Keep Unified Communications from Turning into a Disaster

Lost in call routing tree - another Unified Communications Disaster

Unified Communications is a fancy word for a business phone system that integrates multiple communication technologies and methods into a single platform. This is a natural evolution of a system originally designed for voice communications. UC has the capability to ultimately take your communications to the next level and optimize the way your organization interacts. It can significantly enhance team collaboration and productivity while improving engagement with customers, vendors, and sales prospects. There are cases, however, when Unified Communications implementation turns disasteros through no fault of the system itself.

PBX is a Tool that Implements Your Vision

The Unified Communications system is a powerful tool, but a tool, nonetheless. Here, at DLS technical support we often find ourselves helping customers correcting their call routing features, use of mirrored extensions, or even group messaging.

Regardless of its capabilities, the complex system can only be as good as its implementation. The efficiency and effectiveness of the system lie in the hands of system administrators and business operators. Sure, we are always here to help. Before we could help, you must be clear about what you are ultimately trying to accomplish.

Let’s review some examples where good intentions may lead to disastrous decisions when configuring your Unified Communications.

Example 1:

Routing a call from a priority customer directly to their sales representative might seem like a good idea at first. A feature called “source-based routing” will accomplish this. But what if that rep is not available? Where would the call go? Is answering a call quickly more important than to route it to the right person regardless of that person’s availability? Misconfigure your call routing logic – and you will, likely, lose all of the advantages of the system.

Example 2:

We know that sales calls should be answered as soon as possible. No business wants to lose potential customers to the wrong impression if they end up on hold for too long.

UC offers a variety of features. One of them is a softphone – software that mimics the functionality of a desk phone on your screen. The technology offers flexible call routing logic by integrating Interactive Voice Response and other call routing decision methods. Those are powerful and helpful tools but they can hurt your business when misused.

But answering every call at all costs does not bode well for every business. Poor design of call routing logic always leads to undesirable outcomes, lost sales, and productivity. Being overly reachable and never missing a call has its drawbacks. As useful as the UC system is, it cannot automatically determine whether you’re prepared for that call.

Example 3:

Let’s look at another communication tool – SMS messaging. You may want to configure incoming SMS to go to a group of users – a good idea in cases such as one-way messaging from an alarm system. But if messaging is interactive… which user(s) will be responsible for responding to that SMS?

Simplicity, carried to an an extreme, becomes elegance

Businesses are unique. Even businesses that offer the same product or service have their differences. This is why integrating any Unified Communications platform into a business requires tailoring that system to perfectly fit the business processes. When call routing logic meets good business process design – businesses succeed.

In the case of product/service inquiries, the only way to have a good interaction with the customer is through proper design of call handling logic. Calls must go to the right place at the right time. Calls will also go to the right people who are well equipped with answers and resources to any inquiries potential or repeat customers might have.

The conclusion here is that regardless of how good the Unified Communications system is, it becomes either a blessing or a curse. The system can only help you plan for nearly all eventualities. Ultimately, you will be the one to configure it based on a great number of factors. The decision is still yours. Poor configuration and uninformed business decisions will inevitably end in frustrating losses of opportunities and productivity. At the end of the day, the power to transform your business for better or for worse still lies in your hands.

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