The world is more connected than it has ever been, and companies find themselves operating in an increasingly global, 24/7 marketplace.
When you’re just one click away from doing business with someone on the opposite side of the world, the possibilities for collaboration and growth are endless. But in order to capitalise on this unparalleled connectedness, businesses need to ensure they have the right tools in place.
It seems many companies accept the need to invest in new Unified Communications (UC) technologies to help them better serve their customers. Research by the Cavell Group indicates that price is on its way out as the key consideration for organisations when it comes to unified communications. Instead, 86% of buyers are this year expected to choose their UC vendors based solely on the functionality they are able to offer. That’s because today’s consumer expects more, and businesses want an integration that allows them to provide a seamless experience for the people their business relies on.
Organisations know their customers and clients don’t have time to go searching for the information they need, or the willingness to hang around on a phone call waiting for their question to be answered. Instant gratification is the order of the day, and businesses can’t afford to lose customers to competitors on the other side of the world who are a quick internet search away and offering an enhanced, pain-free experience. To stay ahead of the game, businesses need to be looking to UC vendors who can help them generate a positive, multi-channel experience for their customers. Because with so many businesses competing for their money, customers will go wherever they feel most valued.
For that reason, any UC vendor worth considering will include functionality that supports the following four key elements.
1. Advanced call delivery
UC plays a pivotal role in helping companies improve the quality of service offered to customers, not just by making a broad range of comms channels available to them at any one time, but by being intelligent with the communications it handles. Intelligent call routing and messaging ensures each customer who reaches out is connected to the right member of your team, and that your team members have all the information they need at their fingertips to ensure they can answer whatever question the caller might have.
2. Multi-channel delivery
Customers these days can come from anywhere – your company’s website, a social media channel, a phone directory or even an interactive map. As a company, you need to be prepared to answer their questions, regardless of whether they reach out with a phone call, through a chatbot or an instant message, via a social media feed, or with an email. Choosing a UC vendor that allows for integration among all these channels, with a single, unified workspace you can access via a desktop, is absolutely vital if you are to capitalise on every possible lead and ensure your customers receive the best possible experience. If a customer reaches out to you by email in the first instance, a good UC interface will allow you to pick up the conversation where you left off, even if they come back to you via IM or with a phone call in the second instance. This type of multi-channel integration is vital in promoting engagement and generating the kind of positive customer experience that today’s buyer demands.
3. Automated service
Sometimes you just don’t have the manpower to have a real person answering the phone every time it rings. An automation service is therefore an important tool in your UC kit that will help you continue to offer a seamless customer experience. By integrating an API on a call-recording product, or integrating intelligent interactive voice response (IVR) features that gather information and automatically route calls, you can interact with and direct callers without having to free up a n individual to do it. An IVR might be the first point of contact for your customers, allowing you to offer a 24/7 service. Get it right, and leads will become customers. Get it wrong, and your competitors are just a mouse click away.
4. Analytics and transcription
Quality assurance measures are vital for telephony solutions, and your UC provider should be able to offer transcription and sentiment analysis on any voice products. Nobody wants to pick up the phone to have somebody screaming profanities down the line at them, and enabling automation that allows you to capture inbound and outbound calls, log and report them and analyse content will give you a leg-up when it comes to refining your telephony resources. Speech-to-text tools, moreover, will allow for deeper analysis of how and where you can perfect your call handling techniques and continue to work towards offering the best experience to your customers.