As the new year fast approaches, it will bring with it colder weather and snowier conditions. While many love some snow in the wintertime, it can spell trouble for commuters and make business continuity a major struggle. For example, according to a recent report by telecom provider Daisy Group, an estimated 3 million workers in the U.K. are prevented from completing their normal work duties each year due to adverse weather conditions.

With employees stuck in the house and clients unable to fly in from other cities, maintaining an easy and continuous method of contact is necessary to keep normal business operations running smoothly.

“Businesses [must] be ready to respond in any imaginable scenario-even when your systems get knocked offline or your staff is unable to get to the office due to inclement weather,” said telecom expert Lindsay Kintner, in a blog post. “The good news is that by taking proactive steps and putting a comprehensive in place prior to disaster striking, you ensure that your business is able to handle all client concerns.”

Beat the weather with UC solutions
While no one can control the weather, enterprises can control their responses to it. Modern companies operate in an environment that is increasingly utilizing IP-based tools, and they are the best defenses against the unpredictability that winter brings. Implementing unified communications tools within an organization enables workers to access a business communication solution that integrates voice, email, video, instant messaging and presence into a single interface. This way, work can continue from anywhere, whether it’s in the office or snowed in at home.

With cloud-based communications, employees are able to collaborate on necessary projects and receive responses from one another in real time. Conferencing tools allow large groups to gather together from multiple locations and discuss topics just as they would in an office, meaning no time is wasted and business isn’t halted.

Client inquiries can also be easily handled with the use of a UC suite. Calls to an office phone can easily be re-routed to a mobile device with distributed workforce functionality, meaning a client call will never be missed because an employee is working remotely. This attention to detail and level of service helps to increase client satisfaction and brand loyalty.

“In today’s ultra-competitive business world, you can’t afford to compromise on the caliber of the client service you deliver,” said Kirtner. “By planning ahead and leveraging modern communications tools, you guarantee that you’re able to respond to your clients immediately-even when the weather interferes.”