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When a business’s unified communications (UC) platform is separate from its contact center platform, the opportunity to support an optimal customer experience may be missed. The subject matter experts (SMEs) on the business side cannot easily assist with customer interactions or be leveraged to answer questions coming into the contact center.

According to research from Aspect Software, more than 10 percent of all contact center inquiries require some sort of assistance from knowledge workers or SMEs, such as an IT person answering a technical question about a product. In a non-integrated setup, this might require the Communicator to put the caller on hold while he or she tracked down the technician or to call the customer back once the information was in hand—an expensive proposition for a contact center.

Once companies started to deploy UC into their business communications systems and extend them to the contact center, communicators were then able to use presence technology to locate SMEs and communicate with them in real time by instant messaging (IM) or phone. However, this can still present a challenge if the contact center’s technologies or platform are separate from the business’s UC platform.

Now that UC is a nearly ubiquitous business enabler with widely acknowledged benefits, more companies will deploy one platform to support both business and contact center communications. This will allow for more robust collaboration and improved customer satisfaction. Documents can be shared and even one- or two-way video interactions with customers can be established.

In an economy driven by customer engagement and positive brand experiences, the enhanced collaboration between SMEs and Communicators will reduce handling time, decrease costs, and “wow” customers with efficiency and effectiveness.

As an example of how integrated UC in the contact center benefits customers, consider a large hospital with several satellite clinics. Let’s say that Melissa visits a clinic with her child to get their annual flu shots. When the nurse asks whether the child’s vaccinations are up to date, Melissa has trouble recalling the information. The nurse must refuse to give the flu shot in case it would interfere with a vaccination that is due. Without UC, the child’s medical records will take a few days to arrive from the hospital’s main facility where records are kept.

On the other hand, with UC integrated across hospital settings, the nurse could simply send an IM to the medical records department to confirm the status of the child’s vaccinations. Within minutes, he or she would receive confirmation that the child’s vaccinations are up to date, including a document listing treatments. The nurse could then proceed with administering the flu shot to the child—protecting the child’s health and eliminating a return trip for the parent.

Integrated UC has the potential to improve the customer experience across industries. Businesses can use video conferencing, images and videos, remote monitoring and mobile apps to connect with customers in the ways they prefer quickly and easily. It’s a whole new world, where customer satisfaction is key and an organization’s ability to deliver an optimal customer experience the path to ultimate success. 


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