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Today, beyond the technological feats of AI, automation and the cloud, the focus of contact center managers should remain on customers. This means that selecting contact center solutions that work with existing customer relationship management (CRM) solutions should be a top priority for every contact center manager. Read on to learn about the competitive edge your organization can get by seamlessly integrating its contact center with its CRM.
As a result of the technological possibilities available to them, customers expect smooth communication with brands across multiple channels and devices, with all interactions linked into one conversation. The diversification of channels (social media, SMS, email, phone) and the rise of conversational agents (bots) has only further increased the pressure to provide a coherent, channel-less experience.
Robust cloud-based Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions make this possible. Resilient and easy to implement, they have also proven effective at swiftly adjusting to customer volumes, providing the necessary scalability to deal with peaks and troughs as they develop.
How? Because one of the key driving forces behind CCaaS solutions is up-to-date, high-quality data leveraged to better understand customers and prospects alike. And with the acceleration of cloud adoption, contact center managers know that collecting, managing and operationalizing data has never been more important.
But where does this data come from? The answer is simple: most of it should already be present in your CRM database!
What is a CRM? Customer relationship management (CRM), in the words of Salesforce, a leading global cloud-based customer relationship management service provider, is “any tool, strategy, or process that helps businesses better organize and access customer data.” A CRM solution enhances an organization’s operations by concentrating on interactions with customers, through service-related issues, direct and indirect sales, forecasting and analysis of behaviors. It enables the elevation of customer experience (CX) in four key areas: sales, marketing, customer service and digital commerce. However, a CRM is only as good as the data in its database, and it is therefore critical to ensure that this data is both readily available and reliable.
Today, with research indicating that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for great CX, contact center managers know that operationalizing their organization’s data is the key to keeping pace with ever-rising customer demands. Regardless of their industry, their organizations must therefore use dependable contact center solutions that integrate with their CRM software.
The integration of a CRM with a CCaaS solution typically follows a four-step plan:
The integration of a CRM with a CCaaS solution results in benefits for customers and contact center agents alike. Agents enjoy intuitive tools that encourage them to be more engaged in work they are skilled at doing, but also help them perform at higher levels through enhanced customer views and up-to-the-minute data. Customers are rewarded with memorable interactions as a result of the more effective service they receive.
These improved relationships with a brand can deliver bottom line benefits to the business and mean not only higher retention rates, but also increased reputational prestige resulting from a best-in-class customer experience that increases loyalty and drives revenue.
With customer expectations changing, contact center managers need to adopt customer-centric strategies. In this regard, the most significant development in consumer behavior is connected to voice, which is fast becoming the most important medium of customer-brand communication, on top of being the most important one for customer service via phone channel.
Research from decision behavior agency Skim Group shows that 40% of American, British and German users of voice technology have made at least one purchase via a digital assistant on their smartphone or smart speaker. Indeed, the proliferation of voice assistants is staggering, with the 4.2 billion in use in 2020 set to increase to 8.4 billion in 2024. Voicebots have proven adept at understanding customers’ needs, delivering engaging customer experience and achieving personalized service. It is abundantly clear that as voice channels gain in popularity, through IVR and phone use, contact center agents must have access to the rich set of data unlocked by coalescing CRM and CCaaS technologies to deliver excellent customer experience on the voice channel. As CRM providers do not provide voice channels, they must link with CCaaS solutions that can.
With success helping over 150,000 companies around the world grow their business, Salesforce is considered the global CRM provider of choice. Considered a pioneer of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, it is renowned for its native deployments, automatic new versioning and expertise of digital channels.
In need of voice channel capabilities, Salesforce turned to Odigo, a CCaaS leader named a Visionary in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service. Initial integration began in 2013, and Odigo now covers 80% of Salesforce channels with a robust computer telephony integration (CTI) of 99.5% and develops a new channel for external routing every six months. Odigo’s open CTI with Salesforce, currently used by 3,000 agents, not only delivers interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities, but can also:
Both companies are heavily involved in Salesforce’s new product line, ‘Service Cloud Voice’, which will see advanced integration through the bring your own telephony (BYOT) option. This gives organizations greater flexibility as they can select a provider of their choosing or keep their existing telephony solution for voice channel features, including phone call transcriptions and customized IVRs. Interested? Learn more about Odigo and the agile solutions it can bring to your contact centers by getting in touch here.
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