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Why Your Business Needs to Unify Its Communications Strategy

Feb20
Your biggest client calls on a Saturday morning and leaves a frantic voicemail on your office phone. Then she calls again. And again.

The messages are piling up, each more panicked than the last. You won’t get them until Monday, of course. But by then, it’s much too late. She’s lost revenue, and you’ve lost her business, as well as the business of anyone she might have referred to you – and all because your business doesn’t have a unified communications strategy.

Businesses and their employees have more devices, more accounts, and more methods of communicating than ever before. This is great for fostering an always-on working style that emphasizes speed and accountability. It allows employees and executives to work from anywhere, at any time.

The downside? It allows employees and executives to work from anywhere, at any time.

It’s All Too Much

This means reaching your employees or colleagues can involve working your way through email, instant messaging, workflow management tools, and even the venerable old phone. Add intranets, wikis, telepresence, and even social sharing utilities, and you’ve got a ton of options. But how do you know which one is best for actually reaching someone?

Simple. You merge them all into a single option.

That’s the beauty of a unified communications strategy. These systems unite a range of communication methods into a single platform. In their simplest form, they encompass data – instant messaging, emails, and other data-based methods of communication – with voice solutions like VOIP. More robust systems can include telepresence and other advanced options.

More Than Just Easy

Unified communications strategies aren’t just a convenience. They can have a direct impact on your business’ productivity and profitability.

By freeing your employees from the complications of using multiple devices and communications platforms, you immediately capture the countless man hours lost to incessant checking of voicemails, emails, texts and instant messages. Plus, you’ll save on IT costs. With everything on one system, the time and money spent supporting different devices and platforms will find its way off of your expenses and back onto your balance sheet.

Flexibility is another key advantage of a unified communications strategy. All of these devices and accounts were supposed to free the modern workforce from the need to be under a single roof, but the difficulty of managing all of these tools kept that future just out of reach. A unified communications strategy, however, can finally make the dream of a truly flexible workforce a reality. By pushing every piece of communication onto a single system, employees can actually work from anywhere.

The benefits aren’t just internal. Now that your business can react much faster than before, the length of time your customers will have to wait for help or issue resolution will drop. And as wait times drop, customer satisfaction will increase.

Sure, this all sounds great in theory. But it’s got to be complicated to implement, difficult to learn, and just plain expensive, right?

Not so. The right unified communications strategy for your business will only be as complex as it needs to be, and should be able to scale with your business’s needs. Plus, the right vendor can work with your IT department to minimize implementation time and prevent you from losing productivity by ensuring a seamless transition. And while there will be an upfront cost – as there is with any business investment – the cost will be easily recouped by lower IT costs, greater productivity, and the loyalty and referrals that come with elevated customer satisfaction.