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By Rob Cook, Director of Carrier Services
Reading Time: 7 minutes

In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses must adapt to meet the evolving expectations of their customers. An omnichannel strategy, which integrates all customer touchpoints into a cohesive system, is essential for providing a seamless and consistent customer experience.

In this blog, we’ll explore the value of an omnichannel approach – supported by Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, and a modern Customer Experience strategy – to transform communication workflows so you can enhance customer satisfaction, retention, and last but certainly not least… revenue.

The Importance of an Omnichannel Strategy

While omnichannel strategies were already becoming increasingly important before 2020, the pandemic significantly accelerated the need for businesses to rapidly enhance their omnichannel capabilities. As lockdowns forced everyone indoors and physical stores to close, consumers shifted more purchases and research online.

Research from NielsenIQ showed that COVID-19 caused a 50% rise in U.S. omnichannel shopping from 2020 to 2021. However, less than half of that activity resulted in online purchases. In other words, many omnichannel shoppers relied on digital channels primarily for information, not just for making purchases, and that trend has continued. That means omnichannel marketing strategies aren’t just for e-commerce businesses; they’re for every business, no matter what industry you’re in or what products and/or services you sell.

Key Takeaways on Getting an Omnichannel Strategy Together

  • Customers expect to interact with businesses (of all types) through multiple channels seamlessly
  • An omnichannel strategy provides a unified experience across all touchpoints
  • It allows businesses to tailor interactions based on customer preferences and behavior

Enhancing Customer Experience

Today, omnichannel plays out through multiple channels, including phone, email, chat, SMS, social media, and in-person. According to a study by Salesforce, 67% of customers use multiple channels to complete a single transaction, and 40% of customers say they won’t do business with companies if they can’t use their preferred channels.

40% of customers say they won’t do business with companies if they can’t use their preferred channels.

Boosting Customer Retention

A seamless omnichannel experience encourages customers to stay loyal to a brand. Research shows that companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies. By integrating customer data from different sources, businesses can gain deeper insights into customer behavior and preferences, allowing them to tailor their interactions and improve customer satisfaction.

Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.
Source: Aberdeen Group

Increasing Revenue

Given all the data and maturity of omnichannel, it’s clear that customers are more valuable to businesses when a strategy is in place. A Harvard Business Review study found that omnichannel customers spend 10% more online than single-channel consumers. Additionally, companies that implement omnichannel strategies significantly increase sales and customer engagement. For example, Target reported a 24.3% increase in sales and a 195% increase in digital sales by integrating physical and digital channels.

Leveraging UCaaS and CX for Omnichannel Success

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and CX strategies are essential for implementing a successful omnichannel strategy. These cloud-based solutions provide the infrastructure to integrate various communication channels and streamline customer interactions. If you’ve heard the terms but aren’t as familiar with them, here’s a quick recap:

UCaaS: Enhancing Internal Communication

UCaaS integrates multiple communication tools into a single platform, such as voice, video conferencing, messaging, SMS, and file sharing. This consolidation enhances productivity and collaboration within the organization, ensuring employees can communicate effectively and provide consistent customer service.

Key benefits of a modern UCaaS system include:

  1. Streamlining internal communication and collaboration
  2. Improving employee productivity and efficiency
  3. Enabling consistent customer service and customer experience across all channels

CX: Streamlining Customer Interactions

CX solutions, including CCaaS, enable businesses to manage customer interactions across multiple channels from a single platform. This integration ensures businesses handle customer inquiries efficiently, regardless of the channel used. Features like automatic call distribution, interactive voice response (IVR), and real-time analytics help organizations provide a seamless and personalized customer experience.

Key features to look for include:

  1. Omnichannel support (voice, email, chat, social media)
  2. Automatic call routing and IVR
  3. Real-time analytics and reporting
  4. CRM integration for better customer data management

Real-World Client Story

Recently, we assisted a regional restaurant and catering company with eight locations needing help managing customer interactions efficiently. Several of the busier locations would become overwhelmed during peak hours, leading to long wait times, missed calls, and inconsistent food preparation timing, which affected customer satisfaction, repeat business, and brand reputation.

