Chances are, you’re old enough to remember what a busy signal sounded like. A long ago time, before the invention of cell phones and voicemail, you could call someone and get that annoying, insistent tone that told you the line was engaged.
For businesses today, the busy signal is unacceptable. In fact, callers don’t even want voicemail. They want to reach support whenever they need you.
With an increased adoption of VoIP systems and innovative call software, unified communications is making it easier for businesses to deliver superior customer service and enhanced productivity.
More and more, businesses expect their workers to move seamlessly from device as workers become more mobile and office environments more collaborative. The goal is to move from office phone to laptop to cell phone without the person you’re communicating with even noticing.
A large array of apps are included in this movement, like chat, video conferencing, desktop sharing, interactive whiteboards, speech recognition and fixed-mobile convergence. With unified communication capabilities, a customer can communicate to a single employee, seamlessly jumping between a video demo to a desktop call, to a smartphone conversion as the employee heads home for a long commute. This freedom of communication opens up new possibilities for sales and collaboration.
Where Are Your Workers?
By 2020, 34% of business leaders predicted that more than half of their company’s full-time workers would work remotely, according to a survey at the Global Leadership Summit. That’s only a few years away. How are these disparate workers going to act as a team?
Technology is the answer. Unified communications will allow workers to teleconference, take a look at each other’s desktops and solve problems together, almost like they were in the same room.
This is especially important for your field workers and sales staff, whose presence may be required in a different part of the city, state or world. You can seamlessly blend company equipment and personal devices while substantially lowering enterprise telecommunications costs.
The Millennial Factor
The oldest digital natives are now in their thirties and moving into management positions. Younger workers grew up knowing that you can easily be digitally connected to people whether you’re sitting in the same classroom or are traveling across the world. The millennial work culture is more about getting tasks done anytime, anyplace, than logging hours behind a desk. They have little patience for the inflexibility of the old workplace. In fact, flexibility is one of the strongest perks you can offer young workers. If you want to attract millennials – and you’d better, because soon they’ll be running the world – you need to offer them a work culture with seamless unified communication.
A Unified Communication Case Study
Let’s see how unified communication plays out in the healthcare industry, a hospital. A hospital is open 24 hours a day, has workers constantly on the move and often in immediate need of critical information to make life or death decisions. Yet many hospitals have antique phone systems coupled with a high call volume, problematic transfers and many areas with poor wireless connectivity. In a hospital setting, this is not only frustrating, but often dangerous.
Forward-thinking hospitals are adopting mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to keep doctors, nurses, administrators and other personnel connected. Up-to-the-minute patient records are available with a screen tap. Cordless devices can read personal information off the barcodes on patients’ wristbands. Doctors can collaborate with onsite team members and outside resources through their tablets. In the future, video conferencing between doctors and patients will grow, so that patient care will improve dramatically even in remote areas.
Connectivity is the Answer
In the decades since the invention of the internet, the development of technology has sped up. And if businesses want to stay relevant, they have to speed up with it. The more they streamline and unify communications, the more a business can increase revenue, reduce costs, and improve both customer service and efficiency.