One of the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shift in people’s expectations regarding remote communication. This applies to both internal communication within companies and communication with customers, partners, and buyers. We now anticipate greater flexibility and additional options for negotiations, data sharing, shopping, and more.
Unified Communications, as their name suggests, bring together various communication channels onto a single platform, and they can help fulfill these demands.
In this article, we will explore what unified communications platforms are and how they positively impact both employees and customers.
What is Unified Communications
Unified Communications (UC) refers to a set of technologies and solutions that integrate various communication channels and tools into a single platform. It enables seamless and efficient communication and collaboration across different mediums.
UC can include features like:
- VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for making calls over the internet;
- instant messaging for real-time text-based communication;
- video conferencing for face-to-face virtual meetings;
- presence technology to indicate the availability of users;
- integration with other business applications for seamless workflow, etc.
Why you need UC
Unified communications platforms provide numerous essential advantages for businesses of all sizes:
- facilitate the consolidation of employee information;
- streamline day-to-day operations;
- enable employees to communicate with potential clients, customers, and colleagues from any location with an internet connection.
Utilizing disparate communication channels that lack integration can hinder productivity, create complications, and impact profitability. The relevance and demand for UC platforms have significantly increased, particularly with the rise of hybrid and remote work environments.
UC advantages for teams
When employees are equipped with tools that simplify their daily tasks, it benefits everyone involved. Unified communications empower employees to increase their productivity, perform at a higher level, and gain a greater sense of competence in their roles. The following points elaborate on these advantages:
- Enhanced work flexibility. UC offer employees the flexibility to work from any location with a reliable internet connection. This ability to work remotely or from a distance from the office can lead to increased employee satisfaction and productivity, which can greatly benefit your business.
- Centralized communication interface. When work communications are scattered across different platforms and channels, important information can easily be lost. A UC platform provides employees with a centralized interface for communication, offering a clearer view of project status and day-to-day activities.
- Improved productivity and motivation. Streamlined communication among teams leads to higher productivity levels. Unified communications enable teams to communicate more efficiently through various channels, significantly reducing project turnaround time.
- Project management features or integrations. UC platforms assist teams in tracking and completing projects more efficiently and effectively.
- Advanced features. Such features as video conferencing, screen sharing, and document collaboration enable real-time interaction. This level of collaboration can lead to improved problem-solving, innovation, and overall team performance.
- Reducing communication barriers and misunderstandings. Different types of misunderstanding may arise due to language or cultural differences. With features like real-time translation and transcription services, employees from diverse backgrounds can effectively communicate and understand each other, fostering a more inclusive and diverse work environment.
UC advantages for clients
Unified communications play a crucial role in enhancing the customer experience by streamlining communication channels. Here are the key ways in which UC can improve the customer experience:
- Seamless and consistent communication. UC ensure that customers can reach your business through various channels, such as voice calls, chat, email, or social media, with a consistent experience. This eliminates the need for customers to repeat their queries or information when switching between different communication channels.
- Faster response times. With unified communications, customer queries and issues can be efficiently routed to the appropriate department or team, ensuring faster response times. This reduces customer wait times and enhances overall satisfaction.
- Personalized interactions. Unified communications platforms often integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, providing agents with access to customer information and history. This enables agents to provide personalized and tailored interactions, addressing customer needs more effectively.
- Standardization across communication channels. By utilizing a UC platform, businesses can establish consistent rules and standards for communication across all channels. This allows for the creation of branded guidelines for customer-facing teams, ensuring a uniform approach in how information is presented and conveyed to customers via phone, video, chat, and email. Monitoring adherence to these guidelines becomes easier, enabling businesses to track and assess the accuracy of communication practices.
- 24/7 support. With traditional localized communication methods, providing 24/7 support can be challenging and costly, as it typically requires hiring employees to work non-traditional hours. However, by adopting a cloud-based UC system, businesses can overcome these limitations. They can hire support agents located in different time zones and locations, enabling them to provide round-the-clock service.
Unified communications give your business a competitive edge in the market, distinguishing you from competitors in the race for both customers and skilled employees. By equipping your employees with the necessary tools and resources to efficiently handle their daily tasks, they can deliver superior outcomes for your business. This enhanced productivity and flexibility translate into improved customer service, as your clients receive better and more personalized support.