The other night, at about 5:30 p.m., I got a call from a client. It went to voicemail. The voicemail, which had been transcribed into an email through UCaaS, was urgent. The caller had a technician on site waiting to activate a phone system and needed a couple of passwords. Of course I called them back. It took two minutes to give them the passwords and they couldn’t believe I responded to them outside of business hours. It took two minutes of my time and I had a delighted customer.
Of course I had a choice - I could have ignored them. They sort of expected that because of our traditional notion of business hours. The point is, I’m always "on" when it comes to my customers. I don’t respond to every after-hours request, but UCaaS lets me know if it’s urgent or can wait until the next day. And when you are available to your customers when they really need you, their loyalty goes through the roof.
Work Environments are Changing
As work environments continue to change and evolve, so does the technology within those environments. When you equip your business to support a mobile workforce, you also change the way your employees can work and the way customers can experience your services.
What do you call communication technology that adapts to each work environment? We call it UCaaS - Unified Communications as a Service. UCaaS is a suite of tools that bring all the communication streams in your organization to one place, giving your employees seamless access to email, voicemail, phone calls, conference calls, social media, video and so on. One of the many benefits of unified communications is that the “one place” all these communications converge can be anywhere because it's accessible via the cloud - and users can use it to communicate from any device through an app.
Here's why it matters...
Millennials and Mobile Workforces
When your workforce is mobile, work can get done and customers can be helped from anywhere - employees can work at their desk, in their car, at a client meeting, from the airport, in a coffee shop and more.
As we continue to learn about the Millenials in our workplaces, we gain insight into how this generation of employees and leaders work best. Their general approach to work, their motivations, their expectations about technology and their preferences about sitting at a desk have started a professional shift across all industries.
Because millennials want more flexible work/life balance and integration, they are more willing to work non-traditional hours from a variety of locations. UCaaS can help you provide that. What do you get in return? Potentially, employees who are more productive, more accessible to customers and more loyal to your organization.
Screen Sharing and Collaboration
Allowing two or more people to share a screen while talking on the phone can increase productivity. For example, when I get a call from a salesperson about how to sell a certain product, I can open up a document on our shared screen, run through the features and then open up the form to see how to order. Better yet, I can hand over control of the form and have them fill it out while I talk. That 15 minutes of screen sharing might've just saved one of your reps a trip to Missouri.
With instant messaging and screen sharing combined, you can streamline a lot of meetings. If you want to discuss something with a colleague, you can open up an IM window (which will also show you who is available to talk) and begin the conversation, share a document and even include video if you need to. Instead of a formal meeting, you just did a 10-minute working session where you got real work done and everyone can move forward. The best part? All of this can happen regardless of where the participants are physically located.
I guess this is the long way of saying that UCaaS - Unified Communications as a Service - is going to be part of the changing communication methods over the next three to five years. As the ways we view business hours and work environments evolve, our technology needs to evolve too.