Using Microsoft Teams in Omnichannel Environments

Building an omnichannel communication landscape in Teams

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Using Microsoft Teams in Omnichannel Environments
CollaborationUnified CommunicationsInsights

Published: February 21, 2024

Rebekah Carter - Writer

Rebekah Carter

Omnichannel communication is more than just a trend, it’s the standard of the modern world. Today’s consumers and employees aren’t just communicating face-to-face, or via phone and email. They’re investing in comprehensive interactions across social media, SMS, video, and more.

In fact, some studies suggest more than half of consumers use more than 4 touchpoints regularly to interact with brands. Companies need to be able to enable omnichannel experiences to boost employee productivity, and deliver exceptional experiences.

Unfortunately, creating an “omnichannel” solution isn’t always as simple as it seems. There’s more to the process than simply adopting a range of separate communication tools. Every channel you use to support customer and employee interaction needs to be unified. Even comprehensive tools like Microsoft Teams don’t offer an ideal omnichannel solution for every business as standard.

So, how do you align Teams with a true omnichannel strategy?

Bridging the Gaps: The Channels Available on Microsoft Teams

As one of the world’s most popular collaboration and productivity platforms, Microsoft Teams already offers a number of ways for users to communicate. The platform comes with built-in technologies to enable some of the most common channels, including:

  • Audio conferencing: With Teams, groups and individuals can communicate via cloud-based audio with anyone who also has a Teams account, or logs in as a guest. There’s even the option for users to dial into audio conferences using external devices.
  • Video conferencing: Microsoft offers immersive video conferencing capabilities, with built-in solutions for virtual backgrounds, and immersive features like “Together mode”. Users can even use avatars and filters in their Teams meetings, or create entire webinars.
  • Messaging/Chat: For messaging and chat, Teams creates an environment where users can connect through one-on-one “direct messages”, as well as channels and threads. Users can also use these channels to share files, clips, links, and other forms of media.

Teams also offers its own business phone service to companies, although the solution is limited in its functionality and geographical scale, making it less suitable for certain organizations. Unfortunately, even with all of these capabilities, you may still need to leverage channels not natively supported by the Teams client.

Aligning Microsoft Teams with your Omnichannel Strategy

In the past, companies often embraced a “multi-channel” when embedding Microsoft Teams into their communication stack. This would mean using Teams for audio and video conferencing, as well as chat, while leveraging other tools for things like social media communications, SMS, business phone calls, and contact center solutions.

Unfortunately, this multi-channel approach means each communication solution exists in a different environment. A disconnected ecosystem means you need to pay for multiple different types of software, access a range of different recording tools for compliance purposes, and train teams on different platforms. To make matters worse, disconnected systems lead to data silos.

These silos make it harder to maintain an end-to-end view of your communication strategy and collect insights for security, training, and even process optimization purposes.

Fortunately, there is an alternative solution, the flexible architecture of Microsoft Teams means it can be integrated with a wide variety of other tools and services, crucial to your omnichannel strategy. Leading Microsoft partners can help you embrace a full omnichannel approach with:

1. Advanced Calling Capabilities

Microsoft Teams partners can use Direct Routing, and Operator Connect solutions to deliver in-depth business phone capabilities to companies of all sizes. These solutions allow businesses to convert their traditional phone system into a cloud-based solution based within Microsoft Teams.

Native integrations ensure users can access the same Microsoft Teams interface to make and receive internal calls, hold video conferences, and share files. Plus, partners offer access to features and capabilities not available on Microsoft phone plans, such as area codes across dozens of countries, in-built reporting and analytical tools, and complete control over SIP channels.

There are even vendors who can offer contact center solutions within Microsoft Teams, allowing business leaders to create omnichannel experiences for both employees, and customers.

2. Access to New Communication Channels

Microsoft Teams partners can also allow business leaders to embrace additional channels within their omnichannel strategy, from SMS messaging capabilities, to social media. Social media solutions in particular are growing increasingly important for many brands.

More than 4.89 billion people use at least one social media channel on a regular basis. However, handling various social channels within Teams can be complicated with basic integrations. More advanced Microsoft Teams partners can make it easy to leverage multiple social channels at once.

This empowers businesses to handle all of their interactions in the same environment, without having to jump between different tools and systems.

3. Unique Modules and Capabilities

Working with Microsoft Teams partners also allows companies to implement new solutions into their omnichannel strategy, which can help to enhance productivity, efficiency, and business performance. For instance, for compliance purposes, companies can access tools capable of recording interactions (in all of their forms) across every channel, without compromising on context.

This ensures companies moving into the world of omnichannel collaboration and customer service can stay compliant with the latest rules and regulations surrounding data management.

Some tools even help to boost business insights, with in-depth reporting and analytics that monitor everything from customer experience KPIs, to employee engagement.

Creating an Omnichannel Teams Experience

While Microsoft Teams already offers a robust ecosystem for interactions across multiple channels, it is missing a few solutions as a standalone service.

The best way for businesses to truly align Teams with their omnichannel strategy, is to work with a partner that offers a comprehensive, modular toolkit like Conversant, with their C360 platform.

Patrick Copping, CEO, Conversant Technology, says that “C360 was built to enable businesses to deliver on omnichannel solution directly from Microsoft Teams without compromising on reliability, security, or compliance. C360 is an all-in-one platform that offers complete control and management of your communication channels to enhance your efficiencies, processes and workflows.

It also means we can offer competitive pricing compared to other providers by combining everything together in one place. C360 can be built around your businesses needs with flexible subscription modules that can be turned on as and when you need them.”

Conversant’s C360 platform ensures you can build the omnichannel strategy that works for your business, without paying for solutions and services you don’t need, or managing extra technical complexity.

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