Optimise Remote Working with Microsoft Teams

March 2020 brought about an unprecedented global situation both personally and professionally, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to abandon their offices in favour of their homes. Without innovative collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams keeping us connected, the transition to remote working would have been nearly impossible. However, the success of this transition is exemplified by the fact that even as the pandemic begins to ease, many businesses are continuing to operate using a remote or hybrid working model.

As more employees demonstrate their desire to continue working remotely in some capacity, in order to retain their key players, all businesses must understand how to integrate additional, mission-critical capabilities such as contact center as a service, into their Microsoft Teams estate, to enable teams to deliver value to customers from anywhere and compliantly access the tools they need to perform as part of this hybrid model.

Fortunately, Solgari for Microsoft Teams offers a simple solution, boasting a variety of features, capabilities and benefits that make remote working not just possible but effective.

 

The features of remote working with Microsoft Teams

 

Document collaboration and file sharing

Microsoft Teams provides a single, seamless environment in which to store and share crucial documents and files. Whether you are working in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, users can easily share and collaborate on documents in real time, even when a customer or colleague is on the line. As Microsoft Teams syncs updates automatically, you don’t need to worry about version control or over-writing another user’s work. With effective collaboration at your fingertips and the business communication capabilty of Solgari working in perfect harmony, remote working with Microsoft Teams has never been easier.

 

Instant messaging

If your team are not physically together in the office, then they need to find an equally fast way to communicate. Not every request, query or check requires an email; in fact, many businesses are finding internal email increasingly inefficient. Microsoft Teams allows colleagues to stay connected quickly and easily. Not only can you easily reach fellow employees, but you can check their availability at a glance via their statuses, so you can feel assured that you are not messaging at an inappropriate or inconvenient time. From a contact centre perspective, that Presence detail can integrate with call status, queues, and wrap-up time – so that colleagues get one, accurate way of knowing whether you’re available for a call or chat, or not as the case may be.

teams

 

Video calling

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of remote working with Microsoft Teams is the ability to host meetings and conferences via video call. According to your specific preferences, you can set the meeting to either only audio or video. There are also a range of features that make holding meetings online easier and more productive. For instance, the speaker can share their screen to make content more accessible to everyone involved, the meeting can be recorded and made available on demand to anyone, and participants can raise their hand (virtually) to ask questions without interrupting. These features help to make virtual meetings just as seamless as in-person ones.

 

Organisation and management

One of the greatest challenges of remote working is organising your team while working separately. Staying abreast of your colleagues’ engagements and commitments can be challenging without being able to ask them personally. Fortunately, remote working with Microsoft Teams is made easier by its impressive organisational capabilities. Teams integrates with your Outlook calendar, allowing you to not only maintain consistency across your Microsoft 365 suite, but also access the calendars of your colleagues too. Creating and inserting new meetings is simple once you have a clear understanding of everyone’s availability.

Furthermore, you can integrate Planner into Microsoft Teams, adding it as a tab in the General section for convenience. This tool allows you to create to-do lists, categorise tasks, set timelines, prioritise projects and assign them to members of your team. In short, Planner helps you to stay on top of your daily operations and track your progress more easily.

Within the contact centre function, Supervisors gain a single, unified view of call and agent data, across all channels – providing them with the tools and insight required to refine processes, manage call queues, identify communication bottlenecks, promote first call resolution, and increase efficiency throughout the contact centre estate.

 

Optimise Teams with Solgari  

Solgari is an omnichannel Contact center as a service, delivering powerful, unified communications. Available as a native application within Microsoft Teams, Solgari helps to enhance and extend its remote working potential with voice, video, chat, SMS, WhatsApp and social media.

Want to discover how Solgari can enhance remote working with Microsoft Teams? Book a demo today to trial our innovative communication capabilities.

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Solgari for Microsoft Teams launch

Dublin, Ireland – Monday 23rd May

Solgari, a member of Microsoft’s Inner Circle for Business Applications since 2020, is delighted to announce that our proven and trusted all channel contact-centre-as-a-service (CCaaS) solution is now available as an application for Microsoft Teams. The Teams application is based on Solgari’s solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service which launched last year.

Solgari for Microsoft Teams brings new capabilities in agent-assisted and automated Customer Service, Sales, and Marketing to millions of active Teams users and their customers.

