Unified communications changing CRM processes

    Telephony systems are essential in dictating how call center representatives handle customer relationship management and other interactions. As a result, the contact center sector is seeing significant change as more companies invest in robust communications infrastructure to streamline CRM and enable more sophisticated operations. According to a recent CRM Software Advice report, unified communications is one of the technologies that will continue its emergence in the coming year, changing how call centers handle CRM.

    This shift will come primarily in the form of virtual meeting capabilities, the report said. Unified communications systems have the somewhat unique ability to integrating voice, video, presence and data-related technologies into a single platform that streamlines communication. This vast feature set makes the technology well-suited for the call center, where virtual meetings are increasingly important to reduce travel costs and other operational expenses that come when working to develop efficient operations across geographically diverse contact centers.

    According to the news source, the past few years have seen airline ticket prices rise, while businesses have experienced a rising need to operate with more fiscal responsibility. This creates an environment in which organizations are seeking the best ways to cut costs without sacrificing, and ideally improving, performance. Unified communications falls neatly into place in terms of supporting this goal. Furthermore, the report said call center representatives could be video chatting with customers within the next five years, completely changing the face of CRM.

    Denis Pombriant, CEO for the Beagle Research Group, told the news source that the gradual evolution of videoconferencing in CRM will create significant demand for new types of content within the sector. Furthermore, businesses will have to find a way to store and respond to customer-generated content. This will lead to significant changes to the operational processes surrounding communications, as video increasingly becomes a platform of choice.

    While videoconferencing and other advanced unified communications technologies are expected to change the future of the call center, less sophisticated functions of the technology are already affecting its present state. Because UC systems integrate voice and data, it is much easier for call center representatives to seamlessly access applications and user information when taking calls. This makes operations more efficient and helps to improve call center productivity. All of this can be accomplished without significant capital investments if businesses turn to the cloud, allowing third-party vendors to handle the hardware and deliver telephony resources to end users through the internet.

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