Early users of unified comms systems have found that improved customer satisfaction scores higher than cost savings when it comes to assessing the benefits. That’s the surprising conclusion from a survey carried out by Vanson Bourne looking at the way that unified comms has been adopted in the UK.

Those manager who had installed a UC system found that customer satisfaction had improved by about 21 percent. That compares with the cost savings of 10 percent and productivity increases of just over 10 percent that the managers reported.

The survey, which was sponsored by Dimension Data, also found that there were green benefits too, with travel reduced by nearly 12 percent and a 14.5 percent reduction in carbon footprint.

Vuk Trifcovic , senior analyst, Datamonitor said that the improvement in customer satisfaction was an easy way for an IT manager to introduce a unified comms system, "If he can show an immediate improvement in customer satisfaction then it’s very easy to sell the investment in the technology within his company."

He said that companies had really begun to seize the opportunities thrown up by unified comms particularly in features such offering contacts via Instant messaging or through a website as well as through phone calls.
Trifvoic said that carbon reduction was a really important element of the benefits of unified comms. "The figures in the survey are on the low side; I’d expect to see unified comms being able to reduce travel costs by between 20 and 40 percent," he said.

In a statement, Mike Robinson, line of business director for converged communications at Dimension Data, said: "Our study reveals that the promise of unified communications, which is still a relatively new technology, has become a reality in the enterprise. Even the bottom line is feeling a positive impact: one business reported a 15 per cent increase in revenues as a result of unifying their communications. It’s no wonder that the majority of IT managers we talked to see it as crucial to growth."