Integrating your phone system with other platforms to improve productivity

These days a phone system isn’t worth its salt unless it plays well with your other tools; VoIP phone systems are wonderful and offer fantastic cost savings over their ISDN counterparts, but for the most part they only handle your phones. Well, the world is moving on – much like in other areas of your business, it’s crucial that one system integrates with another to give a more complete experience for both your customers and your staff.

Unified Communications is one answer to this. By uniting your instant messaging, file- and screen-sharing and video calling services with your desk phones, it can provide real cost savings out of the box. Firstly, you no longer have to pay for all of those separate services, secondly you know they will work well together since they are all part of the same ecosystem, and thirdly you will see real improvements in the productivity and collaboration of your staff. That’s just the start though; the real value of UC is realised when you start to look at integrating it with other crucial platforms your staff use.

The chances are you use a CRM as part of your business. CRMs are invaluable to any business that has regular contact with clients. They give a brilliant way to see an overview of each customer; how many times they’ve been contacted, what was discussed and so on. Until recently, a lot of input in these systems was handled entirely manually. A customer would call in and speak to one of your agents. Your agent would then take a few minutes to find the right account; naturally your customer doesn’t know their account number, so you must find other information from them. You’ve probably been on both sides of this conversation; it’s frustrating for customers who have to repeat information and verify their identity, and it’s frustrating for the agents who need to track down the customer from more than just their name.

The obvious answer is to integrate your CRM with your UC system. By using an API, our UC platform hooks into the database of your CRM to make your agents’ jobs easier and save your customers valuable time on the phone. It’s entirely possible to automate every part of the process apart from noting down actions of a call. By linking with your database, the UC platform can identify inbound callers before their call reaches an agent. When the agent receives the call, the CRM will helpfully put all the right information in front of them so they can get straight on with the business of the call. Once the call is over, the UC platform will automatically add a record to the CRM’s database confirming the details of the call, making sure the agent is ready for the next call much sooner than before.

Furthermore, say you’ve missed a call from a customer. It’s crucial that customer gets a call returned as soon as possible; with the UC and CRM systems linked, they will be able to talk to each other and tell your staff who they missed a call from. This allows your staff to look up the relevant client ahead of the call to familiarise themselves with the account. Think about it – as a customer, if a company misses your call wouldn’t it be brilliant if, when they call you back, they know who they’re calling and have had a good look over any notes before speaking to you? Wouldn’t you then be more likely to put your trust in that company? They seem to have their stuff together!

It’s not just CRMs that can be integrated into our UC platform. With a full RESTfull API implementation, the UC platform will be able to talk to and extract value from pretty much any third-party service you use on a daily basis. We have clients in the hospitality, healthcare and education sectors who have all successfully integrated more specialist solutions with UC. In all cases it’s led to a massive improvement in customer satisfaction (and therefore retention), staff satisfaction and overall productivity.

At 5G, we’ve been setting up new systems for customers and integrating them into their work practices for many years. This may have started off with setting up voicemail to email or fax to email services in the early days, but the technology has developed almost as quickly as our understanding of it, allowing us to explore more and more options over the years. It’s this experience that gives us the confidence to say that we are certain we can help improve your staff and customer satisfaction by revolutionising the way you use communications technology across your business.

If you want to know more about integrating your phone system with other platforms drop us an email or give our team a quick call. We’re always happy to have a chat. You can call us on 01494 523 523 or email