Value-added resellers (VARs) have a unique opportunity to educate their customers on the benefits of business process automation with unified communications and collaboration (UCC) integration. Some of these benefits are time savings; consistency in output, quality, and reliability; faster time to market; the ability to produce metrics; and cost savings. But how does a VAR go about explaining these benefits to clients?
A good way to start is to have a good understanding of what the customer’s processes consist of today and an idea of what their future goals consist of. Input from all departments is important, as is an understanding of how divisions and branches communicate with each other today. Here are some good ways to define business process integration with customers.
Savings in Time
Manual functions are time-consuming and tend to be inaccurate and inconsistent due to human error. Automating these processes allows for fewer errors, greater output in the same time frame, and more time to dedicate to other projects that can bring a company profit. For instance, automating the invoicing process will free up a lot of time and reduce mistakes; then by adding in UCC components in order to help with invoice notifications, the process will then become completely streamlined.
Consistency in Output
By automating output, consistency can be achieved offering a company’s clients the security that they are receiving the highest level of service at all times. An example of this would be automating replies to customer inquiries. Each inquiry reply is consistent in its messaging and timing. This can be done in a number of ways, for instance, by using call center tools or CRM systems.
Quality and Reliability
When a process is automated, quality is improved, because each task is accomplished identically. This ensures reliability in a process because of high-quality output. Companies can rely on their processes, which in turn makes their clients feel like they are getting a better quality of products and services. For instance, when customers want to reach a company and can do so by voice, email, chat, or video, they feel like they are getting the reliable customer service they want.
Faster Time to Market
When workflows are automated, companies can find areas where steps can be reduced and processes can be streamlined. This saves time and allows products and services to be delivered to the market faster, giving companies a competitive advantage. An example of UCC supporting this would be having engineers in different locations conduct meetings via video conferencing in order to finalize designs and resolve issues quickly and clearly.
The Ability to Produce Metrics
With automation, key performance indicators (KPIs) can be established, monitored, reported, and tweaked in order to improve processes. Access to time-sensitive and precise corporate data can provide a company with important information to ensure that it is on the right track toward success. For instance, in a call center, KPIs for time to answer, number of calls taken, number of abandoned calls, and other factors can all help identify the success of a service center or allow management to tweak objectives for improvement.
Let’s face it—manual tasks take a lot of time and effort that cost companies money, like labor costs, among other things. Automation can do these same tasks faster, easier, and less expensively than companies that don’t automate business processes. Using the call center example again, automating the customer database using CRM platforms, then enabling screen pops using UCC tools, more callers can be handled in a day than by keeping manual records and having to look up each caller when he or she contacts the center.
VARs can use some of these examples with customers that have similar issues—the need to automate certain processes in order to gain a benefit that will help the company become more efficient, profitable, and reliable. Customers are always looking for ways to make their businesses better, and VARs that can speak to their needs are likely to be successful and profitable themselves.
Does your company talk to customers about automating business processes and how UCC can support their efforts? Please comment below.