Solgari for Teams brings additional communication channels for inbound and outbound customer engagement, including SMS, WhatsApp, social media, Voice, and any API-enabled channel. Integrations for globally relevant channels including WeChat and Line are scheduled into the solution roadmap.

Agents can switch effortlessly from internal collaboration with colleagues, to customer and prospect-facing conversations, and with multi-session handling across different channels as standard as well as real-time reporting dashboards. The solution takes advantage of the integration between Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 by providing case management capability that writes the relevant communications into the customer entity timelines.

Supervisors and Business Leaders benefit from one golden source of all unified communication channel data, enabling both day-to-day management of their contact centre estate as well as strategic refinement and operational efficiency gains.

Customers benefit from the wide range of industry-specific use cases that Solgari for Microsoft Teams enables, such as patient and family outreach by healthcare professionals, delivery of compliant remote financial advisory services, or post-sale service and support in manufacturing and retail.

Solgari’s strategy leverages Microsoft cloud through the all-channel cloud contact centre solution integrated with Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365, and specific Microsoft Industry Cloud focus across Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail and Non-Profit. The solution is available on Azure and supports regional compliance and security requirements and provides a tier-1 carrier service.

Marcel McCann, Solgari CTO, said “Solgari for Microsoft Teams answers the demand from Teams users who want to use the application for customer service and sales, putting Teams at the centre of customer communications. Delivered on Azure and leveraging our Solgari for Dynamics 365 application, Solgari is delivering a scalable and global solution that gives any Teams user access to any communication channel, all contact centre and case management capability to address their own industry use cases. We are delighted to extend our deep integration with Microsoft with this high value, customer focused solution for the modern workplace.”

Ben Summers, Director, Teams & Microsoft 365 Platform Marketing at Microsoft, said “Solgari is taking advantage of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 to deliver a high value add cloud contact centre solution to Teams users. The integration of Solgari with Microsoft Teams offers Teams users an all-channel cloud contact centre solution that rapidly addresses their customers’ sales and support requirements across multiple industries.”

Solgari for Microsoft Teams is available now on Microsoft AppSource as a “preferred solution”, as well as selected ISV partner marketplaces of high relevance for SMB customers globally.

Solgari for Microsoft Teams demonstrates Solgari’s continued commitment to excellence in innovation as an ISV within the Microsoft ecosystem – building on a year of deepening our usage and penetration across Microsoft, including being recognised for Azure IP Co-Sell ready status, the recent migration of Solgari entirely to Azure, and being one of the only communication ISVs included in the Business Application Inner Circle for Microsoft’s FY22.

 

—–ENDS—–

 

Contacts

Vincent Kelly – Head of Marketing, Solgari

vincent.kelly@solgari.com

 

About Solgari:

Solgari is a Premium Tier Microsoft Business Applications ISV Connect Partner and part of the Microsoft Inner Circle for Business Applications. Solgari provides the All-Channel Communications Solution for Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform, as well as the Solgari for Dynamics 365 Customer Voice Solution which delivers automated phone and SMS surveys.

Our solutions allow Teams, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform customers across Healthcare, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail, Real Estate and Non-Profit to address all business communications from customer care, contact tracing, sales, marketing, surveys, and automation, across all channels and functions removing the need for multiple telephony, contact centre, recording and archiving, and carrier solutions. Solgari is an end-to-end global cloud communications solution requiring no hardware or software and in conjunction with our carrier and SMS capability, is available anywhere.

If you are interested in finding out more about Solgari customer outcomes, visit www.solgari.com

 

Optimise your Digital Investment: Debunking 5 Customer Journey Myths

Given the near-universal trend of consumers transacting and engaging on digital channels, businesses have in turn invested heavily in digital channels and capabilities to provide a better customer experience at a lower cost. 

However, pervasive myths about customer behaviours and needs are limiting service leaders’ ability to leverage these channels effectively. As the use of digital channels evolves, consumer behaviour adapts alongside it. In order to stay abreast of customer behaviour trends, and curate an informed, effective channel strategy, service leaders must debunk these pervasive customer journey myths.  

In October 2021, Gartner published a valuable press release, written by PR Manager Gloria Omale, detailing five myths about customer service journeys that undermine service leaders’ digital investments. 

In this article, we will explore Gartner’s findings in the context of 2022. By unpacking the realities of modern consumer behaviour as discussed in Gartner’s press release, we will demonstrate new ways to help you to optimise your digital investment and create long-term customer loyalty. Additionally, we will explore how an all-channels communication platform, like Solgari, can help you to optimise your customer service experience.  

