Benefits of unified communications for businesses

Tuesday 26 February 2013

As businesses aim to attract and retain new customers, and optimise the productivity of their workforce, clear and open communication is an absolute must.

Consumers want to be able to contact the companies they are doing business with, whether for support, advice, information or to give feedback.

In order to meet their expectations, businesses need to be readily accessible, ideally over a variety of different communication channels.

The aim has to be to facilitate communication over the medium each customer is most comfortable with - whether this is phone, email, instant message or conference.

Enabling conversation in this way makes your customer service department look professional and well-resourced - reflecting well on the business as a whole.

It is also important that customer enquiries are dealt with as quickly as possible - ideally in real time.

A quick response demonstrates that your business treats the individual as a valued customer, and this makes them more likely to return in future.

Using unified communications

Unified communications (UC) solutions make it easier for companies to engage with customers, while also supporting in-house collaboration.

Employees across multiple sites can use UC solutions such as Microsoft Lync to remain in constant contact, over whichever communication channel is most suitable at the time.

UC systems allow users to switch between email, instant messaging, audio and video messaging, giving system users a full range of options.

If they need to get in touch with a colleague rapidly, instant messaging may be the most appropriate platform.

But if workers have arranged to discuss a project they are working on, or are on a call with an important client, a video conference may be more suitable.

UC systems give users the opportunity to choose how they wish to communicate according to the circumstances and purpose - and the ability to switch between channels.

Consolidating communications

Using a UC system, companies are able to consolidate their communications infrastructure.

All different types of communication can be delivered from a single inbox, which is easier for administrators to maintain.

Merging the various streamlines and consolidating them on to fewer physical servers enables cost savings to be made in the data centre.

But users can still access the UC system from any connected device, giving them a range of communication options whether they are in the office or on the move.

Posted by Sarah Parish