By Shifting to UCaaS, Expect a CX Boost in These 5 Areas

Even in the digital era, many companies continue to rely on outdated technology, leading to disjointed and frustrating interactions that alienate loyal customers, drive prospects away, damage the organization's reputation, and ultimately harm the business in significant, measurable ways.

Subpar outcomes like these are a big reason 48% of organizational customer experience leaders report they are working to integrate contact centers with unified communications (UC) platforms, according to a 2023 study from Zoom and Metrigy, while 46% are adding management tools to improve their network, audio or video performance, and 31% are migrating communications infrastructure and apps from on-premises to the cloud.

Organizations are judged by the quality of the digital experience they provide. A superior digital-forward CX is a competitive differentiator and equalizer; companies that consistently deliver them have a distinct edge over those that don’t, regardless of their size or how well-resourced they are. The culprit for an inferior CX? Oftentimes it’s the outcome of an organization’s dependence on legacy communications technologies like time division multiplexing (TDM), DS1 and DS3 access solutions and copper-based services like primary rate interfaces (PRIs) and, of course, plain old telephone services (POTS).

These kinds of systems tend to translate into a bumpy ride for customers and employees. Which is why more organizations that have struggled with CX lately have rebuilt their communications infrastructure around cloud-based UC, and UCaaS (unified communications as a service) in particular. As a centrally managed phone, mobility and multi-channel communications solution that unifies key functions like presence, chat, SMS text, video, audio and web conferencing, mobile apps and other productivity-enhancing features, moving to UCaaS can translate into a massive CX upgrade, one that reshapes customer journeys in five key areas:

1. Eliminating frustrating disruptions and disjointed experiences.

Wright & Filippis built a strong reputation in the healthcare industry for making advanced prosthetics, orthotics and accessibility products. However, its aging legacy voice system and overall communications infrastructure (including on-premises voice services that were beyond end-of-life, difficult to manage and expensive to maintain, along with legacy POTS and VoIP services) were anything but advanced by today’s standards, resulting in voice outages and disjointed experiences for patients and employees alike at many of the company’s clinics nationally. After implementing a UCaaS solution, those issues have been virtually eliminated. Advanced softphone features have enabled the company’s customer support teams to increase caseloads and improve customer outcomes, whether they’re working in the office or remotely.

2. Staying connected during a disaster.

With climate-related disasters increasing in frequency — it’s predicted to be a busy Atlantic hurricane season, for example — and other hard-to-predict disruptions (from earthquakes, wildfires, etc.) also looming for many businesses, it’s critical that an organization have multiple reliable channels through which to keep the lines of communications (voice, video, messaging) open with customers — and with members of support teams so they can continue to serve customers during an extreme event. Maintaining that communications lifeline can be next to impossible with on-premise infrastructure. Not only can UCaaS preserve communications between an organization, its customers, suppliers and employees during a disaster, as a service that’s managed by a third party, it also gives an organization an extension of their own IT department to play the role of first responder and handle communications troubleshooting and fixes. Instead of seeing sales, productivity, and customer satisfaction suffer as a result of a disaster-related communications disruption, UCaaS keeps multiple channels open for business.

3. Keeping network users and data secure.

As sophisticated and persistent as cyberthreats are nowadays, UCaaS helps to counter them with multiple layers of security, including end-to-end encryption of chats, messages and meetings, multifactor authentication, along with extra measures to meet industry-specific compliance standards like HIPAA for healthcare organizations. Some organizations choose to pair UCaaS with Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), an advanced cybersecurity framework that weaves together multiple security layers to protect various communications channels and the data flowing through them.

4. Empowering customers.

Regardless of the business you’re in, customers expect your organization to provide easy, seamless, rich interactions across channels. Anything less than the ability to interact with you anywhere, from any device, and they’re apt to take their business to another competing organization that offers more robust and varied communications options. With UCaaS, organizations gain access to a deep set of tools, from chat to video meetings with desktop sharing and beyond, so customers get the information they need, via their preferred channel, when they need it. This directly benefits a business’s top and bottom lines.

5. Superior EX = superior CX.

There’s truth in the adage that a high-quality employee experience generally translates into a high-quality customer experience. Organizations that empower their customer support teams with a robust, fully integrated set of tools to execute their jobs better, without having to bounce from platform to platform and app to app, are bound to produce better outcomes for customers.

    Shifting to UCaaS from legacy communications infrastructure isn’t just about elevating the customer experience today, it’s about future-proofing the productivity hub of your organization for whatever technologies and capabilities come next, giving you the ability to upgrade with new AI-driven wrinkles, for example, that further enrich the customer experience. Technological obsolescence is a very real risk with any communications infrastructure investment. By relying on a managed UCaaS service, organizations hand responsibility for staying abreast of, evaluating and implementing the latest CX-enabling capabilities to a trusted third party, turning a substantial risk into an important experiential advantage.


    Elizabeth Orth is Senior Vice President, Customer Care & Service Assurance, at Windstream Enterprise, a leading IT managed services provider.