Enhancing the Customer Service Experience With VoIP and Unified Communication

The customer experience can make all the difference in customer loyalty, and few things are more frustrating than extended support hold times. The average U.S. consumer waits an average of 10 to 20 minutes on hold every week, according to Time magazine, with about 13 hours accumulated by the end of the year. One way to improve the customer service experience is through implementing voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and unified communication (UC) solutions. VoIP and UC will benefit your support department through expanded support channels, integrated solutions, and new problem-resolution features.

By VoIP_News

Expanding Communication Channels
The VoIP and UC market is expanding rapidly, with Infonetics predicting it to reach $88 billion by 2018. One reason it has caught on so well across all levels of business is its ability to streamline communication across the organization. Instead of using different solutions for your phone systems, instant messengers, live chat, and other communication channels, UC brings them together under a single umbrella.

Related: How to Improve Business Productivity with Integrated Communications

One of the biggest benefits of UC for customer service is expanding the available customer service channels and creating a seamless customer experience from channel to channel. Instead of a customer getting a hand-off from live chat to phone support, and the phone support agent recapturing all customer information, UC allows the same notes and customer data to be available for both channels. When customers are already frustrated, limiting the amount of times they need to share information helps decrease this stress. VoIP interactive voice response systems can also be configured to capture identity information, such as the name and phone number of the person who's calling, as well as a summary of the customer's problem.

With additional communication channels, you also reduce pressure from your existing support channels. When convenient options such as live chat and social media support channels allow customers to get a response to low-priority inquiries, phone support can dedicate itself to complex cases.

Another benefit of UC and VoIP is routing calls to the most qualified available agent, instead of allowing anyone to take the call. This routing method helps improve first call resolution numbers.

Related: Four Ways Unified Communications Benefits Productivity

Implementing New Support Measures
UC also provides access to features that, in the past, would have required separate applications, such as screen sharing. Screen sharing is particularly useful for technical support agents, as seeing exact error messages and user accounts can lead to a quicker resolution than simply listening to the problem. The agent can also demonstrate a procedure to a user who is uncertain exactly what to do.

Another useful UC feature for customer support is video conferencing. If a group of users, such as people going through training for business-to-business products, are having similar problems, video conferencing helps solve issues for the whole group. Not only can you see what the customers are doing and the steps leading up to the problem, but you can also emulate an in-person environment. This value-added support option helps to improve the customer experience.

UC and VoIP go far beyond traditional phone and contact center solutions. Seamless integration, expanded communication channels, and new support features provide a customer experience to improve customer relationships and loyalty. These features also assist your support department by increasing productivity and improving first call resolution rates.