Recent media coverage reports that UK consumers are unhappy with the service they get from customer contact centres. Amid the doom and gloom, two interesting points are raised: that the IT and telephony within call centres do not communicate; and that companies need to invest more in joined-up technologies that can support better customer service.
While standalone solutions can improve the customer experience, organisations still operating a traditional telephony infrastructure are starting to feel the limitations, particularly when evolving a call centre into a more outward-facing customer interaction network.
And that is where a more consistent approach, based on unified communications, can help.
According to one recent US study, staff at organisations using IP-based unified communications applications saved an average of 32 minutes a day just by being able to connect with their colleagues more efficiently. Mobile professionals could achieve typical time savings of 40 minutes a day when a unified communications infrastructure was in place.
At Intact Integrated Services we support Cisco’s partners in implementing
solutions based on Cisco’s Unified Contact Centre Enterprise (UCCE) technology.
UCCE has enormous potential, but many Cisco partners face considerable risks in taking on such potentially complex projects.
Successful implementations of advanced solutions such as UCCE are always about far more than just the technology. UCCE’s service-oriented architecture approach, for example, also encourages the integration of previously disparate contact centre processes.
Some of the key issues to look out for when starting off on a unified
communications project include not underestimating the existing communications
culture, getting some technology champions on board, preparing the environment
correctly, making the right architecture choices, assessing security
requirements and finding ways to maximise enterprise integration.
Unified communications can prove challenging, but it is the right choice for an increasing number of companies and the technology partners that work with them.
Tony Butler is chief technology officer at Intact Integrated.
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