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Customer self-service is increasing preferred method of business transaction from the grocery store to rental car kiosks.  Despite the growing desire to transact business on individual terms and time, when it comes to navigating the sometimes endless and confusing interactive voice response (IVR) menus of an automated self-service system, customers can get frustrated quickly.  Originally envisioned as a support department for businesses to help improve customer service, call centers are now indispensable to business.  However, poorly designed scripts, call flows, and incapable voice recognition systems can cripple an automated system that is designed to route calls to appropriate department in fast and efficient manners.

Improving Self-service through a Unified Communications Provider

Today, many businesses are turning to unified communications service providers to tailor better their communications needs to the business needs while saving time and money.  Unified communications providers are more than just a SIP or IP PBX company.  They are communications providers that fully integrates voice, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks and can deliver a seamless, media-rich experience across the entire business.  Unified communications service providers often utilize cloud services that can significantly improve customer service as well.  Through your unified communications partner, you can improve the quality and response time of your self-service systems.  The following are some of the ways a unified communications provider can help with customer self-service.

Create a World-class Customer Self-Service Experience

Once the interactive voice response system is engaged in a self-service system the customer service applications can provide a transparent handoff between the automated system and a live agent.  The live agent will have access to and can see the details of the call before call delivery so that the customer does not have to repeat necessary information.  This handoff helps reduce the time the customer and the agent spend on the call as well as ease potential frustrations of the call-in customer.

Given today’s multiple communication channels, customers may be interacting with a self-service system on a fix network connection using a computer or mobile device, on a mobile device on a mobile network, via a mobile network telephone call, or a fixed network telephone call.  Unified communications providers have rich systems that are middleware enabled, so all customers have access to relevant information regardless of the communication channel.

Dynamic Self-service Applications

Through the unified communications provider’s customer self-service applications, your customers can experience personalized calls based on network-accessible data, current business rules and strategies for handling customer service calls, and through previous interactions with customers.  The application system can also track all customer service interactions and enable a complete view of customer calls to improve current and future service.

Reduce Costs of Calls

When call volume increases and a caller must sit in a queue, the unified communications provider can keep the caller queued on the edge of the network rather than allowing the call in.  This can significantly reduce the transport cost of terminating calls on the business network while information on the call is gathered through the self-service system.  Additionally, this means that when the call does go live on the network, the call-specific information will be readily available and the caller can be helped in less time.  With the money saved on communications, companies can resource capital to continue customer improve efforts.

Improve Customer Service and More with Unified Communications

Unified communications service partners provide the necessary tools and metrics your business needs to measure customer service.  Most communication providers offer fully integrated cloud services for all aspects of business, which can add excellent value and reduce operating costs.  Choosing the right unified communication service provider can significantly improve overall company fitness as these outsourced communication providers are specialists with the highest quality systems and applications.

If your company is struggling with outdated automated systems for your call centers, frustrated customers who, when they finally connect with a live agent, are angry and frustrated with the interactive voice recognition system and have to explain the reason for their call again, you may consider a unified communications provider partner.  Take a good look at your current network as well.  Unified communications service providers are all-around partners that can help you optimize all aspects of your company’s communications, including shouldering some of the network burdens through cloud services and network management.