Four ways to get more out of Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a powerful collaboration platform and these four powerful tips will maximize your investment in it and improve service for internal and external customers:

1.      Empower informal support groups. “Informal” contact centers have knowledge experts or other employees who aren’t your typical call-center agents assisting internal or external clients. With the Response Group Services (RGS) feature in Skype for Business, ad-hoc customer engagement or internal support teams have most of the tools they need without the hefty PBX investment that traditional call-center software would require. With RGS, informal support groups simply have the ability to answer and queue voice calls that are routed using basic IVRs. RGS is a standard feature in Skype for Business and with it can provide simple ACD functionality you need for the most informal groups without any additional third-party applications.

However, RGS has limited functionality and management tools. If you find that your informal contact centers are growing in importance and complexity, you may consider adding contact center software such as Clarity Connect. Contact center software enables you to efficiently route inquiries to the right agent based on historical or record real-time data – such as the nature of their request, the skills of the agent or a previous interaction. And as your informal contact center grows in importance to the organization, Clarity Connect can add management tools to provide accountability and help with process improvement. In essence, your informal support groups could have the same capabilities as a standard enterprise-level contact center – at a fraction of the cost.

2.      Add collaboration capabilities to your help desk. The internal help desk is an important, but often overlooked, resource to improve the efficiency of your organization. Skype for Business can enable the fastest, smoothest internal-support response, as it was built from the ground-up to be a true collaboration platform. Your IT support staff can use its IM, voice and screen-sharing features to more effectively communicate with other employees. In addition, the presence functionality facilitates communication at a time that’s mutually convenient for both parties.

 Although many don’t think of a help desk as a contact center, contact center software is the perfect addition for a large or complex help desk. As with informal contact centers, contact center software can provide significant boots to efficiency by adding intelligent routing as well as management tools to improve performance.

3.      Deploy web chat. Web chat combines the speed of service that customers expect from dialing an 800 number with the ease and familiarity of digital correspondence through online messaging. In a recent eDigitalResearch study, web chat was ranked the highest among all channels for customer satisfaction, meaning that there is great potential for web chat to grow in popularity.

Thankfully, Skype for Business was built from the ground up to handle a number of different communication channels, and easily accommodates web chat if added via software such as Clarity Connect. In addition, with Clarity Connect, you could have the ability to intelligently route and record important data at every point in the support interaction, and integrate it seamlessly with your customer care operations. Web chat also allows off-shore support agents to communicate more easily with English-speaking customers. Web chat can also enable a post-chat survey within the chat window, encouraging customers to provide feedback that can help you improve the experience.

Chat bots are the newest addition to web chat functionality. These bots can be created in Clarity Connect with call flow coding, using intelligent rules you define to converse with customers through a web chat widget. When a customer initiates web chat, your self-help chat bot can take the lead, prompting the customer for specific input that ideally will lead to rapid, agent-free handling of simple requests – such as a tracking number lookup. Adding another layer of automation to your service and support groups will divert traffic away from your agents and handle simple requests that would otherwise crowd the support queue. If the customer has a more complex inquiry, this conversation could be intelligently escalated to an available agent who can take over and chat with the customer directly.

4.      Contact centers native to Skype for Business are possible by virtue of Microsoft APIs that enable deep integrations and flexible customization. Deploying a native contact center to handle customer interactions eliminates the expense of maintaining separate telephony systems and can also improve your customer service in a number of ways.

With a traditional call center, your agents might have to navigate between two or more software clients while interacting the customer, adding unnecessary complexity to the process. With a contact center native to Skype for Business, such as Clarity Connect, you can deliver full contact center functionality within the same window as a Skype for Business call. As a result, the reduction in handle time from this unified approach can lead to efficiencies and cost savings.

A natively integrated contact center also enables you to elevate your support with the powerful collaborative capabilities of Skype for Business. Multi-channel communication enables new ways to manage customer service: you can escalate from chat to voice, and even add screen sharing or video calling to allow for the quickest resolution to your customer’s issue. If the first agent is unable to resolve the issue alone, the native contact center makes it easy for that agent to collaborate with a subject matter expert in order to efficiently serve your customer. When your agents are able to instantly communicate and share information within a unified communications platform, average handle time will drop while agent utilization rises.

Skype for Business is a great platform for collaboration and customer service. Contact center software that is native to Skype for Business, such as Clarity Connect, can provide a powerful enhancement to your internal and external customer service while reducing costs.

Learn more about how a contact center that is native to Skype for Business can make the difference in your organization.