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Optimal integration between your customer relationship management (CRM) software with your contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution requires firm knowledge about the capabilities of both, as well as a dedication to the customer experience (CX) and agent experience (AX) you want to provide. With that said, integration with readily-available CRM platforms can save money and boost performance.
A lot has been written about how CRM platforms are a crucial piece of the CX puzzle because of how quickly they can feed data to agents concerning customer issues. When Elisabeth de Longeaux wrote about the four steps to successfully integrate a CRM platform with a CCaaS solution, the first two read as follows:
This blog is a dive deeper into those two steps, giving insight into guiding principles behind a proper CRM-CCaaS integration before getting down to the serious work of such an implementation. Not all CRMs are built the same, and yours may be just the way you like it, which may or may not limit the depth of a CCaaS integration. However, once you learn the value of leveraging ready-made solutions, recognize how to combine the strengths that are unique to both CCaaS and CRM, and set equal focus on customer experience (CX) and agent experience (AX), you’ll have all the knowledge necessary to successfully and deeply integrate CRM with CCaaS and start making a difference in your contact center operations right away.
Adding additional functionalities without an end goal or plan in mind is unlikely to make the most of your technology. What do you want for your customers and the agents helping to make that happen? Customer journey maps make sure interactions have a logic and flow that take customers to resolution and lay out the steps agents can take to facilitate this. This is when the interplay of a CRM and CCaaS delivers on its promise, as expertly delivered journeys can have each step enhanced with personalization thanks to the additional details from your CRM.
Whether customers are served by your interactive voice response (IVR) system or by one of your real-life agents, a deep and native CRM integration boosts CCaaS performance and personalizes CX. With regard to the former, the more solidly integrated your CRM is with your CCaaS, the more effectively it will put customer information stored there to good use, working with your IVR or callbot to automate the qualification process and provide contextual routing based on skill or priority.
For the occasions that calls are routed to live agents, deep integrations make it possible for complete 360° dashboards to show all relevant data about a customer’s issue: customer history, call qualification journey and more. Naturally, this will aid boosts in both first call resolution (FCR) and customer effort score (CES) metrics. More importantly, however, is the trust your brand builds with customers. When CRMs provide info to help agents tackle complex issues, it frees them up to pay more attention to the human connection inherent to CX, where the focus is rightly put on people and interactions.
Before jumping head first into the integration process, become familiar with the respective capabilities of both your CRM and your CCaaS solutions. Understand their strengths and weaknesses to define the scope of your envisioned solution. For example, if your goal is to help your agents better manage customer interactions, you need to make sure that your existing contact center solution can route efficiently from various channels such as voice, messaging, social media and any others relevant to your operations.
Likewise, your CRM of choice should be capable of managing the qualification of calls and collection of data to feed to agent consoles. Take the time to consider what each can do. Not only will you leverage the best of both worlds without paying double the price, but you stand to increase the value of these technologies by being able to add third-party applications easily.
Having learned about the benefits of CRM, you may be tempted to build your own solution from scratch. However, there are some key reasons you might want to avoid this. The financial investment is considerable, and as technical support, software training and updates are factored in, your CRM expenses will surely soar even higher.
It’s worth it to seek a custom integration with an already-existing, open CRM solution. Some of the most trusted names in CRM, such as Pega and Salesforce, provide the technological framework that’s necessary for third-party solutions to properly integrate with their platforms. Seek out CCaaS solutions who have been investing in providing that extensibility, so as to not incur unnecessary and costly risks.
Effective CCaaS-CRM integrations require a joint vision, and are not merely a one-size-fits-all affair. It is important for your product team to communicate clearly and often with product managers on the CRM side about the exact details of how your CRM allows you to perform activities in line with your CX-oriented priorities, your sales team’s efforts to gain insight about your customers, and the tools your agents have on hand to help them. A successful integration depends on that communication, for determining the exact course of the integration is, in itself, a working business partnership.
If you need a clear-cut example of CRM-CCaaS integrations done well, look to a leader in the CCaaS industry that has multiple partnerships with CRM leaders. Odigo has worked closely with Salesforce to create a bespoke custom integration called Service Cloud Voice. Moreover, Odigo was also the first CCaaS solutions provider to join Pega’s Independent Software Vendor partnership program. Odigo solutions are open to provide extended capabilities for your contact center to leverage not only third-party CRM, but workforce management (WFM) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and more. If you need a versatile CCaaS solution, get in touch with one of our experts today.
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