Many companies operate two largely separate communications systems. The first is a company-wide communications solution that lets employees talk to each other and, in more advanced systems, video call, chat and text each other too, all from the same platform.
The second system is a specialised contact centre solution, that allows agents to make and take customer calls. Modern contact centre solutions have gone through a similar evolution, allowing customers to interact with businesses via voice, video, chat or email. They tend to offer specialised reporting relevant to contact centres, producing data on – for example – missed calls and agent productivity.
They’re both good systems – the latest unified communications (UC) platforms even add in collaboration tools that allow dispersed team members to work on the same project at the same time – but too often they don’t talk to each other. In many companies, there is little integration between employee and customer communication solutions, even though – at their core – they do many of the same things.
Don’t spend more than you need
It’s no surprise that the solutions that integrate internal and external communications have become more common. The most obvious benefit is a financial one. Why spend money on two solutions when the right one can do it all? And by combining platforms, you can exploit economies of scale by bundling licences.
But the advantages of an integrated system go further. According to research by Metrigy, organisations with the highest levels of business success find significant improvements when they use a single cloud provider for UC and contact centre. There are also benefits for those using a single on-premise provider, but they’re not as pronounced.
So, what specific experience improves when you implement a single UC and contact centre solution? The simple answer is pretty much every experience.
According to Metrigy’s data, the metrics for revenue, CX ratings and agent efficiency all increase significantly when businesses switch to a single vendor for UC and contact centre integration.
Knocking down silo walls
Putting those insights above into plain speak; when employees are using an integrated system to communicate internally and externally, good things happen.
From a customer service perspective, the integration of communication systems leads to faster resolutions. Imagine that a customer calls with an issue that your customer service agent can’t solve. With an integrated system, the agent could quickly check whether a technical specialist is available using presence indicators and ask them to join the call, to help solve the issue.
This is exactly the kind of first call resolution that prompts five star reviews on Trustpilot, especially when the caller is kept in-the-loop, understands that their issue is unusual, that an engineer has been invited to the call, and is part of the conversation at every step.
It works the other way round, too. Think of the potential improvement in your sales collateral when the marketing team includes contact centre supervisors in their virtual team working spaces. By encouraging this kind of inter-departmental collaboration, your marketing reflects the challenges and opportunities your customers are experiencing right now, revealed through seamless collaboration with your customer-facing teams.
These examples are the tip of the iceberg, because there are lots of use-case scenarios for this kind of integration. A product expert can quickly be invited to a call to help close a sale. A manager can join a web chat to reassure a customer that a complaint is being escalated. Employees across the business can leverage analytics from the contact centre to improve their own operations.
Or to put it another way, integrated communications break down the silo walls of separate departments, revealing an organisation that is all pushing in the same direction.
NSL is a UC and contact centre specialist
At NSL, we have been long-time advocates of UC and contact centre integration, and we are specialists in designing and implementing systems that bring companies closer together. We should be, considering we’ve been doing it for over 25 years!
You can rely on us for impartial advice because we’re independent of our technology vendors, with no specific allegiances or targets to achieve for any of the products or services we supply.
This ensures we take the time to get to know your current needs and future ambitions, and design a solution that meets them – rather than jam a solution together that doesn’t overcome your challenges, simply to meet a commission goal! And our 30-day standard contracts demonstrate the confidence we have in the technology we sell, while giving you the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions.
All told, there’s a very good case for combining your UC and contact centre solutions in one integrated platform. If you’d like to know more about how NSL can help you enjoy those benefits, please get in touch.