Written by Beth Hildreth on June 2, 2013
Categories: Industry Articles

The advantages of unified communications are many, but according to recently released research, many executives remain in the dark about the benefits that could be realized from adopting this technology and thus, are hesitant to do so.

According to a Webtorials survey of 200 IT professionals from medium and large enterprises, only 21 percent of companies had fully implemented the modern communications tools, while 57 percent of them had partially done so.

When it comes to the retail realm, even fewer businesses have employed the technology. A recent Computer Business Review article indicated only 13.4 percent of retail establishments utilized unified communications. Perhaps more astonishing is the fact that 68.9 percent of retail executives reported they were not at all familiar with unified communications or the benefits the solution provides.

While it might make more sense for other kinds of industries to tap into the power of unified communications tools because they enable ease of collaboration and instant communication despite among employees and clients in disparate locations, the tools still can provide a substantial benefit to those in the retail industry.

“Unified communications is all about the end user experience and helping to deliver smoother, streamlined services to customers both in store and online,” explains one industry CEO. “Customers are more likely to return to businesses that have exceeded their expectations and offered them something different.”

Some of the benefits of integrating UC with an enterprise voice solution include the following:

 

  • Enhanced customer service: Should a customer have a problem with a product, the technology boasts features such as “click for live assistance” which puts the individual in direct contact with a technician who can quickly help attempt to address the concern. These days, customers demand thorough attention, and they demand it quickly. These communications tools allow this to happen.
  • A reduction of overhead: Rather than having a technician based out of every physical place, companies can instead house them in a centralized location. When consumers have a problem with a product, they can either directly connect with the technician or have an employee quickly instant message him or her and get a prompt response. Moreover, unified communications allows you to scale and downsize your organization seamlessly. Simply put, the technology grows with you.
  • Increased productivity: Unified communications tools enable employees to quickly get in touch should they need each other. Rather than time wasted trying to locate someone, by utilizing the power of the presence features and instant messaging, employees can quickly learn whether their peers are available. If so, they can get the answers they need with a simple stroke of the fingers on a keyboard.

 

“Unified communications enhances the communication at every stage of the purchase cycle. Investing in UC allows retailers to optimize processes whilst improving quality in their user journey, offering loyalty to the customer to increase sales and profits,” the CEO explains. “Those businesses that are too slow to adapt to technology advances or to Internet-led services will simply not be here in two to three years’ time.”