One of the most important areas of a small business technology structure is their communications. Business teams need to efficiently handle communications from leads and customers, communicate in real-time with each other, and answer their phones no matter where they’re working from. Something that the shutdowns during COVID-19 made clear to many small businesses in Middle Tennessee was that using cloud systems and UCasS is critical to staying in operation. Today’s businesses have to be agile in the face of any number of unexpected events, which means having the ability to operate from anywhere. 57% of surveyed businesses said their use of the cloud increased due to the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the biggest things that can be disrupted when you have to leave your office and operate remotely are communications. Companies can be easily cut off from clients and employees if they’re not handled correctly. This is why the newest small businesses necessity has become UCaaS, which stands for Unified Communications as a Service.
The Importance of Having a Unified Cloud Communications Strategy
Cloud technology has changed how businesses think of their software and platforms. It is the reason the software subscription model was introduced (aka: Software as a Service/SaaS). The cloud service model introduced paying a lower monthly service rate per user rather than buying static software that can only be accessed by one device. This model opened up multiple benefits for small businesses, including:
- Lower cost to entry for helpful software tools
- Only paying for the user licenses needed at any time
- Having software that is always updated
- Being able to access software in the cloud and on any device
- Ability to run their business from anywhere
The importance of communication in a business has led to this new related cloud platform, UCaaS.
What does UCaaS look like?
UCaaS includes multiple communication systems that are accessible from a single platform through individual modules. They are all interconnected, which makes it easier for employees to use and easier to keep data centralized. The communication modules in UCaaS typically include:
- VoIP phone system
- Cloud voicemail
- Video conferencing
- Real-time chat/messaging
- Collaboration tools (i.e. file sharing, etc.)
Using these systems in different platforms, which may or may not be cloud-based, can lead to breakdowns in communications, especially when a team needs to work remotely or on the road. Here’s why transitioning to a UCaaS system of communications is important to small businesses.
Stay in Touch with Customers No Matter What
If customers can’t reach you when they call , they could just look for someone else to help, your competitor. Ensuring that your phones can be answered no matter what and that employees can reach customers is vital. Using a cloud-based communication system, which includes a full-featured VoIP phone system, allows your lines to be answered via desk phone, computer, or mobile device. In the event of a storm that knocks out power to your office, your phones are still up and running and you’re not cut off from your customers.
Customers expect responsiveness from a company and not to go through a poor experience when they call. 33% of consumers say that waiting on hold is their biggest service frustration and 33% say it’s when they have to repeat themselves to multiple support representatives. Today’s UCaaS platforms incorporate multiple features that improve call responsiveness and call handling. These include things like:
- Auto attendant
- Company directory
- Simultaneous ring
- Call forwarding
- Voicemail to email
- Priority alerts
Smooth Video Conferencing
Video conferencing use has skyrocketed during the pandemic and it continues to be an important way to meet “face-to-face” when meeting in person isn’t possible or is too expensive. Some of the complaints that employees have with video conferencing software is that it’s difficult to use and doesn’t integrate with any of their other communication tools. UCaaS puts video conferencing in the same platform as calls, texts, and other forms of communication. This makes it easier for employees to use. The integration also makes it simple to switch from a voice to a video call without having to switch programs.
Communications Centralized in One Place
Communications can get out of hand quickly when your team is using different systems for voice, video, text, and collaboration. How do you know that Customer A called in to change their order when their original record is in a different program used for text messages? What UCaaS does is centralize all your communications, so your team has a complete record of when a customer messages, calls in, or contacts you another way. That way, no matter who assists the customer, they have the entire communication trail available to them – the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves and everyone is on the same page. Centralizing communications also improves data security. Any sensitive information can be protected because it’s all together in one place instead of being spread out over multiple devices or platforms.
Unify & Improve Your Business Communications Today!
Copperband Technologies can help your small business streamline and unify your communications to improve efficiency and lower costs. Contact us today to schedule a communications review! Call 931.263.8000 or reach us online.