Enhancing Customer Service With Unified Communications
With globalization, enterprises are spread across geographies and hence good communication – both within (amongst employees) and beyond the organization (with the customers) forms the crux of smooth business functioning. Successful enterprises have witnessed and adapted themselves to changing communication mechanisms right from traditional telephony, SMSes to more sophisticated mechanisms such as instant messaging, VoIP calls, video-conferencing, and telepresence solutions for intra-company communication. Similarly, organizations have leveraged internet technologies to build e-commerce websites, mobile apps, chatbots, product videos, etc. to better connect with their customers and improve their inter-company communications. One would hope that these two solutions would solve all organizational problems.
However, in reality, when it comes to customer engagement, there seem to be asynchronous efforts or at times an unhealthy competition between traditional and online channels to exceed customer expectations. Instead of competing against one another, businesses should ensure that their online and in-store customer service experiences complement each other and gain customer trust.
As a solution to this problem, many organizations began to leverage traditional Unified Communications (UC) platform, which converges diverse communication channels, networks and systems, IT business applications, consumer applications and devices to increase business efficiency, productivity, and responsiveness. Other than enhancing customer engagement, UC help in reducing overheads (by 19.6 percent) and boosting staff productivity (by 17.9 percent).
So far so good. However, with more and more enterprise users shifting from phone calls to social media or messaging apps, managing the sheer volume of business data, users, devices and communication channels became quite complicated and expensive.
According to Gartner, by the year 2020, 89% of businesses will compete with each other mainly on customer experience as the key brand differentiator, which will also overrule price and product features.
These issues coupled with the surge in Cloud usage lead to the inevitable shift from traditional UC to Global UC also known as UCaaS or Unified Communications as a Service. Built on the service provider’s infrastructure, UCaaS provides enterprises with on-demand scalability, reliability, improved security, business continuity with built-in redundancy, without any upfront capital investments. Moreover, enterprises can quickly augment their existing services with instant messaging, video, contact center support, CRM modules, software upgrades UCaaS. Global UC provides real-time visibility on enterprise communications and helps them gain insights on improving business workflows, employee collaboration, and customer engagement.
To discuss the topic in detail, let’s look at a real business scenario of a renowned retail brand, aiming at building a robust customer experience platform to connect with their customers anytime anywhere (as per customer’s preferred communication channel). A Unified Communications solutions can help the retailer to integrate their existing channels of communications like an e-commerce website with social media (Facebook), instant messengers, mobile apps, and voice or product videos onto a UCaaS platform. With this solution in place, the retailer would be able to provide the same familiar experience to its end users across online, mobile or in-store purchases, irrespective of time or location.