Imagine a system where all of your customer channels are integrated onto the same platform. That’s unified communications (UC) in a nutshell, and it’s something all businesses should be striving for when it comes to delivering excellent customer service.
The UC approach is of benefit to companies, employees, and customers. More reliable technology means savings can be made by business owners and invested in improving the consumer experience. The customer journey can be shared across all channels, making it easier for agents to do their jobs. And consumers can expect to receive the same quality of service no matter which channel they prefer to use.
Implementing unified communications as a service (UCaaS) means incorporating a new software system to bring management platforms together into a streamlined process. So if a customer begins their journey conversing with a chatbot and then needs to switch to a human agent, the process is smooth and the agent already has a record of previous interactions.
Here are six ways UC technology can take your customer service offering to the next level.
One of the holy grails of excellent customer service is to resolve a query or complaint as soon as possible. Preferably, this will be at the first point of contact. Unified communications integrate all of your channels at the first point of call, from virtual receptionists to human agents and beyond.
There’s no need for one member of staff to spend time verbally explaining the issue to another while the customer waits on hold and grows even more frustrated. In instances where a customer does end up in the wrong place, the transfer process is seamless.
When finally connected to the right agent, a customer won’t have to repeat themselves as a record of their earlier conversation will have already been recorded for all to see. And if agents do need to discuss matters face-to-face, any screen share technology your business has will be on hand at the click of a button.
UC technology improves customer service issues across the board, even when it comes to more technical problems. Using a digital communication line instead of a traditional analog connection results in greater clarity for a call. There’s less chance of drop-outs, crackles, or background noises disrupting a conversation.
If you’ve ever made a call to a customer service department and had to repeat your query due to a poor telephone connection, you can appreciate the difference reliable audio can make. Customer frustrations are kept to a minimum and agents can focus on their customer service skills, increasing their productivity, and improving the chances of customer satisfaction.
An omnichannel customer service approach should be the goal for all businesses, and UC offers a stepping stone towards it. In an omnichannel set-up, every communication channel is of an equally high standard, so if a customer prefers email to a voice call, they’ll find the same level of service available. UC makes it easier for businesses to bring multiple channels in line.
The technology won’t just enable your human staff to have access to the same information; it also makes it simpler for bot-related services to be integrated. All communication platforms within your organization can be unified using UC technology, from employee project management software to your CRM system.
Such integration means all of your operational platforms are working together with the same end goal in mind – that of improving the customer experience.
It’s well-known that happy employees are more productive, benefitting the business as a whole. UC technology not only empowers staff to do their jobs more effectively but provides more freedom during emergencies or even a global pandemic.
In terms of empowerment, if staff are not having to spend time asking customers to repeat themselves or apologizing for poor sound quality, they’ll be able to focus 100% on getting their job done. UC also enables employees to work from home using the same platform as an office-based staff.
All communication methods, call center metrics and KPIs to measure performance and productivity remain the same. These can even be utilized on employees’ personal devices, eradicating the need for companies to purchase extra equipment for their outbound staff.
In 2020, with the necessary shift toward remote work, UC-enabled businesses have had a distinct advantage over others. They’ve been able to keep operating to more or less the same capacity, from customer service to selling online. Their staff have been able to use their office-based platforms no matter where they are, and business has been able to continue with minimal disruption.
Given the superior technology that a UC system brings, there’s less chance of equipment breaking down. Savings made here can be invested in improving customer service as opposed to being spent on fixing faulty gear.
Of course, if the equipment is working then staff can focus on their jobs as opposed to trying to fix the system or work around it. A business can use the money saved to employ more staff or improve training procedures.
An interactive voice response (IVR) system is par-for-the-course when it comes to calling a contact center. When utilized correctly, a virtual answering service is of benefit to both customers and receptionists, offering choice and routing a call through to the best source for a solution.
An IVR within a unified communications system is even more effective, as the platform enables integration between the IVR and all other systems to record the customer’s journey. Previous call information, such as channels’ used and buying history, can empower an IVR to route a customer more efficiently. This makes for a more proactive customer service experience and a more personalized call for the customer.
Isn’t it time you reviewed your approach to unified communications?
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