11 January 2018
How Integrating Your Content Center with CRM Bridges the CX Gap
Contact centers are largely Omni channel today, which means that customers can get in touch using not just the phone but also various forms of web and mobile-based applications like email, chat, and social media. Telephony and web infrastructure are major concerns in contact center management, but so is the access to information in delivering excellent customer experience.
Customer relations management (CRM) systems provide a means in which lifetime customer data is visible both historically and in real time. CRM data includes metrics and information such as customer issues, customer master profiles, lifetime value and purchase history while contact center data would include call and contact history, but usually lack the details of specific contacts.
Another interesting question today is what parts of a Contact Center Infrastructure (CCI) or CRM solution to use in you contact center. The two solutions have been growing in complexity and now often have significant functional overlap.
Organizations of all sizes must integrate contact center infrastructure (CCI) solutions with CRM in order to provide a comprehensive customer experience but also achieve higher operational efficiency. Integrating the two systems provides contact center employees with a singular view of the customer that results in more intelligent call routing and being able to solve the customer’s problem faster based on the historical and real-time data available to them. This not only allows for a more personalized experience but also higher possibility of first-contact resolution.
Integrating CRM Equals Lower Costs and Higher Sales
Contact center costs can be drastically reduced since employees won’t need as much time or resources to manage customer interactions thanks to the greater efficiency allowed by integrating CRM solutions.
By integrating CCI with CRM, more benefits can arise such as automating call and chat activity with the CRM system for more robust lead management. Based on call history and other data in the integrated system, contact centers can also efficiently keep track of the best ways to contact customers as well as timeframes and other valuable metrics that will increase customer loyalty and repeat sales.
Streamlining Data Helps Deliver a Top-Notch Customer Experience
To deliver a highly-personalized experience, contact center employees need to be able to see a thorough picture of the customer when accepting the call or opening the chat window. CRM data that shows the agent relevant information while the customer is still in the queue can increase the likelihood of first-contact resolution as well as offering more timely service based on precise information the customer doesn’t need to keep repeating on the line.
One of the most powerful ways that this integration of CCI and CRM can create efficiencies is that CRMs integrated to broader enterprise knowledge bases are now being used to proactively push the best predicted answer to an agent based on the context.
Integrating CRM databases with the contact center infrastructure technology also results in more accurate customer feedback. When customers are prompted for surveys regarding their purchases or the customer service call itself, they’re an imperfect and often inconclusive means of receiving coherent and meaningful feedback.
The telephony can pick up vocal inflection such as expressing pleasure, neutrality, impatience, or dissatisfaction while a CCI solution records these reactions for future aggregate analysis. By having a 360-degree view of the customer, the feedback is also considered across all means of contact and not just siloed according to contact type or the data the sales and marketing team uses. Both functions need to be able to see the data about the customer in order to better understand their needs, provide more personalized service and offers, and overall deliver a smoother customer experience that fosters loyalty.
Data is No Longer Siloed
Historically, the sales, service, and marketing teams needed good data in order to effectively cross-sell, up-sell, create personalized offers, and market to groups of customers based on demographic information and purchase history. Historically, this data was siloed in operation systems, a sales tool, marketing databases, or even spreadsheets.
CRM helps bring together the silos of customer data to get a clearer picture of the customer. The types, amounts, frequencies of purchases, as well as demographic specifics give the agent a better idea of what type of customer they are before starting the chat or moving their call up the queue. This helps reduce call time and overall strain on contact center resources as well as prepare the agent for the interaction. Being able to see previous customer service interactions regardless of means of contact also gives the agent more insight and enables them to do their jobs more efficiently and with a highly-personalized touch.
In turn, the sales and marketing department needs to make customer experience part of their overall strategy since it’s the primary way businesses need to differentiate themselves today. Disparate customer service data won’t help them, since they won’t be able to see common problems customers are having with the products or the quality of customer service itself.
Having access to this information gives the marketing team an opportunity to let current and potential customers know how and why their products and customer experience are superior to the competition based on these insights.
Making the Right Move for the Organization
Integrating CRM with the contact center infrastructure is the smartest thing any forward-thinking organization can do regarding both operational efficiency and delivering a solid customer experience.
The cost savings and increased sales are a bonus, but by no longer having data contained and segmented across several systems, it solves several problems in both the marketing and customer service functions as well as delivering faster and more personalized customer service that will cultivate loyalty.
Outside Help Just Helps
At PTP, our focus is always on the end customer, bringing together disparate systems, and giving our clients a holistic view of the customer. We’ve helped other organizations bridge the CCI/CRM gap and can do it for you.
If you’re looking for further systems integration, contact us to get more information on how we can help. Or to learn more about our experience and services, check out our website.
Mark Pendolino is the Director of Marketing at PTP, overseeing the creation of customer experience content focused on helping organizations discover best practices for evolving the customer journey. Prior to PTP, Mark managed teams for companies such as Microsoft, Smartsheet, Fujitsu, and Parsons Brinckerhoff. Mark holds a master’s in Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s in Technical Communications from Metropolitan State University of Denver. In his downtime, Mark likes to thrash a bit on the drumkit and pretend he’s a rock star.
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