It no more comes as a surprise to find modern businesses embracing technology for critical operations. According to State of Inbound Report 2017, a whopping 56% of customers prefer call as the preferred mode of communication. CRM technology has made managing burgeoning call load an easy task for businesses allowing them to devote attention to growth goals.
Not just that!
More importantly, CRM- telephony integration has made customer experience such a smooth sail. Engaging with customers equals 40% more revenue per person (Bain and Company). To top it up, a 1% improvement in first call response = $276,000 in annual operational savings for the average call center (SQM Group).
With the understanding, CRM-telephony integration is here to stay and redefine the market, let us look at real-life benefits of this integration through the case of Harry, the customer and Sally, the agent.
Harry is looking up an eCommerce site and wants to inquire about a product he is interested in.
Lead Identification and Knowledge Management (KM)
Harry calls up the customer support team and is greeted by Sally, the agent. Sally can see the number and it is categorized in CRM system as a lead because Harry is a first-time caller. Sally further has access to Knowledge Management as a ready repository to answer to customer queries.
Call Reminder, Notes and Click to call
Harry has somebody on the door and needs to disconnect. However, every incomplete call is an opportunity lost! Sally asks if she may call back. Harry agrees and fixes the time and date. CRM system allows Sally to set reminder for call back. Upon the reminder Sally, clicks on Harry’s entry in interaction and call begins. She is relieved of the mundane task of dialing apart from being able to save time when she has an endless list of calls to make. On clicking to call, a pop-up appears providing all contextual information about Harry. Harry picks up the call and wishes to know more about the product and has few relevant queries. Sally is also able to take note during call in the same panel to out it in detail every customer information. It would not be a problem
Call Campaign, SMS
In CRM integrated telephony, it is possible to segment leads/customers on basis of demographics, location and other parameters based on customer/lead information. A locality based campaign was designed for a festival and automated text messages were sent in bulk. Harry belongs to the same locality and becomes very interested in the new deal. Thus, CRM can target message through the sales pipeline and ease businesses with sales and marketing automation.
Relationship Management and Call transfer/forwarding
Smart CRM solutions detect the customer/lead and route the call to the specific agent who has taken the customer’s call earlier. As Harry calls up, the call is routed to Sally and she greets Harry by name and inquires if he is finding the vaccuum cleaner useful (which was his last purchased product, retrievable from customer history in CRM) Harry is delighted with the personalization. Harry is pleasantly surprised at the personalization of the eCommerce brand.
He inquiries about the campaign message. Sally is not aware of the product but she is able to transfer the call to relevant department to address Harry’s queries. Immediately after call, Sally has to make a move and she enables call forwarding to address more customer query on the fly.
Harry is convinced and places the order.
Wait! This is not all that telephony has to offer.
Cross Channel Integration and Call barging
There is a delay in product delivery and Harry becomes disappointed with the experience. He goes viral on the social media with negative review about the eCommerce company on its product pages/handles. Sally being Harry’s relationship manager calls harry immediately on seeing the negative review. CRM integrates telephony with other channels like social or email, thus, in the interaction panel, she can view Harry’s negative review in social media. Sally apologizes about the social message and takes the interaction forward. Harry mellows down a little with eCommerce’s awareness about his disappointment and prompt response.
Upon refund request, Sally takes a while to process it and Harry becomes more anxious. At this point, Sally’s supervisor who has access to complete call log, customer information and has been hearing the call in live, barges in to handle the situation. With his experience, supervisor is able to discourage Harry from returning the product and also promises a product upgrade as compensation. From a disappointed customer, Harry is not just retained but he popularized the good customer experience in social media and earns many referrals. This is how a CRM system helps with customer acquisition and retention.
Call Record and Analytics
What use is of this whole Hally episode if it is not replicated in more frontline communication? Here’s the call records which create a history of lessons of good customer experience. These records are treated as use cases of agent benchmarks and areas needing improvement. CRM integration also enables the admins to set KPIs to analyze agent performance and reports for agents as well as call centers may be obtained from CRM system.
It may be convincing that CRM-telephony are two sides of the same coin in customer experience mint.
Which CRM to choose then?
The conviction is to go for a Cx-GEM (Customer Experience-Growth Engine Management) which weighs over CRM, in so far as, it treats business its own in delivering best of class customer experience. It is a doer, not an enabler.
A Cx-GEM has a whole some view of itself just as it has of the customer. In a single license, it would make this entire integration of telephony with other channel (email, social, chat) possible so that customers are delighted at all touch points. Cx-GEM makes best of class customer experience its fait accompli as well as the most important growth indicator of any business.
It is in the interest of ambitious companies to bring highest ROI by making each call an opportunity for conversion, by adopting Cx-GEM to empower their traditional telephony systems.