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How To Serve Customers Betters With Unified Communications

As a small business operating with a minimal IT budget, it is always important to consider the costs involved in handling the various communication systems. The productivity of employees in any organization depends on the ease with which they can communicate with their partners and stakeholders. Consequently, increasing the number of communication channels available to an employee at the workplace directly helps in improved productivity. However, it is also important to consider the costs of installing these new channels. For a business with a few hundred employees, the costs of adding a new channel can escalate quite quickly.

It is here that unified communications (UC) come into the picture. This is primarily an integration of the various real-time communication channels (like instant messages and telephones) with non-real-time channels (like SMS and email) to achieve a seamless user experience that transcends all devices and communication forms. Unified communications offer a cost effective solution to small businesses that are keen on improving productivity at work along with enhancing customer support and business collaboration. There are several benefits that a UC network offers to small business owners. Here are a few of them: 

Integrating All Communication Forms:

This is the primary and most significant benefit of signing up with a Unified Communications system. The modern UC systems come with an integrated IP based systems that lets businesses integrate their existing phone lines with a fully equipped voice messaging platform, faxing system, video conferencing, etc. For example, in Canada, a number of financial institutions today make use of a 'unified communications as a service’ (UCaaS) model to improve the collaboration between employees and customers while keeping the capital expenditure on such systems low. 

Network Security:

Modern UC systems are integrated with network security features out of the box. The networks are deployed with firewall systems to prevent unauthorized access to the network. Besides, secure access to remote users can also be made available through virtual private networks. For businesses that offer work from home opportunties, the UC systems can make the integrated communication systems available even to the employees accessing the network from their homes. 

Add On Modules:

One of the biggest advantages of UC systems is the ability to plug-and-play any application of choice. For instance, if your business wants to monitor the performance of your various customer service representatives, it is quite easy to set up an application that will monitor their time spent on ‘chat support’, ‘phone line support’, ‘web support’, etc. to offer a holistic performance review.

Besides these benefits, modern UC systems are also extremely reliable and secure. There are several real world use cases that make unified communications essential. The ‘Presence technology’ on UC allows people in a network to see when the other person is available to take a call and the best way to reach them. Consider an instance when a customer calls seeking specific product information that only a particular employee can answer. Typically, these queries would be registered as ‘support tickets’ and a response would be filed over a matter of hours. With Unified Communications, such customer calls can be easily routed to the employee who is available at the particular instant and thus the turnaround time to support customers can be reduced drastically.

Does your business offer unified communications? What has been your experience so far? Tell us in the comments.