While it's not universal, many businesses today have branches and customers in multiple locations. In order to maintain contact and cater to everyone, IT departments need to implement a way that will simplify that process.
Unified communications offers a solution that combines various methods to promote sales and improve customer service.
Connecting Employees Across the BusinessCarlo's Bakery (yes, of Cake Boss fame) implemented UC solutions starting in 2011. With the volume of requests coming in, as well as expanding the bakery to various locations, CIO Leo Minervini knew he had to make the switch from the traditional PBX, according to Network World.
When a business has several stores running in various areas, keeping the lines of communication open can be difficult. However, with UC, those barriers don't exist. By hosting through a cloud service, all locations can collaborate and share information regarding each branch of the company, Network Computing explained. The system also allows workers to leave their desks without losing the connection to their email and phone.
Carlo's Bakery provides its employees with iPads in order to keep the business running, even if they're in the stockrooms. These devices allow users to multitask so they can be checking their email or audio conferencing all while checking supplies. Portable gadgets provide workers with everything they need without having to carry around separate phones and computers - all forms of communication will be redirected to the iPads.
Improving Customer ServiceProviding multiple ways for consumers to contact a business is important in any industry. Email addresses and phone numbers give them several platforms to get the help they need. Unified communications can be used to aid clients both in and out of stores to ensure a smooth sales process.
Carlo's Bakery equips their iPads with point-of-sales applications so they can be used on the sales floor to speed up orders, according to the source. If there are long lines forming, staff on duty go out front to take customers' orders and get the sale in the system. This allows people behind the counter to focus on cashing people out and filling orders. If consumers had to wait in line without seeing any progress being made, companies would lose sales. Having access to mobile devices helps create an efficient workflow that moves business along.
Video conferencing also creates a more productive environment. This allows employees to communicate not only with other locations, but with their clientele. Carlo's uses this method for both sales and marketing purposes, Minervini explained in a TechTarget video. Not only does this allow owner Buddy Valastro, Jr. to make guest appearances - it's also used to have discussions with customers who aren't close to any locations. For those who want to have a cake commissioned but can't make the trip, they can set up conference calls via the bakery's website. This allows the stores to make sales that they wouldn't have otherwise because of distance.
Unified communications solutions provide businesses with the opportunities to increase discussion between locations, as well as between stores and consumers. Companies can use UC to help close sales and promote customer service all within one system.