With the increasing importance of unified communications in today’s business world, it’s more crucial than ever to integrate digital workstations with business phone systems.
At one time, while customers considered it the norm to be put on hold or switched from CSR to CSR in a quest to find a solution to their issue, today’s customers expect the person answering their call to know who they are and the complete history of their account. They expect all this without lengthy explanations or long waits for computer responses.
The ascendance of the Internet has led to an expectation of immediate gratification. Customers now expect to be able to find the product they are looking for or the solution to an issue they are having with a simple search. They know that on many companies’ websites they can check their account status, place an order or review their history instantly. They expect the same speed, flexibility and service when they contact your call center. As a result, unified communications has become an essential part of your business toolkit.
1. Give your customers a choice of communication channel
Your customer may choose to call a CSR for status of the problem they logged earlier through your online support center, and then follow up again later with an instant message chat—maybe even all on the same day. Regardless of the channel, they expect the person they are communicating with to have all the details of the problem and the possible solutions that they have tried so far. They don’t want to explain the problem to multiple people, and they don’t want to waste their time while your CSR waits for responses from multiple systems.
Regardless of the method that your customer chooses for communication, they need to be able to reach your team quickly and easily, with a minimum of wait time. That means your business phone system must include unified communications to be functional.
2. Integration to business systems
Even if your customer can connect with your team using any communication channel, you still need to eliminate the wait time while your CSRs look up their account history. You can minimize the lag time by integrating your business systems with your business phone system. Your integrated unified communications system can recognize the caller’s incoming phone number and automatically pull up the account record from your CRM system so the CSR has all the information available right from the first greeting.
By integrating your business phone system with your ERP system, your CSRs will have immediate availability to order status and inventory availability if the customer choses to place a new order or needs delivery information on an existing order. Either way, the integration of your unified communications system with your business systems helps you to meet an important customer expectation.
3. Access your support and knowledgebase
Whether your customer chooses to chat online or call a support rep on the phone, when they have a problem it’s important to solve it quickly. Integrating your unified communications system with your support system, your company knowledge base and support forums can help you resolve the problem quickly.
While most people realize every company has an occasional problem, they judge the company by its behavior while resolving the issue and its ability to resolve the issue quickly. Asking the customer to try the same possible solutions or repeat steps is the surest way to take a mildly upset customer into a fully irate state, so integration of your support systems to your unified communications systems is a workstation imperative.
4. Single phone number convenience
Your customer is busy, and they don’t want to wait for your sales reps to return their calls, nor do they want to call multiple numbers to try to track down the account manager. Many customers find it easier just to call the next supplier on their list.
To resolve the issue, you need single number access for your sales team. Regardless of the number the customer dials, the call should ring through to the account reps desk, home office or mobile device so they can respond quickly without inconveniencing the customer.
In the event that the rep is unable to take the call regardless of the device, the ability to hear the message directly from their email enables rapid response, helping to improve customer satisfaction.
While you may also find such important unified communications features as mass communications and appointment confirmations important, these four items are essential aspects of a digital workstation and your business phone system.
This article was originally published by TTI Houston
Published: May 5, 2014