Unified Communications doesn’t mean a U-turn in your Customer Communications
Unified Communications The ‘U’ in Unified Communications (UC) has always been about delivering a unified approach by integrating solutions to drive efficiencies.
It is the ‘C’ element – the ‘communications’ component – that has changed over time. But there’s no need for a U-turn in approach – it’s a case of building on the expanded reach of UC.
In the context of the contact centre, UC initially meant incoming fixed-line voice calls and then the mobile and web revolutions took place. Today, it takes in a myriad of communications types – from voice to email, web chat and social media.
UC technology has also made another recent transition. Organisations first used applications like Microsoft Lync, Cisco Jabber internally to check presence and route calls, bringing employees together to solve problems within the enterprise. They soon realised this new methodology could also support external communications, enabling them to quickly route customers to the individual best placed to respond.
Here are our top tips on how businesses can make the most of the approach
1. Use it to drive more efficient customer interaction in the contact centre.
Legacy call centres typically operate as isolated silos. Today’s contact centres need to be a fully-integrated part of the business and link to existing UC infrastructures. That allows you to call on expertise across the connected enterprise to quickly resolve customer queries.
2. Migrate to an approach that combines the contact centre and the connected enterprise.
Combine technologies to create an infrastructure that supports unified communications. Cloud computing and IP-based networking enable a virtualised environment, whilst UC delivers insight into the presence of customer-facing staff. In addition, directory and database integration enables you to know who is available to support your customers. The result – quicker call resolution leading to happier customers and agents.
3. Choose the best delivery mechanism for your business needs.
Look for a migration plan that transitions you smoothly to UC. The best vendors offer the flexibility of both cloud and on-premise contact centre ‘flavours’ and support this through a one-stop shop for a business’s complete communication needs.
4. Learn from successful implementations:
If you want to future-proof your approach or need a hybrid approach now, look for vendors that can provide a comprehensive service offering, have a track record of successful migrations and a range of UC case studies to share.
5. Create an effortless experience.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. The customer may start off online but they can’t find what they’re looking for, so they start a chat or simply phone in. Then, they need a file emailed, adding another interaction channel into the mix. The customer will often move from one form of communication to another. But with a UC approach all this can be wrapped up in one bundle, enabling closer, more effective customer communications. The result – oh yes, happier customers and agents.
Today, it is increasingly accepted that the growth of the connected enterprise is at least in part due to the expanded reach unified communications and the associated cost savings, streamlined business processes and enhanced productivity that the approach brings. Increasingly, too it is in the contact centre that organisations are reaping the biggest rewards, for that is the front door to your customers. Following these top tips will help ensure you take the right direction for your customer communications strategy.
Nick Applegarth, VP Sales EMEA and Asia, Enghouse Interactive