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Use Unified Communications to Improve Customer Service

Published on 29 May 13
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Customer service is clearly an important element of any business, ensuring that the people who keep a company afloat are satisfied and allowing firms to earn their long-term loyalty. The multifaceted nature of modern communications services means that customers will expect to be able to get in touch with a business via a number of platforms and still receive the same quality of service. Managing these disparate forms of communication can be difficult at times, but there is another way. Unified communications (UC) can help modern companies improve customer service levels and ultimately enhance sales and productivity as well.

While you might assume that UC could end up making customer service a little impersonal, the opposite is true. With UC, a business can meet the needs of individual customers and respond to their queries and complaints with rapidity and accuracy, making them feel well looked after.

Although many large businesses now use UC to manage multi-site communications which may transcend national borders, this type of setup can also work on a much smaller scale.

Coe Costa and Moore Opticians provides a perfect example of how UC is beneficial for customer services even in small and medium sized businesses. Based across two outlets in the city of Norwich, this is a 100 year old company which has managed to survive the economic peaks and troughs over the years by creating a respected local brand that customers know for its approachability and service quality. It is necessary for this firm to compete with much larger mainstream chains which have a more immediate impact in terms of branding, which is why Coe Costa and Moore Opticians has been keen to adopt modern technologies and UC to further build upon its reputation for customer service.
Tenacious Tablet Use

One of the key ways that this business has been able to unify its communications is through the adoption of iPads at both of its practices. Apple's market-leading tablet is a popular consumer gadget as well as being something that thousands of enterprises now harness to enhance customer service levels and improve the contactability of employees.

Coe Costa and Moore has deployed its iPads for a number of purposes, the first of which takes advantage of the built-in cameras. Customers who enter the shops can now use an iPad to take pictures of themselves wearing various pairs of glasses. This gives them a better idea of whether a particular set suits them and can guide them as they work their way towards a process.

Mainstream opticians have offered similar functionality for some time, usually in the form of a proprietary piece of hardware which has been prohibitively expensive for smaller organisations to procure. Now with the availability of tablets like the iPad, it has become easier for all companies to improve customer service without straining IT budgets.

The iPad's integrated cameras have also been harnessed by Coe Costa and Moore in order to allow for communications between the two sites via the FaceTime video calling service. The tablets are connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot within each practice and staff can call through to the other location using FaceTime, which allows them to get in touch with colleagues and carry out stock checks as well as a variety of other tasks. Because staff can communicate with full video and audio support, there is no need for them to travel between the shops, which makes them more productive and improves the efficiency of the business as a whole.

Tablets have further unified communications for the optician because of course employees can use them to send and receive emails, which means they can alert customers when their orders are ready to collect and even remind them if they have not had an eye test for some time and are due for their next appointment.

The iPad also offers instant messaging capabilities for discreet communication between staff in real time and a plethora of other beneficial services, all tied up in a single, highly portable device. It is this kind of hardware that allows businesses to become more agile, with UC giving them the opportunity to champion customer service of a personal nature while still embracing modern technologies.
Core Communications
In spite of all the benefits of tablets in the contemporary business environment, Coe Costa and Moore still relies upon the traditional communications services which underpin the ongoing success of many companies. This includes phone and email, which remain vitally important and give customers the ability to get in touch via whichever platform is most convenient.

The company is also planning to improve customer service by launching a brand new website in the near future. This will act as both a promotional platform for its products and services, as well as an additional conduit through which consumers can get in touch to learn more about the business and make inquires prior to or after sales.

While the idea of branching out and using traditional forms of communication in conjunction with new solutions may be intimidating, the reality of UC is one of enhanced cohesiveness and ultimately overhauled levels of convenience.

The front end experience for customers of Coe Costa and Moore has not only been augmented, but the underlying elements which are shrouded in intuitive, engaging interfaces are now fundamentally more secure, more efficient and less fragmented. All of the company's records have been digitised in recent years, which means it can quickly pull up customer information when engaging with returning clients. Accessing this data from computer terminals and tablets allows staff to respond quickly to customers whether they are speaking on the phone, corresponding via email or engaging with them in person.

If small and medium sized businesses cannot match up to their big name rivals in terms of price, the main means they have of fighting back is through customer service. With UC and various associated technologies, businesses like Coe Costa and Moore are being given the best possible chance of appealing to new customers and keeping existing clients on board for years to come.

This article is supplied by Jamie Garner who works for leading UK telecoms company Daisy Group.

