Today’s customers increasingly expect live and real-time communication. A unified communications (UC) solution can help make this possible by integrating audio, video and mobile capabilities that enable a new level of customer service.
With unified communications for business, customers can initiate a video chat with a service representative from any location, at any time. And with mobile apps, calls can be handled remotely. The result: agents are more productive because they can handle calls wherever they are.
Applications such as live chat, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and help desk solutions have already been implemented by many companies. Although these separate systems, applications and technologies are resulting in a better customer experience, they sometimes create barriers between departments. It’s very important to connect these silos to allow business processes to run smoothly and take customer service to the next level.
Unified communications systems (UCS) are therefore essential for business success. They allow you to connect with all parts of your business and serve your customers better.
Key Components of Unified Communications
Voice and VoIP
Cloud phone systems allow you to use your devices to make and receive phone calls with the help of a web application, a server and your phone. The web application provides a user friendly interface that allows you to administer your system, manage calls, and check your call logs. The ability to access voice logs from anywhere makes the cloud phone systems more convenient than using a conventional telephone line.
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) allows digital information to travel via the internet as opposed to travelling through traditional phone lines. The main advantage of using VoIP is reduced cost. VoIP enables businesses to save as much as 60 percent of their telephone costs. Businesses can make unlimited calls to any location with an internet connection – with no need for a phone line.
Globally, video adoption has soared in recent months as organizations established work-from-home policies amid the pandemic. Video conferencing allows your remote workforce to join conferences via laptop, tablet or smartphone. Video also improves communications with teams on the road without slowing them down.
Messaging is a feature that is undergoing massive change. While it used to be separate from other UC features, messaging is now more dynamic and integrated with other workflows. Users can manage multiple types of messages using unified messaging and switch communication modes as needed. Conversations between a customer service representative and a customer is unified on the same instant messaging platform and customers are able to speak with representatives using their preferred method, whether through SMS, Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger or a phone call.
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) allows you to host your email on external servers. Your employees have access to all the communication tools they need with a simple internet connection. This allows you to search through all mailboxes within your company if necessary, and lets you create shared mailboxes for users. These new business email solutions allow you to have the same e-mail account on different devices: desktop, smartphone or tablet. It works perfectly whether your employees are in the office, mobile on the go, or in front of their computers at home.
Presence is a feature that allows users to see the availability of colleagues by means of status indicators (such as online, offline, busy and out of the office). It is used by desktop, mobile and UC solutions across the industry to enable efficient collaboration and communication. Presence is a very useful feature for those who work in a distributed environment in which there are no set hours or in which employees often participate in meetings that require them to be always available. Presence functionality is provided by Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
File sharing is one of the most common needs of everyday business life. Simultaneously working on multiple tasks, communicating with different people at a time and completing projects – all this can be difficult without sufficient file sharing. Collaboration solutions allow for the sharing of documents and projects between teams regardless of where they may be located. These tools enable communication to continue seamlessly, even when it is not possible to reach each other remotely.
Screen sharing is the ability for one person to see or even take control of another computer. You can see the other person’s computer screen, or even use it just like you would if you were sitting at it. That means you can see another person’s emails, spreadsheets, files, photos or anything else that’s on the screen. Screen sharing also allows meeting attendees to share their screens in real-time during meetings, both internally and externally. This improves collaboration and speeds up decision making.
Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) is helping companies transition to a more modern workplace while reducing costs, improving employee productivity and bringing more customers. Unified Communications platforms also give customers more ways to interact with you: phone, video, SMS and online chat for collaboration with your team if needed. Whatever your customer’s preferences, they’ll feel comfortable interacting with you, and more likely to become happy, loyal customers.