How to maximise your telephony solution for retail

The retail market landscape has experienced a lot of changes over the last decade. The evolution of eCommerce has changed how businesses operate, and adapting to a new, digital landscape is key to make your business thrive. Making use of digital tools such as UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is a great way to separate your business from your competitors. 

Where once low prices were enough to stay competitive, the industry of today needs new solutions to meet the changing demands of consumers and maintain their foothold in the marketplace.

The need to be both online and offline in stores has increased tenfold, which affects how and in which channels you should meet your customers. How do you know if a customer has contacted you in a store, via email, phone or chat? Or maybe a combination of these? Do you keep track of these?

Enter Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). For the retail industry, this service model offers significant benefits through more efficient admin for you, but also more relevant customer care.

Read more: Discover how Telavox's platform helps retail companies reach their potential

Customers expect a personalised experience

Today's consumers don't just want lower prices – they want a satisfactory shopping experience. They expect to be treated as valued customers and to receive a personalised experience. UCaaS makes that possible by not only facilitating various processes specific to the retail market but also by fostering innovative solutions to provide the exact experience consumers seek.

The mobility and connectivity that UCaaS brings serve to improve service and the customer experience, subsequently reducing customer stress and frustration. But there's much more to UCaaS than simple mobile device usage.

UCaaS and geographically-dispersed or mobile teams

In many retail marketplaces, there is a need for employees to be mobile. Via a cloud-based infrastructure, UCaaS connects geographically-dispersed teams with customers, store associates, and retail support centers. This ensures quick service and seamless call transfers for customers, and immediate transfers of instruction and information from managers to mobile employees and vice versa.

With Telavox, your customer calls can easily be routed directly to the individual most suited to help them. An example could be to automatically route the incoming call to their key account manager. Retail organisations that are already using UCaaS experience improved service communications, and savings in both telephony and time by way of efficient invoice handling and a user-friendly admin experience.

Integrations provide a seamless customer experience

Integrating your UCaaS solution with your contact center solution (such as Zendesk, Salesforce, Freshdesk or Dynamics), eliminates the need to ask customers the same questions over and over again. This is appreciated by everyone and saves a lot of time.

Overall, equipping employees with the advanced tools they need to work more productively fosters employee motivation and improves morale. Imagine one interface where you can view all customer interactions no matter which channel the customer goes through. Additionally, you can see stats and connect calls to your colleague of choice. 

Programmability helps turn customer experience from "good" to "great"

A great way to wow your customers is to ensure that if they ever do need to contact you, their experience is top-notch. One way to do this is by using programmability in your PBX. In simple terms, programmability means incorporating elements such as keypad inputs and API connections to give the agent as much info about the caller as possible.

For example, you could play a pre-recorded message asking a caller to enter their order number using their phone keypad. The system can then automatically check their order status in your eCommerce platform, and then play another pre-recorded message to let the caller know that their order is out for delivery.

This means that your customer gets a clear answer right away, and frees up your agents to focus on complex support requests that need more attention.


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UCaaS and Employee Scheduling

If your retail organisation is rather large, you're likely to have an extensive roster of employees. Scheduling can be quite a time-consuming chore, and the need to cover open shifts due to absent employees is another headache altogether. Multiple managers also need to be aware of last-minute scheduling changes. UCaaS with mobile presence lets everyone know who's at work and available. It also allows colleagues to transfer calls easily, and help each other out when staff is short. Used the right way, UCaaS serves to reduce stress for both employees and management.

Improved onboarding and training capabilities

New hires often need training, but managers with a multitude of tasks don't always have the time to devote to proper training. One common complaint of new hires in the retail sector is how they don't receive enough training before they are expected to make it on their own.

Proper training is even more difficult in a fast-paced environment where many workers have different shifts and may not always be available for training at the same time as new hires. UCaaS helps to solve this by providing ample opportunity for voice calls and video conferencing. UCaaS also enables the sharing of videos and documents that new hires can watch and read to gain valuable information needed to perform their duties.


Read more: The secret to successful digital onboarding of hundreds of employees

UCaaS is great for seasonal changes

Many retail organisations need to scale their operations up and down along with the seasons. Planning for these changes is often a time-consuming chore that must be performed weeks, sometimes months, in advance. UCaaS enables you to improve this process and implement a plan much quicker. Analytics and stored data from your UCaaS stats allow you to improve the decision-making process and make adjustments with ease, in one location or across multiple areas.

An increasing number of retailers see UCaaS as a viable digital solution for future growth and success. Highly adaptable and flexible, it meets and fulfils the need of retail businesses across many levels, providing owners, managers and employees with the tools needed to meet future challenges.


Read more: Telavox's solutions for retail companies


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