 

Myth #1: Customers will adopt new channels without hesitation 

All too many service leaders have begun to advocate for the use of self-service, automated capabilities, as it typically offers the greatest efficiency in terms of issue resolution. Leaders can tend to view this automated capability as a ‘silver bullet’, ignoring the established fact that customers can quickly lose patience and abandon self-service in favour of more familiar, assisted channels.

Research from Gartner demonstrates reports that many customers begin their service journey online. This creates an opportunity to redirect customers into digital channels like self-service. Once there, the key is to enable customers to escalate smoothly into an agent-assisted experience at will – where the agent is provided with visibility into the entire conversation up to that point as well as contextual detail on the customer’s relationship with the business. This will optimise the digital investment poured into self-service functionality.  

 

Myth #2: Channel switching worsens the customer experience  

Service leaders believe that channel switches require customers to invest more time and effort, resulting in frustrations, lower retention, disloyalty and brand tarnishing. However, in their press release, Gartner reported that customers have no issue with switching channels, so long as their challenge is resolved in a single, continuous interaction. Frustration comes from delays and lack of communication. 

The best strategy is to curate unique customer journeys by utilising the most suitable channels for specific issues. Leading service organisations ensure that when a channel switch is needed, the context of the customer journey is also transferred. This decreases resolution time and minimises the chance of a customer abandoning the original interaction. 

customer service

 

Myth #3: Great customer service ensures customer retention 

It is natural for service organisations to assume that if a customer has an exemplary experience with an organisation, then they will automatically want to do more business with them in the future. However, this is not always true. While high-quality service interactions may stop customers from leaving, it is not enough to ensure retention. Gartner reports that customers ultimately show loyalty to the company’s product or service offering, rather than the service experience. Therefore, your business must ensure that customer service energy is adequately focused on helping customers obtain more value from the initial service offering or product.  

 

Myth #4: Proactive service reduces customer service call volume  

Proactive services are deployed to help resolve issues before they become problematic or disruptive to the end client. Service organisations tend to believe that by acting proactively, they will eliminate the need to contact customer service and therefore reduce hassle for customers. While proactivity is beneficial in many ways, research has found that it actually has the opposite effect on customer behaviour. While it does not consistently reduce contact volume or costs, proactive service does improve customer experience outcomes and is beneficial for the reputation of your brand. 

 

Myth #5: Customers frequently and instinctively contact customer service channels  

When issues occur, service leaders assume that customers will automatically reach out to customer service for problem resolution. After all, that is the intended purpose of customer service channels. In actuality, most customers view contacting customer service as their last resort. In particular, client bases made up of younger age groups, such as millennials and Gen Z, increasingly turn to third-party sites to resolve their problems. Therefore, when developing channel strategies, service leaders need to recognise and account for the fact that many clients seek out information via search engines and third-party channels first.  

 

Effective customer service and support is vital if you wish to enhance customer satisfaction and foster client loyalty. Solgari helps to make customer communication seamless, easy and efficient. Solgari integrates an all-channel communication endpoint directly into your CRM. You are always able to contact clients via the most appropriate channel (including voice, video, chat, SMS, WhatsApp and social media) without ever leaving your CRM screen.  

Unlock the communications freedom you have been waiting for. Book a meeting with one of our representatives to discover how Solgari could transform your customer experience and optimise your digital investment today. 

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Solgari and Velosio announce partnership

Solgari and Velosio are delighted to announce their new strategic partnership. The alliance will enable Velosio’s customer network to quickly benefit from Solgari’s market-leading customer experience CCaaS solution, Converse, as well as reinforce Solgari’s go-to-market reach across the American market. With all configuration in the cloud, go-live in days, and deep integration with Microsoft Dynamics Field Service, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service, Solgari enables businesses across the Velosio customer network to offer effective, productive and enjoyable end user experiences, in a consistent and joined up manner across each of their preferred communication channels, with the right blend of automated self-service and agent assisted outcomes and increased retention benefits for customers.

Commenting on the partnership, Bill Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer at Velosio said, “At Velosio, we carefully select the best solutions to meet the complex needs of our clients. We’re confident in Solgari’s ability to help our clients streamline their communications with their customers through a single solution – in turn, helping their employees become more efficient and productive.”

