Nowadays, customers are used to being bombarded with product and service offerings across both online and offline communication channels. In such a highly-saturated and competitive environment, providing great customer service has become the key differentiator between businesses. For 68% of millennials, one negative experience is enough to put them off from doing business with a brand. Therefore, it is not surprising that companies offering great customer service grow their revenue at 4%-8% above the market rate. If enterprises want to remain profitable and retain their customers, they need to focus on providing excellent customer service by utilising the communication platforms their customers most frequently use.
Improving the customer experience, however, starts within the contact centre- if agents struggle to establish efficient methods for internal communication, that would affect the quality of customer interactions. However, with digital innovations transforming the ways we communicate, businesses have had to re-consider their strategies for delivering personalised customer service.
With Unified communications (UC), contact center modernisation becomes an attainable goal. Unified communications comprise an interconnected system that integrates various communication channels with networks and consumer applications, improving the efficiency of the contact center. In doing so, UC streamlines interactions from multiple communication channels, allowing agents to respond to multiple queries without switching between devices.
Regardless of the size of your contact centre, unified communications can help you delight customers while optimising your agents’ operations. Here is how you can do it:
1. Integrating voice with internet applications for communication
In the era of digital communications, contact centers are able to provide a seamless customer experience through WebRTC-powered solutions, such as web chat or web voice and video calling. With that, legacy communication systems, such as inbound and outbound voice applications, are becoming more and more outdated, for their limited ability to offer a multi-channel, seamless customer experience. Unified communications allow for the integration of traditional voice applications with online solutions for real-time communications, from web chat, to cobrowsing and social media interactions, improving agents’ productivity and the quality of the customer service. 78% of customers aged 18-34 expect for a brand to be familiar with their previous purchasing history- unifying the communication platforms within a contact center allows for agents to gain a comprehensive view of the customers’ journey.
2. Improving the internal communication between agents
Contact centers having to deal with a large number of queries daily need an internal communication system that is lightweight and easy to use. Companies with a highly engaged workforce grow their profits three times faster than those without- if agents can pass information between each other smoothly, they will be more efficient in handling multiple customer requests at a time. We have all had an experience when a customer service representative has put us on hold in order to pass our information to their colleague- not a pleasant experience for either side of the conversation. If employees don’t have to struggle with the technological systems integrated in the contact center, customers are much more likely to receive the personalised support they expect from businesses nowadays.
Additionally, a UC-enhanced contact center offers greater capabilities for remote agents, enabling them to use the same user interface as the rest of the contact center and take up some of the customer interactions during busy times. With many businesses adapting their internal communication systems to their employees’ personal devices, unified communications have become an effective solution for centralising the contact center’s operations across multiple channels.
3. More time engaging, less time troubleshooting
Unifying your internal communication channels helps avoid potential breakdowns that could prevent agents from resolving customer queries. Inefficient communication between members from different departments increases the chances of them missing important information about a customer’s purchase or previous shopping history. A technical breakdown in one department can put a strain on the operations of the whole contact center. Unified communications alleviate the pressure from customer service agents, allowing them to focus on providing a personalised customer service, rather than spending time identifying the reason behind a glitch in the communication systems.
4. Utilising IVR integrations
One of the key UC offerings which can be leveraged to improve the customer experience is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system integration. IVR solutions are still being associated with the most basic of automated interactions, often seen as a cost-saving solution rather than a tool for improving the customer experience. However, the latest technological innovations have turned IVRs into an effective tool for delivering an omni-channel customer experience and facilitating human interactions. With the option of “call deflection”, IVR systems route calls to the most suitable department or agent, allowing for more customers to be served in less time. Additionally, modern IVRs can be integrated with a CRM software, gaining access to the customer’s purchasing history and previous brand interactions. This allows for IVRs to provide a more personalised experience to the customer while enabling agents to focus on more complex enquiries that require longer handling times.
Unified communications offer the opportunity for contact centers to build an integrated communication infrastructure, giving agents greater flexibility to interact with customers across multiple platforms. In the era of digital communications, businesses need to develop their customer service strategy around personalisation and efficiency. By deploying VoIP telephony and solutions for real-time online communications, contact centers will be in a better position to meet the customers’ demand for seamless, personalised experiences, from the first web chat enquiry to completing their online purchase.