What is a Unified Communications Platform?

Apr 5, 2019 9:05:00 AM

Unified Communications includes everything a business needs to communicate with customers and teams, unifying all communication channels into one platform.

Unified communications (UC) is an evolving set of technologies, unifying and automating human and device communications into a streamlined experience. People choose to work together in different ways, using various collaboration tools to connect with one another—like voice calling, web conferencing, screen-sharing, direct messaging, etc. Unified communications integrates all of these collaboration tools and delivers a seamless user experience. People are able to connect anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Unified communications brings everything together and integrates with business applications using APIs. It’s not really a single product, but a set of products that provide a consistent interface across multiple devices and media types. One person can send a message on one medium and receive the same communication on another. For example, if you were to receive a voicemail message, you may choose to read it transcribed via email instead of listening to it.

Businesses can have UC solutions as on-premises software, partner-hosted solutions, or as a service (UCaaS) from cloud providers.

Examples of UC in Action

Marketing and Growth would love to quickly identify which acquisition channels are working or not working, how email marketing campaigns are performing (open rate, click through rate) and which of their initiatives are converting customers. Sure, there are many email marketing tools out there that will deliver these requirements and plenty more, but what about the product?

Tech would love to know if a customer is having trouble on your website. Vital information, such as browser type and version, is critical to troubleshooting efforts. What was the customer doing when the failure occurred?

Product teams want to know a customers movement through your website. Which pages are they lingering on more than others? Are there particular products that are getting more attention than others? Which products are being purchased and when? Absolutely, there are tools that will share these metrics, plus much deeper analysis to help your product team make adjustments. But what about the heart of your company, your customer experience (CX) team?

Customers expect to speak to a subject matter expert when communicating with your business. Enter the all-knowing CX department.

Customer experience needs a combination of both marketing, tech and product teams’ powers plus much more. Your CX team must know which emails were sent to the customer and any deals or discounts the customer qualifies for (based on their cohort).

Buying history is critical, along with returns and any problems experienced with your products or services. Usually, information on product feedback or service issues are reported back to the product department. This feedback loop is vital as product (usually) has no line of site into the CX CRM. Oh yes, CRMs for customer experience are usually totally separate systems.

The CX world offers additional layers of complexity. Each person engaging with customers carries the voice of the company. The communications have to be unified and accurate. Real-time views into customer engagements for moment-of-truth coaching and support goes a long way. This would also be serviced by a separate tool. Businesses can now improve the customer journey and be quick to respond to customer feedback with a BCaaS platform that maximizes communications; all of the tools they need are housed within one intelligent platform.

What about the voice of the customer? Has your customer provided feedback on their experience or your product or service? That information would be amazing to have at the fingertips of your CX team. Set yourself aside from the competition with the customer delight delivered when the CX person can acknowledge receipt of their feedback and provide assurance the information will reach, or has reached, the appropriate department.

How many systems do we typically need to build this dream? I lost count and we haven’t accounted for the website platform or payment gateway.

Imagine a world where everyone in your company can get all of the information needed regarding the Customer Journey in one space...

With Edify, agents can view complete customer interaction histories before, during, and after an interaction. Agents can also identify proactive engagement opportunities, handling issues before they arise. The machine Learning bot, Hammond, automatically sends post-interaction surveys to customers and easily solicits customer feedback based on metrics occurring inside the conversation over any channel.

A Unified Communications and Collaboration Platform (UCCP)

These examples represent the exact purpose of a Unified Communications and Collaboration Platform (UCCP). Using Application Programming Interface (API), your UCCP will bring together your complete Customer Journey in one place. This creates a shared workspace to witness, discuss and improve upon your cCustomer eExperience through collaboration and shared responsibility.

A New Cloud CX that Unifies All Business Communications

Until now, businesses haven’t had the technology they need to meet the ever-changing demands of omni-channel customers and the agents assisting them. Through acquisition, companies have attempted to piece together systems that unify communications across the business. This is a new phenomenon known as BCaaS, or Business Communications as a Service. Until now, there has been no vendor that’s done this natively. That’s all about to change. There is a new cloud customer experience platform created by experts and built from scratch--meet Edify.

Ty Givens

Written by Ty Givens

Ty Givens is the founder and CEO of The WorkForce Pro, the leader in contact center success solutions. Her strategic guidance played an integral part in the global success of Thrive Market and ShoeDazzle. Givens is known for her ability to save client’s millions in revenue, improve call answer rates by over 40% and increase productivity by over 30%. She is a trusted advisor for many high profile clients within the e-commerce, healthcare and retail space making her one of the most sought-after strategists for contact centers.