Louis Doré, Solgari’s Vice President of Sales and Partnerships, The Americas, remarked, “Solgari offers unrivalled speed to value, as our cloud-enabled all channel customer experience technology is proven to deliver measurable business impact in days. We’re very excited to be bringing this opportunity to market with our friends at Velosio, and enabling businesses to meet their customers’ ever-evolving expectations in the Manufacturing Industry; especially within field service, professional services and HVAC companies in the Mid-Market segment.”

— ENDS —

 

Contacts

Vincent Kelly – Head of Marketing, Solgari

vincent.kelly@solgari.com

 

Bill Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer, Velosio

insider@velosio.com

 

About Solgari:

Solgari is a Premium Tier Microsoft Business Applications ISV Connect Partner and part of the Microsoft Inner Circle for Business Applications. Solgari provides the All-Channel Communications Solution for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, as well as the Solgari for Dynamics 365 Customer Voice Solution which delivers automated phone and SMS surveys.

Our solutions allow Dynamics 365 and Power Platform customers across Healthcare, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail, Real Estate and Non-Profit to address all business communications from customer care, contact tracing, sales, marketing, surveys, and automation, across all channels and functions removing the need for multiple telephony, contact centre, recording and archiving, and carrier solutions. Solgari is an end-to-end global cloud communications solution requiring no hardware or software and in conjunction with our carrier and SMS capability, is available anywhere.

If you are interested in finding out more about Solgari customer outcomes, visit www.solgari.com

 

About Velosio:

Velosio is a leader in deploying business applications through the cloud and delivering unparalleled client experiences for small and medium-sized businesses, and larger enterprises. One of the largest Microsoft partners in North America, Velosio supports the entire Microsoft Dynamics portfolio, Microsoft Office 365 family, and Azure services. Our solutions portfolio includes ERP, CRM, Productivity, Business Intelligence, and Power Platform with industry expertise and solutions for Professional Services, Field Service, Agribusiness, and Distribution, and extends to NetSuite and Sage. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Velosio serves over 4,000 clients across US and Canada.

 

The Business Benefits of Unified Comms

It’s no revelation that communications are key to your business success – but that hasn’t made the past two years any less transformative for company comms. Remote working, video conferencing and Cloud computing have catapulted comms to the forefront of our working world; we need only look at the prominence of Microsoft Teams, the pivotal application of Microsoft 365, to see how our comms solutions are dictating the way we work.

Yet for all the efficiencies of business comms, we’re arguably forced to manage too many. From our email clients to our video conferencing, we split our comms over far too many channels, providers and software solutions. That’s why, for the multi-channel business, Unified Comms is essential.

 

What is Unified Comms?

Unified Comms is a means of bringing all of your comms channels together into one solution. That means everything from your email to your Teams voice and video calling, as well as your VoIP telephony and text channels.

Unified Comms aren’t only an essential component of the modern business. They’ve been made easier and more available thanks to the prominence of Cloud technologies. Businesses can manage every one of their comms channels from anywhere thanks to Cloud connectivity, and consolidated so much comms data has changed the way we look at communications, turning them into more personalised, productive means of contact.

That’s merely the beginning, however. Here’s why Unified Comms is so important to your business:

 

Manageability 

With Unified Comms, you no longer need to rely on separate providers, solutions or points of contact when managing customer queries. A single interface lets your contact centre workers switch users between channels effortlessly, without the need to leave an application or rely on multiple ones at once. The benefit of this is twofold: customers have a faster, more efficient service experience, while your comms workers save as much as 15 minutes per day, according to a 2019 report by research and advisory experts Forrester. 

Business benefits of unified communications

 

Security 

Comms might be invaluable to business, but security is nothing short of critical. With the Cloud now the driving force behind your messaging, video calling and VoIP telephony, there’s a valuable opportunity to provision each channel behind and/or through a secure and compliant Cloud – with the result that every comms solution can be end-to-end encrypted. 

 

Collaboration 

Unified Comms goes further than keeping you better connected to your teams – it also means making meaningful connections with your customers.  Advanced Unified Comms solutions, such as Solgari, integrate with your CRM solutions and ensure you look at comms not as a call, not as an email, but as a customer. Every call, message or email gives you an at-a-glance glimpse at that customer’s queries and personal preferences. From here, not only can you provide a more personalised experience, but you can work on making the customer support journey as cooperative as possible.  

 

Cost Efficiency 

The long-term business impact of Unified Comms solutions goes well beyond customer experience: you introduce much more flexibility to your OpEx consumption of services and therefore your monthly or annual business run rate. Hardware, server and maintenance costs dwindle, while the flexibility of Cloud comms means you can scale solutions up and down as you need; there’s no need to invest in surplus solutions.  

