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Today, beyond the technological feats of AI, automation and the cloud, the focus of contact centre managers should remain on customers. This means that selecting Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solution that works with existing customer relationship management (CRM) solutions should be a top priority for every contact centre manager. Read on to learn about the competitive edge your organisation can get by seamlessly integrating its contact centre 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, instant messaging, 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 Centre 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 cloud-based 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 centre managers know that collecting, managing and operationalising 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 organise and access customer data.” A CRM solution enhances an organisation’s operations by concentrating on interactions with customers, through service-related issues, direct and indirect sales, forecasting and analysis of behaviours. 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.
With 62% of companies increasing their investments in customer service, contact centre managers know that operationalising their organisation’s data is the key to keeping pace with ever-rising customer demands. Regardless of their industry, their organisations must therefore use dependable contact centre 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 centre 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 centre managers need to adopt customer-centric strategies. In this regard, the most significant development in consumer behaviour 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 British, American, and German users 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 a 2021 survey stating 7 in 10 UK consumers had used a voice-assistant over the previous month. Voicebots have proven adept at understanding customers’ needs, delivering engaging customer experience and achieving personalised service. It is abundantly clear that as voice channels gain in popularity, through IVR and phone use, contact centre 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 has turned to Odigo, a leader in CCaaS solutions, named a Visionary in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contact Centre as a Service for the second consecutive year, since 2013. 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 organisations 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 customised IVRs.
On October 13th, Odigo participated in the AppInnovation 2021 event dedicated to ISVs in the Salesforce ecosystem. Odigo’s experts hosted an English-language webinar entitled “Choose the winning integration between your Salesforce CRM and your Odigo CCaaS solution” and a roundtable in French entitled “AI and natural language as performance levers for customer relationship”.
2022 research commissioned by Odigo sees overwhelming support for the claim that AI investments improve the customer experience. The vast majority of respondents also stress that AI is a long-term investment and takes time to properly integrate and deliver maximum ROI.
Customer service contact spikes are all too common in the utilities sector. Seasonal pressures, adverse weather conditions, infrastructure upgrades and now more than ever concern over rising costs drive customers to seek clarity and support. How can utilities companies cope with such predictable unpredictability?
In 2006 McKinsey introduced the concept of the moment of truth. A spontaneous event occurring when customers invest a high amount of emotional energy in the outcome of an interaction. The service they receive at such a time has a powerful and potentially irreversible effect on their opinion. Get it right and nurture a possible brand ambassador. Get it wrong and they may well leave. After such a period of rapid change and digitalisation do the old rules still apply? Are agents still the linchpin when delivering dazzling moments of truth?