Voice & Collaboration
Why Your Small Business Needs Unified Communications (UCaaS)
·02 February 2022
If you’ve run a small business for a while, there’s a good chance you rely on an old phone system on its last legs. With an increasing number of employees working from home, older systems are failing to meet the evolving needs of many businesses. Plagued with issues, unsupported by the original manufacturer, and limited in functionality, this legacy technology simply can’t provide what small businesses need anymore.
Now imagine that you had a reliable communications platform, with 24×7 support, and the collaboration tools that your customers—and employees—are demanding. Imagine it was even available at a lower price point than you are currently paying. Welcome to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
What UCaaS Can Do for Your Small Business
Unified communications combines voice, video, text, email, chat and other communication channels into one flexible platform (hence, unified). In short, virtually any method that your employees or customers wish to communicate is now possible, improving customer experiences with minimal recurring costs or up-front investment.
UCaaS’ powerful functionality can level the playing field for many small businesses. Why? Because cloud-based, unified communications enable you to appear as big as you want to be.
Got enterprise competitors offering interactive voice response (IVR)? You can, too. What about omni-channel support, or real-time transcription and language translation? You can offer these features, too, without expensive equipment or engineering talent.
UCaaS management features such as analytics, screen and call recording can improve operational efficiency and customer service dramatically. Imagine the value of using recordings of your most successful customer interactions as the basis for training new employees—now, it’s easy.
In short, scalability is built seamlessly into your UCaaS solution. Adding new users, locations, or even features can be done, at any time, with just a few clicks of the mouse.
UCaaS and Your Customers
Small business owners need to recognize that today’s consumers want to reach you via any number of sales channels. The days of “call me” are over.
In the spirit of lowering barriers to doing business, you want to be able to have meaningful conversations through the medium of your customer’s choosing, whether that’s voice, video, email, or chat.
Why would you risk alienating a customer who wants to use chat versus a phone call or email? Do you want to risk losing a sale because you can’t do a web demonstration? With UCaaS, all on-ramps to a sale become available.
What Are the Best Unified Communications Tools for Small Businesses?
The three most common UCaaS tools are Cisco WebEx, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Most companies choose one as their primary meeting platform.
Here at C3, we’re partial to WebEx for several reasons. Most of all, we like that it’s the most secure platform of the three. We believe that in a world of debilitating hacks and ransomware, no business of any size can afford to neglect the security of their communication platform.
We also appreciate WebEx’s flexibility and common user interface, whether accessed from a PC, Mac, or mobile phone running Android or iOS. Unlike Zoom and Teams, there is no vendor “lock-in” that forces you to use Zoom’s telephony services, or Microsoft’s Windows operating system (which typically receives the newest Teams features first). With WebEx, you’re unlikely to be told “that service isn’t supported on your device” or “you can only use our official integration.”
What Is the Cost of UCaaS for Small Businesses?
It’s this simple: UCaaS is absolutely affordable for small businesses. Accelerated by the pandemic, these tools have become ubiquitous, costs have come down, and whatever previous barriers existed for small businesses have been removed.
In fact, for what a plain old telephone service (“POTS” in industry parlance) line cost just five years ago, you can now equip an employee with a fully featured, scalable UCaaS solution.
As UCaaS costs have plummeted, old-school phone line costs have actually skyrocketed in many parts of the country, and have been completely sunset in others.
With costs no longer a concern, there has never been a better time to make the leap—and there is a decent chance your competitors already have.
Yes, You CAN Make the Leap to UCaaS
UCaaS is now easily justified by any small business given its functionality, security, scalability, and the general simplicity with which the transition can be made.
The only question is exactly which tool is best for your business, and whether you would benefit from a partner like C3 Complete to implement and manage your UCaaS service.
Either way, we hope you make the leap. Your customers—and employees—will thank you.