Unified Communications Help Businesses Gear Up for the Holiday Season
November is in full swing, kicking off yet another holiday season. For many businesses, that means the hiring and training of their next wave of seasonal and holiday workers. In addition to managing a new crew of employees, businesses, especially those in the retail space, are tasked with meeting sales projections, competing with the bigwigs and delivering the best customer experience possible.
This is the most in-demand time of year for customer service and when many businesses will receive the highest visibility and scrutiny. The customer experience now more than ever, is what sets businesses apart from the competition.
And, if these are not daunting enough objectives, 2017 may be the biggest shopping season we’ve seen in more than a decade, as unemployment rates near record lows and consumer confidence reaches the highest level in 17 years.
So, how can businesses maximize profits, keep costs in check and prepare employees for this hectic time? One key way is through modernizing their communication technology. Communications with employees, other locations and most importantly with customers, is what will make or break the customer experience.
Cloud-based unified communications solutions have become an easy and cost-effective way for businesses of every size to simplify and upgrade their communications technology. Unified communications solutions are feature-rich business phone systems that offer a blend of traditional and advanced phone features, combined with the latest collaboration and mobility capabilities that businesses today need and rely on like online fax, company-wide chat, video conferencing, toll-free and mobile applications.
Here are just four ways unified communications are helping businesses with seasonal workers succeed.
1. Modernize Technology Cost-effectively
Cost predictability and operating expenditures are two huge benefits for businesses who adopt unified communications solutions. Cloud-based unified communications solutions help businesses, especially those that are seasonal, overcome several financial restraints by integrating a suite of telephony, faxing, messaging and collaboration services into a single service with one provider, and on a per seat basis. This transition from a large upfront capital expenditure to an operating expense, offers businesses with budget restraints and varying staff needs, the ability to modernize their communication technology for all of their locations, while minimizing the investments in hardware and maintenance.
2. Scale Quickly and Easily
Seasonal businesses experience extreme fluctuations in staffing needs throughout the year and even throughout their peak season. Unified communications solutions allow businesses to ramp up and down quickly and most importantly, cost-effectively. Employees and services can be added or removed at any time, providing flexibility and ensuring businesses are only paying for what they need, when they need it.
3. Deliver a Better Customer Experience
In most seasonal businesses, employees are busy assisting customers from various areas of the business, from answering customer calls, to ringing up purchases, to managing inventory in the storage room, there are lots of moving parts. Not to mention, the corporate executives, technical, financial and logistics departments of the business. Unified communications solutions connect every department, employee and location onto the same system, giving employees the ability to quickly communicate about item availability, pricing or return policies without ever leaving the customer. Centralized access to dial anyone by extension, real-time presence to see if a coworker can help answer a question and the ability to escalate a message through chat, an integrated contact center or group calls, ensures that employees can quickly and easily communicate with one another and provide an informed, professional customer experience, while improving operational efficiency.
4. Easy and Secure Controls
With a new group of employees to on-board each season, of which have varying job functions and levels of authority, the customization, security and ease of use of unified communications solutions are ideal for seasonal businesses. The technology and intelligence of unified communications solutions are hosted in the cloud, so these systems are managed through intuitive online portals. The industry’s best online portals, enable the creation of customizable user profiles which allow managers to dictate which features and services they’d like employees to have access to. This is extremely beneficial for seasonal businesses who are faced with numerous new employees coming on at one time. Restricted access helps to maintain security, for example, not allowing international calling or the ability to change greetings, while at the same time, empowering employees with the ability to independently control and utilize the features and services that managers need and want them to. Not to mention, at the end of each season, these profiles can be saved for future use, modified or deleted in seconds.
Businesses have an immense opportunity this holiday season. By taking the step to unify and modernize their communication technology, entire organizations can be better positioned for success both now and throughout the year.
Learn more about unified communications and what it can do for your business.