Over the past few years, advances in digital technology have greatly influenced the way businesses interact with their customers. Today, ensuring top-notch customer experience is a vital aspect of every business.
The statistics back this up too. Numbers from Forrester show that companies that offer the best customer experience outperform others by up to 80%. Customers are more willing than ever before to do business elsewhere if they have unfavorable experiences – so if they’re not happy with you, they’ll just move on.
Thankfully, we have the technology to optimize customer experience across the board. You just have to harness it. Here, we discuss four ways in which you can use unified communications to achieve the ultimate goal — seamless, positive customer experiences.
Why do we need unified communication technology?
Communication is a crucial part of the customer experience. Whether you’re on-site or a virtual workforce, communication is more than just making phone calls and sending emails. Sure, these methods of communication may be efficient in some areas. However, they’re not ideal by themselves, as they’re not streamlined enough to use with a single access point.
As a result, the staff at a first call resolution call center often have to spend time battling different technological platforms just to interact with clients. This disconnect can lead to issues that will affect the customer experience.
The only way to avoid this problem is by enhancing your internal communication systems. How to do it? By incorporating a unified communication system.
What is a unified communication (UC) system?
There are various communication platforms via which you can interact with customers. However, each platform has different hardware or software requirements. In some cases, they may even need different devices.
Unified communication solutions involve unifying every communication channel under the umbrella of just one management system. Typically, this will include text messages, voice calls, text messages, email, instant messages, video calls, and more.
It’s like assigning the same phone number to an employee’s cell phone, home phone, desk phone, and car phone, then giving your employee the ability to switch between all of the devices without having to hang up.
That’s what a unified communication system is all about. If a customer calls in referring to a conversation they had through email with your company, the agent can easily find this and gather information from it – without having to leave their main platform. This is just one of the many capabilities of this system. In the next section, we will take a look at how it can optimize the customer experience framework.
The 4 ways a unified communication system optimizes customer experience
Four key ways a unified communication system can enhance customer experience include:
1. Improved first call resolution rates
When it comes to contacting you, customers want things resolved the first time they contact customer support. In the call center world, this is known as First Call Resolution (FCR). A unified communications system allows for streamlined collaboration between employees. It means they can quickly get to needed resources and even a colleague in the bid to solve customer queries the first time – without having to pass the customer between departments.
Similarly, you can achieve this by integrating your customer relationship management platform with UC systems. Being able to review previous communications with the customer allows customer service employees to provide a better level of support, resolving issues quickly and efficiently.
With unified communication solutions, it’s also possible to shape the customer experience with AI and boost FCR rates. Chatbot technology can take care of the easy-to-answer queries, leaving you with more time for the complex requests and avoiding lengthy call in queue situations.
2. Zero limitations on availability
For consumers, swift digital conversations without timing limitations are the peak of brand interaction. By using unified communication systems, you can deliver solutions to your customers faster. More importantly, you can do it whenever they need these solutions.
This advantage of unified communications is best for companies with operations across different time zones. It means your international customers can now reach you at any time. With UC systems, you can record messages and emails, transmitting queries to a customer service location still in working hours.
You’ll suddenly be able to provide quick responses regardless of the location and time of your day. And your customers will love you for it.
3. Improved customer and employee collaboration
The best customer experiences are the result of a combination of how staff members work together and how they interact with clients. Fast, yet effective, collaboration between the two parties will improve customer experience and boost productivity.
According to Bit.Ai, up to 75% of employees rate effective communication as very important. As such, if you want to boost productivity in your call center, unified communication systems will come in handy. When it’s easier for your agents to speak to each other, it’s easier for them to provide a top-notch service. Being able to send a quick message on team chat at the same time as handling a difficult phone call can make things much simpler. Consequently, the improved productivity of your employees will reflect in the improvement of interactions with customers.
4. Allows communications across multiple platforms
One way through unified communication optimizes the customer experience is by offering customers the luxury of choice. It means your customers can choose to communicate via any channel of choice. Whether through chatbots, emails, or IVR systems, your customers will be able to switch between communication channels effortlessly.
Most call center QA sessions revolve around dealing with missed deadlines, memos, or messages on different platforms. UC systems can sidestep issues of this nature. For instance, say a customer initiates a call before getting cut off. Then, they send an email. Thanks to UC, the customer service agent will be able to recognize the message, inform that the line got cut off, and provide the best options to continue the conversation.
How a unified communication strategy helps employees
Wait – isn’t this about optimizing the customer experience? It is, but employees are a vital part of creating those experiences. Making their lives easier leads to better experiences for your customers, and happier employees.
So, how can you make sure every employee is on board with a unified communications plan? Here’s what you need to do:
- Set goals for a deployment strategy using tools for managing projects
- Create a detailed IT support system
- Train end-users on the unified communication system
- Measure important metrics to gauge the effectiveness of the system
- Create a feedback system that allows for improvements to the system.
Making sure that employees also use an in-house unified communications system can solve a lot of problems. Here’s what we mean:
Fewer breakdowns in internal communication
Customer service trends show that seamless exchange of information between different departments in your company can be crucial for an improved customer experience. Imagine there’s been a delay in meeting the demands of a particular client, and the production team hasn’t had the foresight to manually send an email to everybody working on the project. As such, the customer service team may be out of the loop.
However, it’s the customer service team that will have to deal with emails from the client. If they don’t have the proper information about the nature of the delay, they won’t be able to provide the excellent service the client expects.
However, with an in-house unified communication system, it’s easy for the production team to inform members of different departments. It will only take a few clicks to avoid a potential customer service disaster. Think about integrating other programs – for instance, QuickBooks alternative programs, to keep accounting team in the loop.
More solutions, less troubleshooting
It is easier for your customer support staff to listen to your customers when there’s no struggle to operate the technology. This is only possible when your employees use an in-house unified communications system on a daily basis.
The opposite of this scenario is your employees spending half the time fixing glitches while interacting with clients. At the end of the day, even the most patient of customers will lose patience at what they will term “ineptitude”. As such, you should do all you can to ensure familiarity with the system.
Unified communications can revitalize customer relationship
No matter what area of business you work in, you want the best technology. Whether that’s the top-rated HR software, or the best enterprise network security products, it’s important to stay on top of things. It’s the same with your communications.
With a unified communication system, it becomes easier to provide swift answers to client queries. More importantly, you’ll be able to provide a consistent, omnichannel experience for your customers. This is important for fostering brand trust and loyalty. Unified communication is the future of customer experience. Get on trend today!