Building an Integrated Communications Platform

By Ross Garrett in How-To Posted Jul 6, 2017

Today when customers make a support or sales call to a service provider (retailers, insurance companies, banks, etc) agents have to take notes about customer preferences and call activity and then manually add that information to their customer relationship management system after the fact - assuming they remember the details!

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This often leads to incomplete and inaccurate data, lost sales opportunities or poor customer experiences. It also makes it difficult for sales or support managers to act on potential issues quickly and effectively.

While individual and team functions, such as sales, logistics and support, are viewed differently, all of these actions make up a company’s customer engagement. As 8x8 say - “Providing excellent service to prospects and customers, as well as fellow co-workers is an essential part of delivering an outstanding customer experience.”

According to data collected by Small Business Trends, 82 percent of consumers in the United States said they stopped doing business with a company due to a poor customer experience.

So what if your communications provider offered integration with ERP applications, CRM platforms and other tools in the marketing stack? This integration could mean that much of the agent's workflow can be automated.  When an agent's desktop phone rings with a call from an existing customer, the UC platform recognizes the number and automatically brings up the relevant Salesforce record on the agent's computer for easy reference. Making it much easier to keep more detailed records and provide better customer service. It also enables call logging, tracking and reporting for manager oversight and agent training.

Building an open UC Platform

Companies with smaller workforces are early adopters for these types of SaaS integrations, we expect the market to expand significantly within the next few years. Irwin Lazar, VP at Nemertes Research says "Companies want to keep up with the pace of change... They aren't going to be able to do that if they are stuck with on-premises [UC] applications with slow update cycles,"

A lot of times, UC applications can be walled gardens. But vendors are realizing that customers want them opened up, and fully integrated. Integration technology offers the ability to read, summarize and prioritize content, and create an action for the user - creating infinite real-world potential for the intelligence cultivated between UCaaS and business-critical SaaS. For instance, a car service could use data about preferred customers' locations, typical passenger load requests and time-of-day order trends to automatically position appropriate vehicles nearby for faster service.

UC Integration is key to stellar customer experience

Businesses now put integration near the top of the list of requirements when considering new applications - making it possible to integrate to the ecosystem SaaS products as needed. But these integrations quickly become mission critical - and businesses will ask "If I kick off a call from Salesforce and it doesn't go through, who is responsible?" To provide resilience and and performance UC vendors should look to an integration vendor that can provide productized integration and an embedded platform to support these UCaaS-to-SaaS integrations.

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