Communications are at the heart of every healthy business, which means investing in tools that simplify and accelerate communications is a sensible strategy. Unified Communications (UC) platforms serve two functions: to centralise your comms channels, and to facilitate improved data and knowledge sharing.
The right UC tool not only delivers on those functions, but also helps to enable business growth. Here’s four ways you’ll benefit:
1. Improved customer service
Digitally savvy customers rely on a broad range of communications channels to manage their personal and professional lives. The telephone may still be the de facto channel of choice, but email, instant messaging and video calling are all also popular. And, as new channels are introduced into the market, many consumers become eager to jump onboard.
If your comms platform has developed organically, adding new channels complicates your IT estate and significantly increases running costs. UC reduces complexity by allowing you to add new channels into the same platform quickly and efficiently. Importantly, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) providers do not typically charge for adding new channels, which helps to further reduce the cost of adoption.
With more channels available, communication with customers (old and new) is easier than ever – as is delivering them a service that meets their expectations.
2. Geographic expansion options
The trusted heart of an established business – the on-premise PBX – powers corporate communications. But this unit can also constrain your ambitions of expansion.
Replacing this costly fixed box with a hosted UC platform dramatically increases your potential reach. As long as you have a broadband internet connection, you can open a new branch office anywhere in the world. You can even move to fully-devolved operations using a network of home-office based employees connected to the UCaaS system.
No longer constrained by the physical PBX, you are free to expand operations to any corner of the globe.
3. Wider pool of employment candidates
A wider geographical reach isn’t simply for entering new sales territories. The ‘work from anywhere’ model means that you are not limited to sourcing candidates who live in, or are willing to relocate to, the town where your head office is located.
By connecting workers into your communications platform, UCaaS allows you to assemble a team of the very brightest talent, from Birmingham to Beijing to Brisbane. More than simply extending reach, the flexible working models created by remote access tools are also highly attractive to candidates.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, employees who work from home are also happier in their roles, making them much less likely to leave. Improving employee retention helps to lower recruitment and training costs plus the productivity drop associated with each new hire getting up to speed.
4. Improved customer retention
Keeping employees onboard is important, retaining existing customers even more so. Studies repeatedly find that seven new clients must be sourced to equal the revenue of a single repeat customer. And with so many businesses competing for their cash, customers will go wherever they feel most valued.
UC plays a pivotal role in helping to improve the quality of service offered to your customers. By making a broad range of comms channels and data available any place, any time, your team has everything they need to deal with client queries quickly and effectively. Intelligent call routing and messaging ensures that each interaction is directed to the right member of your team and that they have all the information needed to follow through.
Effective, responsive service will deliver against even the most demanding customer requirements. And the more sales you make, the better able your business is to fund its growth ambitions.
As global competition increases, many business face a simple choice – grow or die. Improving communications and access to data will help to overcome many of the challenges that could constrain future growth. And ultimately, your choice of technology and processes will have a direct effect on your quality of service, operational efficiency and overall profitability.
Unified Communications is about much more than improving your telephone service. Take a look at our free eGuide: Creating The Modern Workplace to learn more, or visit our ROI calculator to understand the extent of the benefits to be gained by your business.