9 Top Benefits of Unified Communications

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In-office, hybrid, remote – today’s employees are on the move. And they need to be able to stay connected to both their co-workers and customers.

In addition, today’s customers often have their own preferred mode of communication to use when contacting a business. Some prefer a traditional voice conversation, while others seek out an email address or live chat to ask a question.

The good news is that managing multiple unconnected systems for business communication is a thing of the past.

Unified communications can bring it all together in a multi-channel, all-in-one communications solution for a seamless experience.

What is Unified Communications? 

Unified communications, also known as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), combines phone, video conferencing, chat, screen sharing and file management into a single, unified cloud-based system that is managed and monitored by a service provider. It is a user-centric communication experience that helps bridge the gap between in-office workers, remote employees and customers within a single application. Unified communications are reinventing traditional business communications by bringing people together.

Here are nine important benefits to consider when evaluating if your business could gain an advantage by implementing a unified communications platform: 

  1. Flexibility to Stay Connected From Wherever, Whenever
  2. Your Choice of Communication Channels
  3. Enhanced Culture, Collaboration and Community
  4. Quick Access to Assistance for Customers
  5. Personalized Experiences
  6. Highly Secure File Management and Communications
  7. Improved Productivity
  8. Advanced Reporting and Analytics
  9. Cloud-Based Reliability of 99.999%

1. Flexibility to Stay Connected From Wherever, Whenever

Communication flexibility is key for modern businesses. That’s why it’s crucial to provide your workforce with the tools they need for wherever their day takes them, whenever they need to communicate with others.

Unified communications empower your workforce with multiple, connected communication channels in one solution. Even fully-remote employees only need an internet connection to have access to your network and be able to use all the features to be a productive part of your team.

2. Your Choice of Communication Channels

Traditional phone systems are no longer sufficient to effectively conduct business in today’s environment. Your workforce and customers expect communication channel choices. Unified communications combines your communication channels into a single, cloud-based system. Chat, text, instant messaging, phone, fax, email, video/audio conferencing and call recording are available at your fingertips. Unified communications will provide your workforce with the tools they need to thrive.

3. Enhanced Culture, Collaboration and Community

You can create community channels to encourage specific conversations on internal chat tools such as the team chat feature in your unified communications platform. These channels can be work-related or not. Either way, the idea is to set up a space for interactions, so employees know where to ask questions, share information, or search through past conversations pertaining to a specific topic. Internal communications tools keep the flow of information going and prevent problems like work interruptions, missed information, or cumbersome collaboration.

4. Quick Access to Assistance for Customers

Being able to better serve your customers and improve their experience is vital to any company’s sustainability.

Unified communications gives employees the ability to respond to customers no matter where they are. They’ll be able to see incoming calls, chats, or emails from any device.

Further, unified communications allow the option to integrate with popular Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software platforms. When any customer contacts your business, whoever is helping them can see all the notes and important information associated with the contact. This leads to faster resolutions and shows your customers you understand their needs.

5. Personalized Experiences

Customers typically crave ease when getting support or finding answers to questions. One type of communication channel may fit some of your customers, but perhaps not all. For example, while many customers prefer digital formats such as email or chat, it is still important to offer voice as an option.

Multi-channel support can be a significant driver of customer satisfaction. The key is to use a unified communications platform that aggregates voice, email and chat into one queue. This streamlines the intake process and ensures that customers can connect on their terms.

6. Highly Secure File Management and Communications

Many businesses are turning toward cloud-based file sharing. This offers several key benefits, including backups in real-time, seamless collaboration and smooth performance – even when scaling up your business.

Your unified communications provider can also assist with software security and privacy configurations required for compliance in specific industries. An example would be HIPAA regulations in healthcare organizations.

7. Improved Productivity

Every time a worker has to stop what they’re focusing on to look up information in an old email or find a co-worker’s contact information to ask a question, they have to break their flow and restart what they were doing. A University of California study found that it takes the average worker 23 minutes to get back on task after an interruption like this. But when internal communications are strong, workers spend less time trying to access the information they need or operating without clarity. That means less frustration and far more focus.

Every business wants to improve workflows and remove bottlenecks. When you do, productivity and efficiency are improved substantially. Unified communications makes it easier for your employees to do their job. They’ll save time on tasks throughout the day, including:

  • Being able to take calls from anywhere
  • Quickly sharing files with teammates to work on collaboratively, instead of using an endless email thread
  • Receiving communications directly in your email like voicemail or faxes
  • Starting video meetings in a click when important issues come up that need a swift resolution

By offering your team this technology, they can get more done in a day and alleviate some of the challenges with communication you may currently be facing. When employees can collaborate better with technology, what once took days of back and forth can now be resolved much more efficiently.

8. Advanced Reporting and Analytics

With detailed reports, managers can see which agents are struggling and where they need help. Contact center managers can then make sure remote agents have the right equipment, support, and skills to thrive as customer service agents. Especially for hybrid or remote teams, it’s important to have a modern reporting system that lets you see real-time information and detailed analytics on customer experience. That way, you can make changes and offer support quickly to address emerging problems and improve the workflow for your agents.

If you are managing a contact center you should look for a reporting system that contains the following:

  • Full visibility into key metrics (e.g. first response time, average hold time, average speed of answer, average abandon rate, first call resolution, etc.)
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Ability to create custom reports
  • Ready-to-use reports for essential information
  • Easy-to-access interaction analytics

9. Cloud-Based Reliability of 99.999%

When choosing a cloud provider, one thing you should prioritize is a high uptime guarantee. The greater the cloud uptime, the less likely you’ll ever have to worry about performance issues or downtime for your business.

With cloud providers, the more “nines” in the service level agreement, the more uptime you can count on.

A lot of cloud providers offer three nines, or a 99.9% uptime guarantee. While this uptime number looks high, what this really means is that your business should anticipate service availability issues every year. With just three nines, your business could experience up to 8.76 hours of downtime a year or about 10 minutes every week. 

But with five nines, or a 99.999% uptime guarantee, you can count on less than 26 seconds of downtime each month and no more than 5.26 minutes a year.

Elevate Managed Voice Services provided by Gordon Flesch Company is a unified communications platform geared towards forward-thinking businesses looking for a competitive edge in their marketplace.

Download the infographic to learn more about Managed Voice Services and how it can free your employees to work productively, securely and efficiently from anywhere. Or contact the experts at Gordon Flesch Company to schedule a free, no-obligation needs assessment.

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