By now, we’re all well aware of the huge shift in working practices this year (did someone say, ‘new normal’?) – but what about the future of them?
For a lot of businesses, migrating to a cloud-based Unified Communications solution like Microsoft Teams has been triggered by the increase in remote working. With more people reluctant to return to the office even when it’s permitted again, it looks like virtual workplaces are here to stay.
Here are 5 reasons I'm convinced that Microsoft Teams is for life, not just for lockdown…
1. Ease of Direct Routing
Direct Routing with Microsoft Teams makes it easier to communicate with the world. Right now, that means connecting with remote workers and far-flung colleagues, as well as customers and clients. In the future, that means a modern approach to telephony that will outstand any future changes to the workplace.
With SIP trunks in over 65 countries, as well as international DID numbers, Conversant Technology is well-placed to help you now, and in the future. We use Microsoft-certified SBC (for Direct Routing), along with National and International SIP trunks for the highest-quality calls and a complete Unified Comms solution. You can entirely replace your existing PBX system or choose to use MS Teams to make and receive calls – whatever works best for you and your business. With more people realising just how easy Direct Routing is, I foresee Teams becoming a core part of everyone’s communication strategy.
2. Improved Customer Service
Customer service feels more important than ever, with more people resorting to phone calls and live chats than in-store helpdesks.
Sure, we’ll be able to roam free again soon, but a lot of us will still choose the easier option – sitting at home in our PJs while chatting to a Customer Satisfaction Agent online, or choosing to call at a time that suits us (read: on our sofa with a glass of wine instead of dragging our kids around John Lewis and all its beautiful, but easily-breakable, trinkets to get help in person).
We’re in the throes of another global transition to modern convenience – first, Deliveroo to our door; now, Customer Service on our terms, from our homes.
MS Teams allows you to improve your communication-handling easily. Calls can be distributed seamlessly based on users’ Teams presence (‘Available’, ‘Busy’, etc), and you can set this call-flow scenario in advance. MS Teams also allows you to choose from ‘Longest Ideal’ and ‘Simultaneous Ring/ Broadcast’ (or both), depending on your needs.
So, anticipating a continued reliance on Customer Service over the phone and internet, I see Teams long outlasting lockdown. It enables GDPR-compliant call recording, making it perfect for training exercises, newbies getting support from their Team Lead in the early days, and the ability for someone more senior to step in at a crucial stage of the conversation if needed. You can then search these recordings, storing them easily within Microsoft Teams – all in-line with GDPR.
3. More Insightful Analytics and Reporting
With many contact centres now operating from individual homes, connectivity has never been so crucial. Microsoft Teams is perfect for remote workplaces, as it provides detailed insights and analytics. You can access real-time reporting to ensure your Customer Services team is on-track, that calls are being answered fast enough, and that KPIs are being managed appropriately. You’ll also have access to historical data, using CSV files, Excel, or Power BI.
With a 70% increase in daily active users (Microsoft, 2020), thousands of businesses are choosing Teams to help monitor productivity levels of WFH staff.
This functionality allows you to track agent call-handling stats, highlight any areas where further training is needed, and ensures an efficient workforce – wherever they are.
These valuable BI insights allow you to grow as a company, despite the distance. With a lot of businesses set to continue remote working on some level, the analytics aspects of Microsoft Teams will provide a clear way to track success.
4. More Efficient Spending
Using Teams for Unified Comms makes financial sense, as it removes the reliance on any other third-party providers. If you’re currently using multiple external providers to host calls, video, IM, and analytics, you’ll probably be aware of the drain this has on your finances.
Thousands of people are now benefitting from the calling plans within MS Teams. UK plans, for example, are based on per channel per month, making them far more cost-effective than a per user per month plan.
This is a great way to ensure efficient distribution of costs for companies that are facing uncertain times now, but also offers a future-proofed solution to help you survive the rest of lockdown – and whatever comes next.
5. Truly Unified Comms
Having everything in one place has really come in handy during lockdown, when WFHers have rapidly cobbled together an ‘office space’ (aka bed, kitchen table, garden shed etc). When lockdown first happened, many of us left our devices in the office, resorting to personal laptops in the interim period where we weren’t quite sure what was going on. Having to use just one platform has helped companies stay connected without overloading laptops with various software downloads.
Offices are using Microsoft Teams for everything from team huddles and IM chats to call-handling, call-recording, and tracking KPIs and metrics. From contact centres to living rooms, Microsoft Teams unifies your communications, as well as your company.
I see a future of continued remote working, making Unified Communications a key part of keeping companies running. With over 10,000 area codes across 65+ countries, you’ll have access to 92% of the global economy – all at the touch of a button. Number porting is simple, as is migration from whatever other platform you’re using. Look forward to a future of truly conversant (see what we did there?) communications and unlock the power of Microsoft Teams today.
6. Bonus Round – You Can Join a Specialist Partner #shamlessplug
With Conversant, you not only enjoy easy access to all of Microsoft Team’s features, you do so with complete security. We’ll get you set up with a voice-optimised platform that offers privacy, safety, and the security of your very own Cloud. If you choose to partner with us, you won’t face any upfront or hidden costs, making it a risk-free transition.
We’ve got over 20 years of experience with Microsoft Teams and UC, so we’re well-placed to assist you with any questions you may have. Whether you’re migrating from another UC platform or starting from scratch, our team are here 24/7 to support you, wherever you are in the world. You won’t need to hire any additional staff to support your MS Teams partnership – that’s done by us!
Just ask IT-giant, Softcat, who made us their Specialist Partner in record timing. We joined forces with them in May 2020 and have since provided Unified Comms and WFH solutions to their clients and partners across the globe. Are you next?
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