There is a tendency to think of UC and UCaaS from an internal perspective: how it enables staff to collaborate and communicate more effectively. However, UC and UCaaS have just as important role to play in external communications, and have the potential to enrich the digital customer experience. With more businesses having to transfer engagement with their external audiences more than ever before, the CX has been whittled down to the size of a screen, so any way in which those interactions can be improved is a plus.
This is why we are seeing not just the combining of UCaaS and CCaaS, but also the evolution of what Enreach calls the ‘casual contact centre’. Anyone in a customer-facing role is providing a kind-of ‘contact centre’, and often there is no need for a dedicated contact centre solution. ‘Casual contact centres’ mean less risk and financial commitment.
Through cloud-based UC, businesses of all kinds can explore ways to improve the customer experience. There is also an opportunity for partners to experiment with potentially new revenue streams, again with minimal risk.
However, there are a few caveats to successful UCaaS-based customer experience strategies:
Integration of all contact channels: Mindsets need to move beyond voice, email and chat: today’s customers also expect to communicate via SMS, WhatsApp, other messaging platforms and in-app conversations. Never before has multi-channel customer contact been so important
Centralisation of all contact: The benefit of UCaaS is that this is entirely possible, for instance placing a CRM at the heart of the CX strategy and then connecting all the various channels so that data is captured in one place, and customer journeys tracked end-to-end
Integration with other relevant apps: For instance, ticketing, e-payments, etc
Seamless transition across channels: ‘Conversations’ should be able to start in one place, and then able to move across other channels, with all the history carried consistently. For instance, from web chat to an agent video call, without an annoying break meaning that the customer would have to start all over again
Staff flexibility: That portability should extend to staff, especially those working-from-home. For instance, someone could take a call on their mobile when out-and-about, and then transition that to a desktop when back at home. This is particularly valuable for small enterprises where everyone is involved in accepting inbound communications. Fixed mobile convergence (FMC) should be part of the UCaaS approach to ensure mobility is at the heart of this now increasingly standardised request
Ability to build: The flexibility to add in further integrations, including adoption of AI and NLP (Natural Language Patterns), so that UCaaS systems ‘learn’ and create more customised and valuable customer contact