Talking on the phone has long been an important part of doing business, but today enterprise communications no longer means dialing a number and chatting with a customer service representative sitting in a call center. Not only have the methods that customers use to communicate with a company increased, but how customer services teams are run has also changed. Customer service reps may be working remotely from home or in an office operating in a different country from the company headquarters, but customers still expect a unified, multi-channel experience; whether they call, chat, or email, customers want their information to be readily available to the rep for efficient service.

Omni-channel service is a key business operation to get right, as the importance of customer experience is rapidly increasing. According to a study by Walker, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020, and the need to get every channel of communication working together across departments will play an important role. Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies according to a study by Aberdeen Group Inc.

Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations and the survey suggests that the best way to start that innovation is by focusing on ways to collect and analyze customer feedback. For this reason, like most business processes, enterprise Unified Communications cannot function as a stand alone resource. To truly deliver outstanding customer experiences, communication information should be integrated with other business applications and exist as an intricate part of your overall business processes. By integrating with applications such as the company’s CRM, support, and marketing apps, reps will have access to richer, contextualized information that they can then leverage to provide great service. And when data is tied to analytic platforms and survey apps, managers will be able to optimize this information and create memorable customer experiences.

Greater Customer Satisfaction

Customer support apps — like Zendesk, Freshdesk and Intercom — are on the front lines of any business. They allow support agents to interact with customers, partners, or employees, and to track their issues from reporting to resolution. Integrating customer support programs and a Unified Communication solution increases productivity and reduces the time necessary to resolve a ticket.

So what does that mean? Integration means making apps share information with one another through smart workflows. When customer support apps and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions are connected, customer service reps can:

  • Escalate a live chat with a customer to a call or a screensharing solution, with the click of a button in the customer support app.
  • Automatically log calls in marketing apps like Hubspot or CRMs like Salesforce and Insightly so every department can see customer touch-points.
  • Automatically trigger a survey through SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics after the call ends to get feedback or NPS.
  • Automatically log the activity of the support rep in the customer support app or CRM and, if the issue was urgent or from an important customer, inform the account manager automatically.

Enhanced Sales Productivity

Omni-channel experiences require all departments to live in harmony, and Sales is another giant when it comes to the use of UCaaS products. In our increasingly automated world, manual data entry is gradually becoming a thing of the past and sales reps don’t want to do it. Not only is it time-consuming, but manually entered data is more prone to human error. By integrating Unified Communication solutions with a CRM, companies can improve sales productivity by:

  • Allowing sales reps to click-to-dial contacts directly from within the CRM.
  • Logging calls, chats, and voicemails in the CRM for tracking, reporting, and training. Not only does this automation save valuable time, but it also streamlines the overall sales cycle. It’s then easier to analyze and identify patterns, like what type or frequency of calls leads to a sale.
  • Automatically pulling up the customer information in the CRM app when a customer calls.
  • Alerting the account manager whenever one of their prospects or customers reports a critical issue.

Enriching Every Interaction with Contextual Insights

UCaaS services are used everyday to communicate with customers, partners, and employees. Interactions with all of these groups can be further enriched with valuable context and insights from other applications such as Salesforce, Zendesk, JIRA, ServiceNow, and Intacct.

Let’s imagine that a support agent is in a chat session with a customer. An integrated UCaaS system would give the agent a 360° degree view of all the information needed to resolve the customer’s issue quickly. Information about the revenue generated from the customer is pulled from Intacct, the customer’s previously reported issue will be visible from Zendesk, and engineering progress on the reported bug in JIRA will be available to the agent all in one place. Ultimately, the support agent has centralized access to all the context necessary to better serve the customer.

When it comes to revamping customer experience, gathering data from customers via surveys to learn what they expect from the company is a great place to start. The next step is connecting UCaaS with Customer Service and CRM apps to give reps a unified view of the customer using an agile, no-code integration platform. Integration workflows (and their implementation) need to match a business’s unique needs, which can change rapidly. The team shouldn’t have to depend on IT to build, deploy, and tweak these solutions.

Additionally, connecting business apps and automating workflows can eliminate hours of manual labor and context switching for service teams, freeing them to focus on higher priority tasks. When connected with other applications and workflows, Unified Communications solutions enable enterprises to effortlessly exceed the typical expectations of customer support.

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