Unified communication integrates multiple communications services.
Integrating communication services can simplify and streamline work, helping employees improve efficiency. — Getty Images/gradyreese

Communication drives healthy small businesses. With an abundance of tech tools out there, it can become easy to lose projects, files and other messages. What’s worse is often the incessant onslaught of notifications from several different work platforms. Businesses have to run efficiently to be effective, and that has come to mean unifying several different aspects of digital communication.

Unified communication allows small businesses to integrate several different communication services under one platform. There are unified communication suites that provide varying apps with similar interfaces and integrations for easy collaboration, and there are whole products that aim to meet every communication need. Finding the right platform or suite for your business depends largely on your needs.

Before diving into what platform works for you, it’s important to understand unified communication, how it works and its benefits for your small business.

[Read: 5 Smart Strategies for Communicating With Your Employees]

What is unified communication?

Essentially, unified communication is when businesses use an integrated suite or platform of tools to communicate. It means that all of your communication tech tools will complement each other, and you won’t have to switch between siloed programs to find that file or piece of information you need to move forward.

Depending on your small business, you may use only a few methods of communication. If you run a large business, you may be prone to using several. However, regardless of the size of your business, you should prioritize unified communication so you can increase efficiency and provide your company with a platform to grow into. This is especially important as the future of work shifts to remote work. In the last five years alone, the remote work has increased by almost half.

[Read: 5 Apps to Improve Employee Communications]

Unified communication allows small businesses to integrate several different communication services under one platform.

Benefits of unified communication

While there are countless benefits to getting your team aligned onto the same platform and products, we highlighted a few notable ones for your business.

  • Improved efficiency: The biggest benefit to unified communication is improved efficiency. Unified communication means your workers can save time on small tasks. Whether transferring calls or dialing into a phone system from a remote location, unified communication can seamlessly allow your employees to get things done.
  • Reduced costs: There can be a lot of overlap with business communication tools. This means that paying for multiple tools to basically do the same thing can be a burden on your business. Unified communication means shedding excess costs and keeping your business lean.
  • Seamless integration: Like improved efficiency, seamless integration means your employees will have access to numerous tools without any limitations or barriers.
  • Streamlined administrative work: One of the most frustrating aspects to running a small business is having to handle endless administrative work. With several communication avenues among your teams, that can mean extra paperwork and product upkeep. Unified communication can eliminate this.
  • Better customer service efforts: There is nothing worse than when a business leaves you on hold, or your call is dropped when you’re transferring departments. By using unified communication, you can limit these types of occurrences for your customers. Because your communication tools will appear in one place, it will be easier to track a customer’s journey through them. This can allow you to cut down on customer service headaches and better run your business.
  • More flexible work environment: Remote work is increasing, and small businesses everywhere are starting to consider how remote work can play an important role. Unified communication allows for remote work, which means you can keep your employees happy and retain top talent.

[Read: 9 Ways to Offer Great Customer Service]

There is no reason not to integrate your communication tools and take advantage of the benefits unified communication has to offer. It can help you cut costs, better serve your customers and retain top talent. Most importantly, it can help you keep track of all the details and information related to your business.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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