Today’s workforce is forever changed by technology, which is reflected in a new way of communicating. People spend their days in multitasking mode, whether at home, work or anywhere in between, and are in constant contact via mobile devices and the countless applications that accompany them. B2B employees, especially millennials who are rapidly entering the workforce, have become accustomed to the quickly evolving modern communications and collaboration tools, and are expecting them from their employers as well.
Many B2B businesses have a premise-based business phone system in place that’s sole purpose is the management of voice applications. This creates fragmentation of applications employees use for every day forms of communications, such as email, voicemail and chat. B2B businesses should consider moving to cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS), which continues to evolve and adapt to the workforce’s new way of communicating. UCaaS connects voice, video, email, chat and other business communication tools through intuitive user interfaces and software integrations. The best of these systems are created around the end user and provide a consistent experience across multiple devices so that the way they communicate in their professional lives mimics the functionality they are used to in their personal lives.
An UCaaS platform can offer the B2B workplace quality mobile-supported business communications tools that allow for the following:
In this real-time world, B2Bs are adopting more nimble, non-email and real-time communication methods. UCaaS offers tools that can free-up overflowing inboxes and eliminate the distractions that lead to a decrease in productivity. UCaaS features like chat and presence, which display the availability of each employee on all devices, eliminates unproductive time spent waiting for a response to an email or voicemail. Employees who are on calls with customers or in meetings, can seek assistance from their colleagues in seconds to provide more prompt and accurate service by first checking their real-time presence and then sending a chat message. Mobile twinning is another advanced feature that enables employees to maintain their accessibility no matter their location is, and allows employees to program calls to be sent to their mobile and desk phone simultaneously for complete coverage.
B2Bs can ensure that the technology is always available for employees and eliminate costly downtime and risks of on-site failures by securing all critical communications and information exclusively in the cloud. The ability to access information is vital to make day-to-day business decisions and to keep critical communications with customers and clients intact. Make sure all pertinent data from desktops, laptops and servers are backed up into the cloud through a 100 percent cloud-based UCaaS solution so that the business is more accessible and flexible, and that data being transmitted will be secured correctly so that files, folders or entire systems can be recovered easily at any time. The solution should store a backup copy of the data safely in the cloud, provide recovery tools and allow quick restoration of files on demand easily to keep the critical business communications flowing, no matter the location.
Features offered by UCaaS platforms that easily and quickly enable collaboration and communication – from voice to video or instant to mobile messaging – are becoming must-have communication tools to build stronger working relationships amongst employees, especially if the business operates in different locations or employees are on-the-go. Today, smartphones play a part in just about everything we do with an actual phone call thrown in on occasion. B2B businesses should look to securely extend the corporate workplace to the mobile world so that employees can access all business communications, like web and video conferencing, from any device, including their personal devices via apps so that they can interact the way they want to.
The best cloud-based UCaaS allows employees to easily control unique applications and features, like softphones as a cost-effective way to enable mobility across the organization. Advanced providers completely integrate a softphone to empower employees with professional, full office phone functionality, for seamless communications. Instead of depending on a physical phone to access and use the system outside of the office, employees can make and receive calls through any internet-connected PC, from any location using the same extension and accessing the same features, such as call forwarding, extension-to-extension dialing and voicemail.
The ability to shop, bank and chat online 24/7 as consumers has lead employees to expect the same conveniences/ tools (searching for the right word) at work. The problem with most UCaaS tools on the market is that they were designed by technologists for technologists – not actual business users. A UCaaS solution with an intuitive interface, as accessible and as easy to use as the consumer-facing technology employees are used to, promotes greater employee adoption and satisfaction across the organization and reduces the need for costly outside support or the time of in-house IT departments. Technology that is easy to use is more important than training to ensure user adoption – if it is not easy and requires more than some to no training, employees are left no better off than before with old tools, and the adoption of UCaaS features and services will not follow.
An UCaaS system has a strong impact when it integrates with a business’s customer relationship management (CRM) and delivers a powerful resource to organize, track and manage all customer information, activities and conversations. Employees interacting with customers and prospects save valuable time by eliminating the need to manually create records of each call placed, being provided with more accurate and complete analytics on all employees’ interactions with customers, and can improve user adoption of the UCaaS system by reducing busywork and making employees’ work processes more efficient.
UCaaS supports the modern B2B worker by breaking down barriers of time and location and by offering the same familiar experience among desktop, mobile and conference rooms. This unification decreases training costs and reliance on IT staff, improves user adoption rates and makes workers more efficient, mobile and productive.
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