The Many Benefits Of Unified Messaging

As important as voice-based communications are, many customers prefer some form of messaging to communicate with companies. Think of social media, chat, and even email. All are far more convenient than a phone call, where you're likely to be on hold for a while.

To handle all of these different forms of communications, companies use unified messaging. But what exactly is unified messaging?

How Unified Messaging Can Streamline Channels

As customers send in their questions, complaints, compliments and comments, they go through all the channels available to them by a company. it's up to the company on which communications channels it wants to use. Many companies view more channels as additional ways for customers to contact them and stay engaged.

Some companies silo off their communication channels. Social media engagement goes to one department or one person. Email is handled by another group and chat is yet a different group. Often these groups or teams aren't communicating together. This is a disadvantage to both the customer and the company. One customer may communicate using several channels, yet appear as someone different on each channel. Depending on the quality of the unified messaging software a company using, it might be able to identify the same customer across multiple channels.

Customers like communicating through social media because everyone can see their communications. Before social media become popular, companies could simply ignore customer complaints. Customers didn't have too many options to be heard and have their disputes on display in front of the world. There were forums but even those were fairly closed off. Now if a company doesn't respond, everyone knows and this can hurt the company's customer loyalty.

For these reasons, it's important that companies constantly monitor their communications channels. Unified messaging software helps with this type of monitoring. Even with unified messaging software, a company can only utilize as many channels as it can maintain. Multiple social media accounts, email, chat and phone might open up multiple ways for a customer to contact the company, but if it can't keep up with all of these channels, it's multi-channel approach will backfire. Customers will think the company is ignoring them. Then the company can have a PR problems on its hands.

Opening up the right number of channels and utilizing unified messaging software will go a long way to providing customers with enough channels to contact the company while receiving timely responses. 

Which Software Is Used With Unified Messaging?

As previously mentioned, customers like to contact companies through multiple channels. While a company can have different teams handling each channel, it's important for these teams to communicate with each other to help solve customer issues. This is where unified messaging software comes in.

Unified messaging software allows incoming social media, email and chat engagements to pool into one place. Different teams may be assigned to different channels but everyone is using the same messaging software. The software can also identify when one customer is using multiple channels to communicate with the company. This avoids the customer having to repeat himself.

For example, a customer might start with a complaint on social media. The customer might then be asked to upload a document related to the issue using the company's website, email submission form. The messaging software will flag these two incidents as coming from the same customer. It will search the company's CRM to see if there is an entry for the customer. If not, a rep can quickly create one using information gathered by the messaging software. After the customer has been created in the CRM, every time the customer communicates with the company, reps will know who the customer is. There will also be a history of all the customer's communication engagements.

Now you know the benefits of using unified messaging to combine multiple channels of communication. Unified messaging software allows communicating on multiple channels through one application while also integrating with other applications such as a CRM.

Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Team Messaging System your business gets the unified messaging it needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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