In the current commercial battlefield, your basic customer relationship management (CRM) system is just that… basic. Leave it as is, without arming yourself with CRM integration, and you’re bound to be overpowered by competition.
Your CRM is a strategic component of your business. It deals with your customers, their acquisition, retention and development. Customers are undeniably the life source of your business. You get ahead with them – or, you don’t.
CRM and What It Means For Business
CRM includes the gamut of business and customer management applications that help businesses manage customer and prospect information. Data is used to assist sales reps and managers in:
- planning customer acquisition and retention strategies
- putting together cross-selling and up-selling strategies
- strategizing on marketing and sales campaigns that work
- optimizing distribution channels
- assessing marketing and sales efforts according to
There is so much more you can do through your CRM system. It really depends on its configuration and how it’s been integrated into your many business processes. The ideal is to have a robust CRM integration, in which technologies, such as computer telephony integration (CTI), are optimally used alongside CRM when it comes to these business processes.
At this point, CRM integration is requisite if you want to compete on level with others.
What is CRM Integration?
CRM integration refers to integrating CTI technology with your customer management system. It is a way to power up your customer management system, such that you leverage information to the fullest.
CRM is all about knowing your customers and prospects well. From here, you can come up with informed marketing and sales campaigns, and customer acquisition and retention strategies.
CTI allows you to set exactly what data you use and how.
For instance, you have a product inquiry, an inbound call. Your CTI’s interactive voice response (IVR) system is the initial responder. This lets you qualify the call, even before it is forwarded to a sales agent.
Is the caller ready to speak to an agent? Yes? Great! Then, an agent can take the call and start a CRM profile for the caller. This is the beginning of the caller’s relationship with your company. You begin to build on this, logging calls, taking note of products bought and complaints registered, and personalizing interactions. For external data that you may want to have on your clients, you can integrate Google into your CRM integration system.
In terms of the bigger picture, all this information can be leveraged to mold your customer acquisition and retention strategies. You can plan campaigns for product and market segmentations where you want improved presence.
CRM Integration and How It Benefits Your Business
When your phone is your point of contact, your CRM integration makes a world of difference.
Best Initial Impressions
Make initial interactions count. Even if a typical day is defined by massive numbers of calls, it shouldn’t degrade the quality of your engagements with your callers. The key is personalization.
Details, like location, timezone and gender, can communicate to your customers and prospects that you care. CRM integration lets you segment your callers according to their location, and assign appropriate greetings (such as “good evening!” when it’s night time) and the right-fit agents. It is one of the basic personalizations that you can do with CRM integration, yet it matters when you want to come off as professional and customer-oriented.
Accurate Caller Data
When your customer outreach campaigns, and customer retention and acquisition strategies are data-driven, you improve your chances of success.
CRM integration has features that allow you to gather and analyze customer and prospect information. Analyses can be used to improve your engagements with specific customers or prospects. Or, you can look at the big picture. See which of your plans and strategies don’t work. Know which market is less responsive to your marketing outreach. Understand what changes need to be made in how you engage with your customers and prospects.
Improved Customer Service
Remember that price is secondary. People remember your service first.
Customer service starts at your initial point of contact, even before a prospect signs up for your product or service. It starts with the first phone call. Was it handled efficiently? Did your IVR process the call correctly? Was the agent responsive and friendly?
Customer service is also about building on these interactions and creating relationships with your customers. Because data-driven CRM integration drives better interactions, your prospects and customers begin to trust you and give you their loyalty.
Your Competitive Advantage
Like we said earlier, the optimization of your CRM integration depends on how it is configured and if you’ve incorporated CTI into its processes. This is your advantage – when done correctly.
Know the capabilities of both systems, what your CRM and CTI are capable of separately. See where your CRM system’s needs are met through CTI’s features. When you know what you want from your CRM and understand the power of CTI, the possibilities are immense.
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