UC: Change the engagement game and gain a competitive advantage!

My last blog looked at how Unified Communications (UC) is so much more than just a set of tools, and at what the impact of using UC can have on the bottom line efficiency of an organization. This time, I turn my attention to the improved engagement that UC brings to employees, partners, and the vital part of any business – customers.

According to Fonality Research, the average employee spends over an hour (around 67 minutes) per day trying to find key information to complete tasks. They also spend over half an hour (37 minutes) trying unsuccessfully to contact colleagues.

The same research showed that these two tasks combined can be shortened from 104 minutes to just 47. How? Through a Unified Communications approach.

So after saving some time, does your business have competitive advantage now?

Of course not! UC is the essential communication 'glue' between employees, customers and partners, but for businesses to really see the benefits, UC must be integrated into your business processes themselves. The true competitive advantage of using UC is changing the engagement game across the enterprise, encompassing employees, customers and 'back-office'.

So how do you go about making UC part of your business processes?
First, recognize that there is a rich variety of jobs within your organization. Assess their communication needs depending on employee role, department or in some cases, location.

From this, you can provide employees with the best tools – devices and communication facilities – to fit their specific role, providing tacit encouragement for them to be more productive and engaged.

Remember, the best device and communication service for the job probably means enabling an employee to switch between devices, as necessary. An employee may start a conversation on their phone in the car, but then walk through the office and sit at their desk – then they need to be able to seamlessly transfer that conversation to their tablet or laptop and extend the conversation media to video, sharing their screen for advanced collaboration.

It isn't just your employees that need engaging  – remember you have customers
If your employees are more engaged, you're halfway there, but you also need to engage with your customers if you are to really profit from Unified Communications.

Only one third of customer complaints are resolved successfully in the first instance, so it's not surprising that one of the top priorities for companies using UC is to improve customer satisfaction through improved customer engagement!

Again, UC provides a vital communication tool to enhance customer engagement. How? There are three key ways:

  • Reduced customer frustration – 95% of customers are prepared to give businesses a second chance if their complaint is handled successfully and quickly.
  • More free time to spend on customer care – With UC saving time, employees now have more time to spend on tasks that directly involved in serving the customer, rather than wasted attempts at communication with colleagues.
  • Improved collaboration between the front and back-office – UC provides better communication between customer-facing employees and the back-office, a communication line that, if not optimised, can lead to delays and misinformation, potentially losing a sale or a customer for life.

Redefining the contact center
We have to recognise that contact centers no longer just deal with phone calls – more and more they are becoming customer care or interaction centers. Customers express their concerns and queries using a variety of media on mobile devices, email and social media, and they expect a quick response.

Each customer query initiates a series of business processes in any organization. To deal with these queries efficiently, all communication channels need to be unified.

Unified Communications helps accelerate these business processes and eliminates the boundaries between back and front office, allowing employees to quickly share information, enabling seamless customer management, regardless of the device first used to make contact.

It really is great to be part of a team here that has the UC technology in place and a solution to deliver – our OpenTouch Business Edition is enabling this across the enterprise, bringing business benefits from front to back office, from employee to customer to business partner. The technology enables full collaboration, wherever people happen to be working, allowing employees to be more accessible and informed wherever they are, which in turn leads to faster, smarter decision making, accelerated business processes and therefore a distinct competitive advantage.

You can find out more about OpenTouch here.

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