They engaged our team to implement an integrated UCaaS and CX solution that created a transparent call routing and overflow management workflow, ensuring calls were redirected to available agents at other locations during busy times. That allowed other locations to pick up the slack and handle the order but send details back to the original location for a seamless handoff.

The system also enabled real-time collaboration among staff, ensuring food was prepared optimally for pickup or delivery. For example, the order text alerts allowed customers to click a link on their way to pick up, allowing the business to time the order more precisely so food was as hot and fresh as possible upon their arrival.

The Results: The integration of UCaaS and CCaaS reduced wait times and missed calls, improving customer satisfaction. Real-time collaboration ensured higher food quality, and omnichannel support enhanced convenience. This led to increased order volume, better customer retention, and higher revenue, solidifying the company’s reputation as a premier catering service.

Typical Pricing Ranges for UCaaS and CX Solutions

UCaaS and CX pricing often varies based on the number of users and the features included. Here are some examples:

  • UCaaS solutions can start at as little as $6.00 per user per month for more basic features and up to $20 to $30 per user per month for more robust systems offering an extended range of features and integrations.
  • CX systems typically range from $25 to $30 per user per month and can go as high as $50 to $150 per user per month.

The most important task here is ensuring you do not over- or under-purchase on features. It’s easy to get quickly lost in evaluating which system is right based on your existing environment, technical landscape, and integration needs. Leveraging a partner who can offer an aggregate view of the best solution fit based on your business needs and infrastructure will go a long way in saving time and money on a system that, in the end, may not work.

Once you identify a system fit, running a pilot is a great next step to better assess how the features and integrations will work before diving into a committed purchase.

What’s Next

An omnichannel strategy supported by UCaaS and CX solutions can significantly enhance your business’s communication and customer service capabilities. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by vendor marketing and hype when trying to find the best solution for your unique needs.

Partnering with the experts at MicroAge can provide unbiased guidance and aggregate the top providers and technologies, streamlining your path to the right solution and getting you the best pricing and fit so you don’t end up over- or under-purchasing based on your unique business needs. MicroAge can help simplify and streamline the process to improve customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue faster and easier.

Ready to advance your unified communications strategy?

Let’s talk

Let us help prepare you for a more robust omnichannel initiative and provide direction based on your unique industry and/or environment. Contact us today at (800) 544-8877.

Additional UCaaS and CX FAQs

Q: What is the difference between UCaaS, CcaaS, and CX?

A: UCaaS focuses on internal communication and collaboration tools, while CCaaS manages customer interactions across multiple channels. CX encompasses the broader strategy of creating a holistic, seamless customer experience from first engagement through the entire customer journey.

Q: How do UCaaS and CX improve business efficiency?

A: Both solutions streamline communication processes, reduce costs, and provide advanced features like real-time analytics and CRM integration, enhancing overall business efficiency.

Q: Can UCaaS and CX strategies be integrated?

A:  Yes, many providers offer integrated solutions combining UCaaS and CX, providing a comprehensive communication and customer service platform for simplifying the management of the entire customer journey.

Q: What are the typical costs associated with UCaaS, CCaaS, and CX solutions?

A: UCaaS costs range from $5.57 to $35 per month per user, while a combined platform with both UCaaS and CX capabilities ranges from $50 to $150 per month per user, depending on the features, integration needs, and provider.

Q: Are there any setup fees for UCaaS and CX solutions?

A: Some providers may charge setup fees, while others include setup in their monthly pricing. It’s essential to check with the provider for specific details.

“As Director of Carrier Services, Rob brings more than two decades of UCaaS and Telecom experience to pinpointing UCaaS strategies with high-performance technologies.”

Rob CookDirector of Carrier Services

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