduced and communication outside the team is simplified, a company can implement more projects and reach out to more customers.
UC allows the company not to spend money on managing various systems and supporting different file storage options. On top of that, no additional hardware is required. Once the unified communications solution is adapted to a business, this can significantly reduce maintenance costs without compromising the efficiency of the contact center.
Moreover, a proper consolidation of customer communication channels will eliminate the need to replace the technology that is used anytime soon, saving the company money in the long run.
It becomes easier for employees working both in the office and remotely (or in a hybrid working mode) to communicate, attend conferences, manage and edit files and documents. In addition, the software used in UC solutions allows business leaders to manage remote workers more effectively and measure their work efficiency, as this software also enables access to comprehensive tools for data analysis and performance measurement.
For example, unified communications use presence technology to inform the real-life status of a particular employee’s availability. In this case, an employee working from home will always be able to see whether their colleagues located in the contact center are “on-call” or “absent.”
The contact center employees can easily connect clients with their colleagues who have the necessary qualifications to deal with a specific issue and solve the client’s problem with ease. UC allows them to skip having to redirect the call or to put the client on hold. Thus, unified communications can help increase customer satisfaction levels and, accordingly, contribute to customer retention and loyalty.
Better Sound Quality and Multi-Channel Communication
A UC system provides a better sound quality compared to traditional telephony, which helps create an impression of a more confidential nature of the call. It also contributes to establishing a trusting relationship between the employee and a customer – this is especially beneficial when communicating with first-time customers. Thus, a quality of sound can significantly impact both customer satisfaction and the probability of a successful negotiation.
What’s more, multi-channel communication allows your customers to choose the most convenient way of communication for them, knowing that regardless of the communication channel they use, their requests will still be processed quickly and efficiently.
Ensured Business Continuity
By combining communication channels, the company will be able to allow its employees to work from home with similar productivity as if they worked in the office and make customer service continuous in different risk scenarios. This makes unified communications an integral part of ensuring business continuity.
Moreover, unlike separate, unconnected communication tools, a single solution is under the full control of the company, which allows getting rid of conflicting platforms and increasing the company’s reliability and safety. Therefore, if the contact center adapts the UC methods to its daily activities, it will be able to extract numerous benefits for itself and improve the quality of service to its customers as well.
The Bottom Line
According to the study conducted by Lithium Technologies (now Khoros), “when asking about a product or service, 66% of consumers expect a response to their query on the same day, and over 40% expect a reply within the hour.” Thus, companies have no other choice except to implement the most effective communication solutions to ensure an outstanding customer experience.
Due to the growing need for effective internal communication within the company and external contacts with customers, many different types of communication have appeared. However, the fragmentation of communications leads to a slowdown in business processes, increases the time required for decision-making, and reduces the responsiveness of employees.
Therefore, modern companies should not neglect to implement UC solutions in addition to CRM software and increase their competitive advantages. Besides, it is a cost-effective solution that contributes not only to managing customer relationships but also to ensuring employees’ flexibility and business continuity.
About the Author
Elis Olsen is a strategic communication specialist. She has worked with several tech software startups that help companies attract new customers and keep current ones satisfied. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her studying interpersonal communication or reading contemporary literature.