Unified Communications answers the call for improved small business customer service

Is worrying about getting new customers for your small business keeping you up at night? In a just released study of 785 small business owners by email marketing provider Constant Contact, 66 percent of respondents indicated that finding new customers is their top business concern.

But even once they get customers, small business owners worry about keeping them, say 40 percent of survey participants. That’s why many small business owners are embracing Unified Communications (UC) to improve the customer service experience.  UC consolidates all of your different types of communication devices – desk phones, PCs, smartphones and tablets– into one integrated data and voice network so they can talk to each other digitally. With UC, you can experience calls along other collaboration tools such as e-mail, instant messaging (IM), web and video conferencing and fax through the convenience of one interface.

A survey of small business owners conducted by Spiceworks, the IT professional business social network, found that 54 percent of small business owners already are employing UC technologies – web and video conferencing, unified messaging, instant messaging with presence and mobile extension/integration with plans – or have near-term plans for implementation.

Employ UC to put your best ‘company’ foot forward

The last thing you want is to lose customers because contacting your small business is frustrating. Here’s here UC can help. For starters, UC enables you to connect with prospects and customers the way they prefer – voice, email, SMS or chat.  With UC features such as Find me/Follow me you don’t miss calls since they can routed to a number of phones (desk mobile, soft) until someone answers or the caller opts to leave a voice message.  UC also enables calls to be converted to an email or text. which employees can receive on their mobile devices when they are away from the office.

Other ways UC helps customer interaction:

Get calls to the right resource quickly: UC enables your contact center to coordinate different inbound phone numbers for inquiries and have those numbers ring to a specific desk or person so callers don’t get frustrated being routed until they get the help they need. Even if the person answering the call needs to confer with someone else in the company, they can easily collaborate via instant messaging or bring the other person into the call with audio or video conferencing.

Provide a more personalized experience: With UC, customer service agents also get context for the call in terms of historical references to previous interactions. This way, you can consistently deliver a highly personalized experience to each customer interacting with your small business.

Help expedite contact center training: Unified communications helps remote employees come up to speed on customer issues without ever needing to come into the office. When one of your more experienced team members is on a call, a remote employee can listen in on the call and get real time training.

Headsets support your UC initiative

Almost 60 percent of the surveyed IT professionals in the Spiceworks survey purchased Plantronics headsets for their companies to improve audio clarity and cancel background noise. Headsets also enable employees to be hands free to check online for information or take notes. Using wireless headsets, employees also can get up and retrieve a file or confer with a colleague somewhere else in the office without placing the caller on hold or offering to call back.

Among Plantronics headsets offerings are several specifically designed to support UC implementations, such as the just announced Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth headset. It enables your employees to move seamlessly between PC and smartphone calls and between work and entertainment. The new headset features on-demand Active Noise Canceling (ANC) so users can focus on calls or work and precision tuned triple-mic with enhanced DSP for superior background noise cancelling

Find out about other Plantronics UC headsets for your small business.

 

 

 

About Judi Hembrough

Judi leads Americas Marketing strategy and go-to-market programs for the Small and Medium Business (SMB) customer segment at Plantronics. Judi has been a marketing director at Plantronics for 10 years in various roles focused on Strategic Alliances Marketing, SMB and Home & Home Office solutions. Prior to Plantronics, Judi was President of William-Christie Associates, Inc. -- a management consulting practice, for 10 years where she guided numerous companies such as Palm, Intuit, CBS MarketWatch and HID, in driving new initiatives.