October 10, 2017 ETA News Unified Communications Solutions: Top 5 solutions for businesses of any size Unified Communications (UC) offers tools that let individuals and groups connect, and collaborate, in real time from a variety of locations. Some collaboration tools, like IP telephony, presence technology and instant messaging, fix many of the problems stemming from same time/different place communication. When deciding what you need in a complete Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution for your business, consider these key integrations identified by the experts at ETA: 1. CONTACT CENTER AS A SERVICE (CCaaS) An online chat system provides customers immediate access to help. Wait times are often much less than a call center, and customers can easily multi-task while waiting. Additionally, the nusance of having to dial a 1-800 number and navigate through a maze of numeric options is non-existent. A cloud-managed contact center provides management for calls, IMs, emails, web chats and other communications with your customers, employees and stakeholders. The integration between the Contact Center and UC solution drives greater productivity by enabling calls or IM’s to live outside the contact center agent client. 2. CRM INTEGRATION If your website and customer relationship management (CRM) tool aren’t talking to each other, you’re probably spending a lot of time exporting data from the website and importing it into the CRM. Or worse, you’re manually copying and pasting the latest data from your website to the CRM. And most troubling, you’re not capturing that data in your CRM at all! By adopting an automated integration between the two systems, you’re reducing your administration overhead (which saves time and money) by eliminating all that manual copy and paste, or export and import activity. This leads to increased productivity as it frees up your staff to work on other tasks such as: Increasing customer retention by building more intimate relationships Providing the service that your customers are looking for Developing new and better services and products that your customers want to purchase Conveying to your staff all the customer interactions that make the customer feel important 3. CALL RECORDING If you’re like many businesses, a large part of the customer experience is delivered over the phone. And while companies consistently strive to deliver superior customer service, it might not always be possible to achieve. Because of social media, today, a dissatisfied customer can post about their customer service experience on sites like Yelp. Now many can see this bad report for years to come and compromise your reputation. But, how can you safeguard your business from negative PR resulting from a negative phone interaction? For training and quality assurance purposes, it’s wise to implement call recording with your phone service. Recordings are valuable for training purposes, coaching team members on the best way to handle customer questions and concerns, and identifying areas that can improve the customer experience. By recording your phone calls, you have a record of interactions that you can reference, and a safety net protecting your business if ever the need arises. 4. VIDEO CONFERENCING SOLUTIONS Gathering your team together for a meeting is time-consuming and not always practical. Video conferencing connects clients and business partners around the world easily – talking face-to-face, as if all participants were in the same room. The best video conferencing equipment is flexible and scalable. It has the potential to increase productivity and efficiency by reducing unproductive travel time, preventing meeting delays, creating shorter, more structured meetings, and allowing for greater reach of a message. Today’s marketplace is seeing higher quality, less expensive video conferencing with a consistent user experience across all devices. The technology is becoming commonplace for doing business, and soon companies won’t be able to remain competitive without it. 5. SD-WAN The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) connects enterprise networks over large geographic distances. The solution provides local and global businesses with enterprise-grade, reliable performance for real-time applications like voice and video. It’s also cloud-agnostic, enabling improved performance even when voice applications are hosted in any cloud environment. The best part of all is that SD-WAN delivers lower costs, with more bandwidth, in a fraction of the time. Click here to get started on implementing these must-have technologies for your business.