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What if there was a way to get more conversions, provide better customer service, encourage loyalty, and improve efficiency at the same time?
Sounds like the holy grail of business optimisation…
But it is possible.
The secret to achieving it is integrating your CRM system with, what is still the most powerful communication method available – the humble phone call.
To put it in business jargon, the best way to communicate across companies and with customers is to create an “omnichannel” strategy. In other words, you need to integrate your contact centre and phone systems with existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
What is a CRM system?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and in simple terms it refers to the actions that a business takes to keep customers happy by understanding and strengthening relationships.
A typical CRM software system helps businesses to manage sales, customer contact, productivity, marketing data, and other customer-related processes and information. The functionality and features of CRM technology varies depending on the type and brand of system used.
By providing a centralised system for customer-related activities and data, the CRM system helps to improve efficiency and cut costs.
Why should you integrate your Phone System with your CRM?
Let’s make this clear – integrating your phone system with your CRM will make your business more productive, more profitable and help to reduce costs.
Microsoft’s 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report states that 74% of people use the telephone as their first point of contact when trying to contact a company. With telephone calls remaining the most popular method of contact, you need to make sure that your phone systems are as reliable, if not more so, than online customer service channels.
Research from the Aberdeen Group revealed the following:
Companies that integrated con contact centres with CRM:
- Customer retention rate = 89%
- Annual improvement in revenue = 9.5%
- Decrease in cost-per-customer contact = 8.5%
Companies without phone and CRM integration:
- Customer retention rate = 33%
- Annual improvement in revenue = 3.4%
- Decrease in cost-per-customer contact = 0.2%
In other words, the KPIs clearly show that integrating phone systems with CRM makes a big difference in terms of profitability and cost reduction.
Other benefits of integrating your phone system and CRM include:
- Increased outbound sales– Salespeople will be able to reach more prospects as the time per call is reduced by automatic dialling. An integrated system can also prompt salespeople to ask for referrals.
- Improved customer engagement –Data analytics will reveal the best times and frequency with which to contact people.
- Instant customer information– The CRM will directly display customer information to the team member making the call.
- Record and store calls easily– Calls can be recorded, stored and retrieved automatically.
- Improved scalability– As your business grows, you can add users easily without setting up new network infrastructure.
- Higher productivity– Calls are routed correctly, saving time on transferring between departments. Call duration stats can be analysed, and processes optimised where necessary.
- More conversions– By accurately tracking and scheduling follow-up calls, your conversion rate will become optimised.
- Happier customers– Getting calls to the right place first time and self-service automation options will make the experience quick and painless for customers, which will help to increase satisfaction and loyalty.
What should you consider when integrating your Phone System and CRM?
The first step to integrating your phone system with your CRM software is to decide which tools and providers to use. Here is a brief outline of what to consider when choosing cloud telephony providers:
- Integrations: Choose a tool that easily integrates with any CRM tool you currently use. Check that compatibility and ongoing support is provided.
- Call Quality: Research phone systems and find one that offers first-class call quality. Check that the phone provider has reliable, widespread coverage, or whether they work with Tier-1 providers in your region.
- Collaboration: Choose providers that allow you to integrate with your collaboration tools. For instance, if you use Microsoft Teams for collaborative working, then you should try to find a vendor that integrates directly with MS Teams.
- Hybrid expertise: If you have legacy systems that rely on on-premises networks, it’s a good idea to look for a provider that can help you transition to the cloud, without disrupting your day-to-day business.
- Maintaining numbers: It’s really useful if you can find a provider that lets you keep your existing phone numbers by porting them. Some providers have built-in tools that allow you to quickly provision new numbers within minutes.
- Easy Implementation: Finally, look for an integration tool that is simple-to-install and use, and requires no hardware installation. You want to minimise business disruption as much as possible.