By now you’ve heard all about unified communications, the cloud, and all the promise of a worry-free, modern communications system. Most people think they have it covered, yet inevitably when we meet with prospective customers, they focus on the phone system (i.e., voice, that’s ok, it’s very important!) and many times are not even aware of all the other capabilities that come with a modern communications system. When asked if they need other UC features, they almost always say no, however when asked what they are using today for chat/IM, or are they using a web meeting tool, or their desire to leverage videoconferencing, people are astonished this is part of a “phone system.” Typically they have disparate tools for all of these, and most are not tied to the business process, resulting in loss of critical business intelligence and often more overall expense.

Phone vs. communications. Society regularly sees faddish name changes, the latest trend in terminology, etc., but it’s semantics and they all mean the same thing. This just isn’t the case in a phone system vs. a communications system. There’s truly a valid reason for renaming the system we use to interact with our customers, families, and vendors every day. Modern, unified, communications systems incorporate all modes of communication, not just voice, tied together in one package, and able to be integrated with today’s enterprise business platforms. There’s nothing more important for your business, particularly understanding less than 43% of Americans make voice calls while approximately 70% use text and similar messaging forms of communication (Connect Mogul). Response rates for text or chat is within 10 minutes, while email is 90 minutes, and voicemail is 4 hours or more. In the sales process, once communication has been established between a company and a prospect, lead conversion rates increase by more than 100% when text or chat are leveraged (Velocify).

makethingshappenSo let’s take a look at 8 cool things modern unified communications systems can do.

  1. Worry free, modern system: Today’s systems are in the cloud, always up to date, with the latest and greatest features and technology available. Cloud systems are tested and maintained by others outside of your organization, ensuring 99.999% uptime and availability.
  1. Availability, also called presence, and the ability to chat or instant message: You can share your contact information with members on your team or others you work with regularly. Your presence information changes automatically when you’re on the phone or in a meeting. This way people know whether you are available for a quick question or if they should ask someone else, or wait. improveefficiencyThis is perfect for excellent customer service. Your reps can ask a quick question via IM and answer the customer immediately, on the same call, which study after study shows increases your customer satisfaction levels and builds customer loyalty!
  1. Flexibility and mobility: Today’s workforce is on the move. Whether heading to meetings, or working from home or the coffee shop, more than 50% of the workforce does not spend the majority of their work time in a traditional office. This poses issues of maintaining corporate identity and keeping business intelligence in house. With modern unified communications systems you can forget these worries. Simply download an app that comes with your service…for your computer, mobile, and tablet and no extra cost. Use it to conduct all your business communications and all is maintained; nothing is lost! BYOD is not a problem. You can even begin a conversation on one device and seamlessly switch to another without missing a beat, putting someone on hold, calling them back, or initiating a new chat session…it’s truly seamless from device to device, on the fly!
  1. Local number anywhere in the world: Have resources in different countries? Opening a new location and want to begin establishing local presence before you arrive? Have multiple office locations? Not a problem, UC has you covered. Have a local number for any/all of these scenarios. Overseas resources, give them a local number so no more out of country calling costs, resulting in a huge cost savings! Extension dial, or click on their contact, among your offices from state to state and in different countries. Establish presence with a local area code and phone number in any location you wish.
  1. Personal Productivity on Metal Gears.Voicemail to email: People prefer to see a transcript of their voicemail rather than listening and writing things down. With unified communications, your voicemail is automatically transcribed and sent to you as an email message. From here it is easy to copy/paste, add new contact, save a message within your CRM, or whatever you need to do. Click to callback a phone number within the message is so fast and efficient, and error free!
  1. Videoconferencing: Today’s latest “must have” tool for the ultimate in team collaboration and customer service differentiation. Gone are the days of super expensive videoconferencing systems that require a whole room unto themselves. SEE rather than just HEAR what they’re talking about. Easily done! Turn any call into a videoconference with the click of a button. In fact, use video for a portion of the call, then end the video part and continue without disruption if this suits your fancy.
  1. Online meetings: Nearly every company uses some sort of online meeting tool to work together or with vendors or customers. Now you don’t need a separate system, login, password, and so on. Simply click the button within your unified communications app and you have a meeting going on in your online “room.” Need to send out invites and connection capability? Have guests not on your UC system? Not to worry. Right click on your “room button” to grab the guest information, send it out like any other meeting request. Need to share information, show a presentation, use video for your meeting? Just a button click away, on the fly, as needed. All attendees can participate in the chat function. Mute as needed.
  1. uc-money-signScale on the fly, so cost-effective: No more bulky, over-sized boxes taking up a whole closet, and a specialized skillset to maintain it. Subscribe for today’s needs. Add/remove users as needed as your company grows, or shrinks seasonally. Don’t pay for more than you’re currently using. Conversely, you’re not restricted by how many lines your “box” (aka PBX) can handle. And there’s no big approval process or outlay of capex money.

Sound intriguing? Now you can try before you buy. Click here to start a free trial, no credit card needed. No messing with your infrastructure while you check it out. For a true test of all the features, invite your colleagues to try it with you; you’ll be prompted to do so.