Customer service is clearly an important element of any business, ensuring that the people who keep a company afloat are satisfied and allowing firms to earn their long-term loyalty. The multifaceted nature of modern communications services means that customers will expect to be able to get in touch with a business via a number of platforms and still receive the same quality of service. Managing these disparate forms of communication can be difficult at times, but there is another way. Unified communications (UC) can help modern companies improve customer service levels and ultimately enhance sales and productivity as well.

While you might assume that UC could end up making customer service a little impersonal, the opposite is true. With UC, a business can meet the needs of individual customers and respond to their queries and complaints with rapidity and accuracy, making them feel well looked after.

Although many large businesses now use UC to manage multi-site communications which may transcend national borders, this type of setup can also work on a much smaller scale.

Coe Costa and Moore Opticians provides a perfect example of how UC is beneficial for customer services even in small and medium sized businesses. Based across two outlets in the city of Norwich, this is a 100 year old company which has managed to survive the economic peaks and troughs over the years by creating a respected local brand that customers know for its approachability and service quality. It is necessary for this firm to compete with much larger mainstream chains which have a more immediate impact in terms of branding, which is why Coe Costa and Moore Opticians has been keen to adopt modern technologies and UC to further build upon its reputation for customer service.

Tenacious Tablet Use

One of the key ways that this business has been able to unify its communications is through the adoption of iPads at both of its practices. Apple's market-leading tablet is a popular consumer gadget as well as being something that thousands of enterprises now harness to enhance customer service levels and improve the contactability of employees.

Coe Costa and Moore has deployed its iPads for a number of purposes, the first of which takes advantage of the built-in cameras. Customers who enter the shops can now use an iPad to take pictures of themselves wearing various pairs of glasses. This gives them a better idea of whether a particular set suits them and can guide them as they work their way towards a process.

Mainstream opticians have offered similar functionality for some time, usually in the form of a proprietary piece of hardware which has been prohibitively expensive for smaller organisations to procure. Now with the availability of tablets like the iPad, it has become easier for all companies to improve customer service without straining IT budgets.

The iPad's integrated cameras have also been harnessed by Coe Costa and Moore in order to allow for communications between the two sites via the FaceTime video calling service. The tablets are connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot within each practice and staff can call through to the other location using FaceTime, which allows them to get in touch with colleagues and carry out stock checks as well as a variety of other tasks. Because staff can communicate with full video and audio support, there is no need for them to travel between the shops, which makes them more productive and improves the efficiency of the business as a whole.

Tablets have further unified communications for the optician because of course employees can use them to send and receive emails, which means they can alert customers when their orders are ready to collect and even remind them if they have not had an eye test for some time and are due for their next appointment.

The iPad also offers instant messaging capabilities for discreet communication between staff in real time and a plethora of other beneficial services, all tied up in a single, highly portable device. It is this kind of hardware that allows businesses to become more agile, with UC giving them the opportunity to champion customer service of a personal nature while still embracing modern technologies.

Core Communications

In spite of all the benefits of tablets in the contemporary business environment, Coe Costa and Moore still relies upon the traditional communications services which underpin the ongoing success of many companies. This includes phone and email, which remain vitally important and give customers the ability to get in touch via whichever platform is most convenient.

The company is also planning to improve customer service by launching a brand new website in the near future. This will act as both a promotional platform for its products and services, as well as an additional conduit through which consumers can get in touch to learn more about the business and make inquires prior to or after sales.

While the idea of branching out and using traditional forms of communication in conjunction with new solutions may be intimidating, the reality of UC is one of enhanced cohesiveness and ultimately overhauled levels of convenience.

The front end experience for customers of Coe Costa and Moore has not only been augmented, but the underlying elements which are shrouded in intuitive, engaging interfaces are now fundamentally more secure, more efficient and less fragmented. All of the company's records have been digitised in recent years, which means it can quickly pull up customer information when engaging with returning clients. Accessing this data from computer terminals and tablets allows staff to respond quickly to customers whether they are speaking on the phone, corresponding via email or engaging with them in person.

If small and medium sized businesses cannot match up to their big name rivals in terms of price, the main means they have of fighting back is through customer service. With UC and various associated technologies, businesses like Coe Costa and Moore are being given the best possible chance of appealing to new customers and keeping existing clients on board for years to come.

This article is supplied by Jamie Garner who works for leading UK telecoms company Daisy Group.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and Telecommunications Community

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