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Customer and employee choice should be central to any future unified communications strategy, says Kyocera

Desire for flexibility means UC and contact centre strategies should no longer be decided from the top down

In the last 18 months, the shift to remote and hybrid working patterns has led to an explosion in growth of unified communications (UC) technologies. As a result of this, alongside the permanent shift to more flexible working and an evolution in the way customers communicate with businesses, it is crucial that ongoing UC and contact centre strategies are moulded to customer and employee demand, rather than decided from the top down. This is according to Kyocera.

For employees, widespread home and hybrid working has meant people becoming fully accustomed to collaboration tools – such as Zoom and Teams – as an alternative to face-to-face interaction. At the same time, customers have become much more comfortable with online communication methods such as live chat or instant messaging.

For Martin Fairman, Group Sales & Marketing Director at Kyocera, these changes indicate how businesses should adapt their approaches to UC and contact centres in the long run.

Fairman said: “The last year and a half hasn’t just been about getting used to Zoom or making video communication the norm. Developments in the way both employees and customers operate have been much more wide-ranging than that, so it’s important that organisations understand the complexity of the shift.

“Choice when it comes to communication channels – both for employees and their customers – is no longer considered an optional luxury. Customers expect to be able to contact a business in a way that suits them, so an organisation’s UC capabilities should be designed to meet this need, rather than chosen purely by people at the top of the business.”

To make the most of UC and the contact centre for the foreseeable future, Fairman believes businesses must also ensure that new communication methods can integrate effectively with more traditional channels, such as PBX telephony.

He added: “Collaboration tools and instant messaging are clearly held in high regard, but traditional methods – such as phone – also remain popular for many. Traditional systems also tend to offer the granular controls and user functions that are essential to smooth, trouble-free communications.

“Therefore, it’s vital that businesses have the means to join all the dots and make communication between employees and customers as seamless as possible. This means having full visibility of every interaction made, whether it’s through collaboration software, social media channels, email or phone. This can only be properly done if both UC and omnichannel contact centre software works hand in hand, Achieve this, and it becomes much easier to, for example, transfer customer queries to different departments or record interactions for compliance purposes.”

Fairman concluded: “In an age of hybrid working, it’s clear UC and the contact centre have to fulfil a wider set of requirements than ever before. Taking a customer-centric and employee-centric approach when growing tech capabilities is the way forward: listen to what they want and then provide the means to fully integrate these channels, and the rewards are there to be reaped in terms of a better employee and customer experience, improved loyalty, and increased revenues.”

About Kyocera Document Solutions UK

Kyocera Document Solutions Inc. is a global leading provider of total document solutions based in Osaka, Japan. The company’s portfolio includes reliable and eco-friendly MFPs and printers, as well as business applications and consultative services which enable customers to optimize and manage their document workflow, reaching new heights of efficiency. With professional expertise and a culture of empathetic partnership, the objective of the company is to help organisations put knowledge to work to drive change.

Kyocera Document Solutions Inc. is a core company of Kyocera Corporation, a leading supplier of industrial and automotive components, semiconductor packages, electronic devices, smart energy systems, printers, copiers, and mobile phones. During the year ended March 31, 2021, the company’s consolidated sales revenue totaled 1.5 trillion yen (approx. US$13.8 billion). Kyocera is ranked #549 on Forbes magazine’s 2020 “Global 2000” list of the world’s largest publicly traded companies, and appears on The Wall Street Journal’s latest list of “The World’s 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies.”

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