 

Futureproofing 

With the arrival of 5G, the retirement of ISDN phonelines and the pervasive availability of Cloud solutions, the modern business is already adopting a consolidated approach to comms. With Unified Comms, you not only have a modern working solution, but one specially designed for customer service excellence. Coupled with the evolving and flexible nature of the Cloud, you have a solution that’s two-steps ahead of other business comms – and stays there, thanks to the evolving nature of the Cloud platform.

 

Partner with one of the industry’s most trusted Unified Comms providers

Available in over 40 countries, trusted by hundreds of satisfied business and a member of Microsoft’s Business Applications ISV Connect Inner Circle, Solgari is the premiere Unfiied Comms solution. As both a software company and a regulated telco, Solgari is one solution, one view, and one provider – across all channels, functions and locations.

If you’d like to find out more about Solgari, including its extensive reporting, security and compliance capabilities, why not take a look at our about page here. Or to request a demo of Solgari, why not get in touch with us at the link below?

Request a Demo 

The Importance of GDPR and Call Recording

It’s been four years since the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) were enshrined into British and European law. Since then, all EU businesses are held to the same standards of data capture and protection – with your call recordings falling under those same regulations.

Under GDPR, call data must be processed with the same care and compliance as any other digital data. After all, it potentially contains sensitive personal data such as names, addresses and finances. Yet it’s not only the content of calls that must abide by GDPR law; callers also have rights when it comes to the consent, storage and sharing of their data.

 

GDPR – What’s Changed, and What Stays the Same?

The GDPR is an EU legislation; as such, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has raised questions about its relevance. The law has also been renamed the UK GDPR since the exit, causing further confusion.

Yet for many businesses, nothing will change. If your business processes EU citizen data, or offers goods and services to EU residents, you are still beholden to EU GDPR rules. Similarly, while the UK now abides by Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), the UK GDPR still enshrines EU’s data processing laws into its own; no doubt to avoid conflicts with data sharing overseas.

Our work with Hastings Insurance Brokers is the perfect example of your business GDPR responsibilities 

IT GDPR Supprt

How Does GDPR Affect Call Recording?

All calls, during and after recording, must comply with the following seven principles of GDPR: 

Lawfulness, Fairness and TransparencyDo you have the user’s consent to record the call? While once it was enough to inform callers that some calls may be recorded, this information, and any consent, now needs to be confirmed by the caller. GDPR is as much about the rights of the individual as it is the responsibilities of the data holder. 

Purpose LimitationWhat purpose is there to record the call? If the purpose has not been legally defined, or the decision to record doesn’t match the criteria, it may not be permissible by law – and any new purposes you identify will need the consent of the Information Commissioner (ICO).  

Data MinimizationWhatever data you capture, you must ensure it’s the minimum amount required to complete the data purpose. Would you need home address details to send only an email, for example? Data minimization aims to reduce the likelihood of storing surplus sensitive info- with the benefit of keeping every drop of data you own relevant. 

Storage LimitationHow long are you keeping these recorded calls for? At what point is it irrelevant to keep them on file – and is it relevant to store them at all? A history of customer contact is always useful, and access to full customer conversations is beneficial for any service provider. But over time, that data will become irrelevant, and may need anonymising – or even erasing. 

Integrity and ConfidentialityAre your calls protected? Do your users have the correct permissions to access or playback recordings? Whether protecting VoIP calls via end-to-end encryption, or storing call data securely in the Cloud, you need to ensure only the right ears are listening to your company calls. 

AccountabilityGDPR makes data security the responsibility of the company – and demonstrating adequate protection is nothing less than mandatory. Accountability ensures that you take responsibility for all the above actions, principles, and can demonstrate your adherence to GDPR. 

 

How Do I Comply with GDPR in Call Recording?

GDPR is an organisational challenge, not a technical one; but that doesn’t mean the right technical solution can’t go a long way.  

Solgari is a holistic all-channel business communications solution that adheres to the highest standards of usability, security and compliance. Out-of-the-box compliance ensures peace of mind across all of your technologies. 

If you’d like to find out more about Solgari, including its extensive reporting, security and compliance capabilities, why not take a look at our about page here. Or to request a demo of Solgari, why not get in touch with us at the link below? 

 

Request a Demo

 

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