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When setting out to create a successful business, entrepreneurs usually think about the product or service they wish to build their company around and a marketing strategy to promote said product or service. However, the Customer Service department is just as important as the other departments, although it’s seldom treated with the same consideration. In fact, one might argue that the Customer Service department is even more important because it connects companies and consumers directly.

An excellent Customer Service department can become a clear competitive advantage because it helps build customer loyalty. And loyalty translates into sales. This means customers are more likely to make new and more consistent purchases across a longer period of time if your company offers proper support at the right time. And, with customer acquisition costs on the rise, customer retention is becoming more and more important. On the flip side, poor customer support experiences will drive clients away in no time. According to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report, a single negative customer service experience can make two-thirds of customers stop doing business with a brand. So, in a way, Customer Service is a powerful tool that businesses simply can’t afford to ignore.

How can companies improve their customer services in order to meet consumer expectations and create positive brand experiences? Unified Communications Systems can help elevate the customer service experience by offering agents access to details about customers and their problems with just a few clicks and enabling them to make a call with a single click. Plus, effectiveness and consumer satisfaction are also improved thanks to advanced automation systems. UC systems are a modern solution for consumer service teams, that caters to the needs of both consumers and employees, by improving the entire communication workflow. Here’s how implementing such a system can contribute to business development and growth.

1. UC systems enable customers to help themselves

Unified Communications systems offer support for Interactive Voice Response (IVR), in order to guide callers towards the employee that can best assist them. Using this technology, companies can create an infinite number of “call trees” covering the most frequently asked questions, thus limiting the time clients spend “on hold” and enabling them to help themselves to whatever extent possible. Needless to say, by automating certain routine calls and requests, UC systems help customer service teams reduce their workload and focus on the important tasks.

2. CRM Integration

UC systems offer multiple integration possibilities, but CRM integration is probably the most important one for improving the quality of the customer service team’s work. Through UC and CRM integration, companies can add all the relevant information to the customer profile attached to a certain number, including prior conversations and IVR recordings. Using this information, customer service agents can find the best solutions for consumer requests, minimizing the time spent researching and maximizing productivity.

3/ Enhanced Mobility

UC systems are a communication solution tailored to the needs of 2020’s mobile workforce. The system enables customer service agents to process requests and answer calls through the central phone system regardless of their location. Plus, most systems also provide a mobile app that allows employees to respond promptly even when they’re on the go. And, if a customer service agent is busy with another call, the customer can receive an IVR message asking them to leave a message or accept to be redirected to another agent. Additionally, each employee’s availability status is visible for all colleagues so they can collaborate in the most effective way possible.

4/ Performance Monitoring and Analytics

According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, 60% of enterprises use real-time customer analytics to improve customer experience across all touchpoints, and that number is expected to grow to 79% within two years. The UC system provides detailed, in-depth, analytics and reports about call duration, hold times, queue login time, number of abandoned calls and number of redirected calls, enabling companies to optimize their customer service. Reports are fully customizable, so the management team can modify them in order to get the needed insights. Using the system, managers can learn who the best performing employees are and can step in to help those who are struggling. Unified Communications systems offer a number of features meant to facilitate the training of new employees. Managers can listen to and record calls as needed, they can “whisper” helpful tips when the agent is tackling a difficult issue or they can step in the conversation in order to calm a customer or simply provide extra support.

With its IVR features, CRM integration, enhanced mobility and reporting capabilities, UC technology helps companies keep up with impatient consumers and mobile customer service agents, in order to deliver the best possible experience with every interaction. And delivering a consistent user experience across all touchpoints is fast becoming a prerequisite for retaining customers and building consumer loyalty. So, businesses need to look into the available Unified Communications solutions and prioritize implementation, if they are to thrive in this new hyper-connected decade.