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GUEST COMMENT Unified communication is a key differentiator for retail and consumer brands

Online shopper habits set to stick

Online shopper habits set to stick

The key to success for retail and consumer companies isn’t just getting people to buy your products. If you want to generate ongoing revenue and endless opportunities for growth in this new world, then you need to deliver exceptional customer experiences too. 

This year (2020), customer experience is set to overtake price and product as the key differentiator for business strength. Now there are many different avenues to explore in the customer journey. From offline interactions to purchasing products directly through social media, companies need a way to manage all of the discussions that they have with their clients as effectively as possible. Enter the age of Unified Communication. 

Unified Communications doesn’t just keep your team members aligned by ensuring that they can access all of the features that they need in the same environment. This solution also helps to drive better customer experiences, by giving your agents the tools they need to deliver relevant, engaging, and customized conversations on any platform. 

Here are just some of the reasons why all retail brands need to consider unifying their communications stack. 

UC empowers employees to deliver better experiences

Retail and consumer brands are completely reliant on their ability to deliver unforgettable, personalized customer experiences. Customer loyalty always begins with meaningful moments between brands and their clients. By integrating Unified Communications into retail and contact center space, businesses will be able to deliver a much better customer experience (reduced wait times, less time wasted on information lookup, and faster response times for front line staff)  This helps to improve business efficiency while giving retail associates more freedom to serve their customers in the way that best suits them. 

With unified communications, the connection between the brick-and-mortar storefront and digital contact center becomes more seamless. Consumers who call a local store can have their query automatically routed to an agent that’s equipped to answer their questions. Many unified communication tools even come with features like intelligent routing to ensure that clients always get access to the most knowledgeable agent for their needs. 

Unified communications also means integrating business applications with the communication tool such that agents will be presented with the relevant information they need to serve consumers in any environment before they even pickup the phone. At the same time, it means that companies can cut down the time to resolution for each problem they need to solve. 

UC delivers significant cost savings

For retail brands, the most obvious and impactful advantage of switching to unified communications should always be the improved customer experience. However, it’s worth noting that there are some cost-efficiency benefits to consider too. For instance, by switching to a cloud-based unified communications strategy, today’s companies can access instant telecom savings by eliminating the analog POTS lines at their offline branches. 

With a UC solution, you can run all your video and voice communications over the existing data networks in your locations, in parallel with your POS systems. Installing a phone line in a new branch becomes as simple as plugging in your new IP phone and making a call. By centralizing your communication system and telephone lines at the headquarters, you can eliminate telecom expenses and equipment at your retail branches. This will bring obvious hard savings to your telecom bills, as much as 80% off.    

Of course, there’s more to cutting costs with UC than focusing on telephony alone. There are also other standalone business applications to consider too. For instance, when it comes to video, storage, and conferencing tools, you won’t need to worry about accessing systems from other providers and paying multiple bills. Instead, you can bring everything together on the same flexible and scalable contract. With unified communications, it’s much easier to keep pace with your changing workforce, offering multiple modes of communications, messaging, video, audio, conferencing, and push-to-talk from a single application, single platform without having to toggle between multiple systems and vendors.   

UC increases operational efficiency

All businesses eventually want to grow – whether that means opening multiple companies under a single name or expanding geographically. The great thing about unified communications is that expansion and growth couldn’t be easier. You can easily modify your unified communications platform to suit the demands of multiple locations. 

Unlike standard on-premise systems that operate on an independent basis and are often limited by hardware capacity, new locations and phones can be added to your stack in seconds. Additionally, as well as being able to add more capacity to your communication stack, you’ll also be able to use UC to gain an insight into what’s going on in your comms platform in real-time. By understanding employee and customer behavior through in-depth analytics, you can make better decisions about how to grow your organization. 

Cloud communications and UC give you the tools that you need to generate organic growth for your business through in-depth insights and unique opportunities for customization and dynamic change. With Deltapath UC for instance, you can use remote warehouse management for better focusing, more timely inventory balances and checks, better tracking of shipping status, and more. Additionally, the ability to remotely monitor different retail branches means that you can make better business decisions in real-time and avoid the waste of crucial inventory. 

UC drives better internal and external communications

It might sound obvious, but one of the major benefits of unified communications is that it aligns your conversations and makes discussions more valuable and seamless. By bringing multiple technologies for communication together into a single platform, you can reduce the time and effort associated with managing multiple vendors and tools separately. There’s so much less to worry about when it comes to things like uptime, dealing with troubleshooting and complex problems. While costs drop, your efficiency begins to rise – giving your business more room for robust future growth. 

The options for making the most of your communications strategy with UC are practically endless. You can start your day with a briefing that covers all of the offices in your region, and pulls together managers from multiple fields. Additionally, there’s no need for all of your people to be available in the same environment to have an in-depth discussion. 

In today’s highly mobile and remote world, where people are spending increasingly less time in the office, unified communications tools ensure that staff members can meet virtually, whenever and wherever they like. You can easily access store-wide communications without having to worry about excessive travel and time costs. 

Unified communications simplify the usage of your communication tools, improves efficiency, and cuts costs all at once. There’s no complicated hardware to contend with, no annoying updates, and no ongoing maintenance. However, you can still access all the excellent functionality and built-in analytics you need to drive your business to the next level. 

Upgrade your retail company with UC

It’s safe to say that customer experience is the one true differentiator in today’s retail world. If you want to compete reliably in the current marketplace, then you need to think about bringing your communications tools together in an easy-to-access environment for better management and efficiency. With unified communications, retailers can access the tools they need to provide an unbeatable customer experience in any environment. 

David Liu is founder and chief executive of Deltapath

Image: Fotolia

Author image courtesy of David Liu/Deltapath

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