In the past few years, the remote working trend has enhanced the popularity of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). As per various analysts, the usage of UCaaS will increase more and more in the coming years. All businesses, starting from startups to large enterprises, have realized the importance of unified communication. Earlier, employees were using different types of collaboration tools to connect with their coworkers and customers, which was not reliable and efficient communication. With the help of Unified Communications as a Service, businesses can leverage the benefits of an efficient, cost-effective, and streamlined communication system.
What does UCaaS mean?
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a cloud delivery unified communications model that provides numerous communication and collaboration applications and services. UCaaS offers the utmost flexibility and scalability for core business operations. Owned, operated, maintained, and delivered by the service provider, UCaaS supports various communications functions such as:
- Enterprise telephony
- Audio, video, and web conferencing meetings
- Unified messaging
- Instant messaging and presence
- Communications-enabled business processes
What are UCaaS features?
Below mentioned are some of the key features of UCaaS that can benefit businesses in several ways.
- PSTN connectivity: PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is one of the key features of UCaaS. Seamless connectivity to the PSTN allows businesses to reach people outside of the office. In the absence of public switched telephone network connectivity, the employees can only connect with others on the same communication system. UCaaS, being a cloud delivery, unified communications facilitates both internal and external voice connectivity via the internet.
- Auto-attendant: The auto attendant is a smart feature that connects callers to the most appropriate department based on their queries or the numerical input on their dial pad. Setting up auto attendants helps businesses in delivering exceptional user experience.
- Direct-dial numbers: Direct-dial numbers allow people to make calls without passing through an auto attendant. A DID (Direct Inward Dial) phone number is used that directly goes to a phone extension in an organization. DID numbers are useful in offering a more personalized and user-friendly customer experience.
- Call recording: Today’s businesses prefer recording calls for various purposes such as training, better resolution of customer queries, future reference, etc. The UCaaS solutions come with call recording capabilities that allow users to record calls and store them securely in the cloud. This gives management complete visibility into customer calls. These calls can be reviewed later to improve customer satisfaction.
- Interactive voice response: Interactive voice response or IVR is a popular feature of UCaaS that allows customers to interact with an organization’s phone system. Businesses can use this feature to provide real-time account information for verification purposes, provide a quick solution to customer’s issues, and route the inbound calls to the right agent or department.
- Call analytics: The UCaaS solutions also comprise a call analytics feature that lets users access important call analytics such as speed of call answering, call handle times, call waiting time, abandonment rate, etc. With the help of historical as well as real-time data, businesses can improve their performance and bring out better outcomes.
- Toll-free numbers: A toll-free number is a contact number that allows customers to call businesses through landlines at no charge. A toll-free number for a business provides it a national presence. A toll-free number usually begins with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833. Small businesses can use the toll-free number to build trust, track and route calls to the concerned departments.
- Mobile application: Another most popular Unified Communications as a Service feature is the integrated mobile app. The feature allows users to make calls and stay connected via their iOS and Android smartphones. The integrated mobile apps are also known as Softphones that comprises various in-built UCaaS features like visual voicemail, call forwarding, call flipping, etc. Users can easily answer calls, send chat messages, attend meetings, and view screens.
- Desktop application: VoIP Softphones work well on both laptops and desktops. With the help of a desktop application feature, users can communicate easily while sitting on their workstations. The feature allows users to make and receive calls, transfer calls, set their availability, manage contacts. Most importantly, they can easily collaborate with their coworkers via voice/video calls and chat messages.
- Cloud PBX: A PBX system hosted on the cloud allows an organization to run their whole phone system on an internet connection. With cloud PBX, companies do not require any physical working space or specialized IP telephony tools. Besides, cloud PBX can seamlessly equip remote workers and can be scaled as per the business requirements.
- Audio conferencing: Audio conferencing feature of UCaaS lets users host remote meetings with HD capabilities. Concerned parties can easily join these conference calls from their mobile device or computer. It also comprises various useful moderation features such as call muting, recording, and lecture mode.
- Video conferencing: Similar to audio conferencing, users can run various productive one-on-one and multi-person video calls. This UCaaS feature delivers real-time audio, video, chat, and screen sharing options. Besides, if facilitated by the service provider, users can also record video meetings.
- Team presence: Another key feature of UCaaS is team presence. As the name suggests, the feature describes the status of team members. For instance, the team presence feature displays an employee’s current status whether he is busy, on-call, away, available, etc. The feature helps to reduce interruptions and saves a lot of time.
- Website chat: With the help of live website chat, organizations can assist their customers quickly and efficiently. Without connecting a customer on a call with an agent, users can provide instant resolution of a query on the chat itself. The feature can be used to create better user experiences.
- Web conferencing: UCaaS platform also allows users to host live streams, online workshops, webinars, conferences, and more without the need to download software or complex setup. The feature allows users to share screens, chat, and share important files. All the concerned parties can join web conferencing easily and securely.
- Call flows: UCaaS platform lets companies set an organized and flawless set up of incoming calls. Users can easily handle the flow of calls by setting auto attendants, business hours, ring groups, call routing, and various other options on a single screen.
- Screen pop: The screen pop feature makes the call handling work much easier for the agents. It displays the caller information on the agent’s screen even before answering a call. The feature works by pulling the data from the company’s CRM system and showing it as pop up on the agent’s screen to provide a quick and personalized solution to the customers.
- Call queues: The call queues feature allows organizations to handle and manage a high volume of calls easily and efficiently. When the system receives more calls than the available agents, it automatically places the calls in queues to route them later to the agents based on their availability.
- Queue callbacks: Instead of keeping callers on hold, businesses can use the queue callback option to assure a better user experience. The feature offers an alternative to the customers based on the average speed of call answers to get a call back from the next available agent.
- Omnichannel support: Today’s customers prefer connecting with businesses via their choice of a communication channel. The omnichannel support feature of UCaaS allows users to use any channel like chat, voice, email, SMS, social media, etc., to connect with customer care.
These are some of the key features of UCaaS that allow businesses to handle and manage their daily operations with ease. Businesses can benefit greatly from UCaaS benefits in improved user experience, lower costs, increased scalability, and enhanced security.