VoIP and CRM IntegrationPosted on: 2016-09-09 | Categories: VoIP Services
Over the last few years, consumers and enterprises have consistently chosen to upgrade to VoIP systems. The customer base for traditional landlines on the PSTN network has been shrinking year after year. This often comes as a surprise but perhaps it was inevitable. The Internet is quickly becoming part and parcel of our daily life and it shouldn’t be surprising that phone calls are also getting an upgrade.
Apart from low pricing and advanced features made available by state-of-the-art VoIP systems, additional benefits from VoIP include its capacity for integrating with other computer systems. Since VoIP utilizes Internet-based standards, formats and protocols (instead of relying on traditional telephony standard) organizations are able to integrate it with other enterprise level software and/or processes.
VoIP and CRM Software
Both vendors and their clients are exploring VoIP integrations with other business systems to further enhance productivity and efficiency. When talking about business communication, the first software that comes to mind is probably CRM software. CRM systems are used by sales agents, marketers, managers and many other departments in order to manage customer relationships. A crucial part of managing such relationships is voice communication and voice calls.
Thus we see that there is a natural fit between VoIP and CRM programs. The integration between VoIP and CRM software becomes even more obvious when you consider that many organizations opt for hosted versions of both these systems. Many hosted VoIP service providers boost off that integration with Salesforce – a popular cloud CRM system.
Integrating VoIP and CRM
Before upgrading to VoIP, organizations did not have a way to link phone calls with customers with transaction history, payment information or other client details. Voice communication and CRM data existed in completely separate silos. This meant that agents had to manually make notes within the CRM software regarding client calls and other important details.
With VoIP integration, the process of calling clients and tracking communication history becomes automatic and seamless. One of the most obvious ways in which this integration manifests itself to the end user is with click to call functionality. To explain this new feature, let us compare the situation before and after VoIP/CRM integration.
Suppose an agent needs to call a customer to discuss important details regarding a certain contract. The agent will need to look up the relevant information in the CRM software, probably make notes on a piece of paper and then make the call from the office. Once the conversation is concluded, any important details that are required to be retained should be manually noted in the CRM software. Since this is a completely manual process, it is quite possible that certain calls or important information will get lost or forgotten.
Let us look at the same situation after VoIP integration. Sales agents do not have to leave the CRM software in order to make calls. In most cases click to call functionality allows them to initiate a voice conversation with a customer instantly. Once a call is complete, the relevant details are automatically noted within the CRM software such as date and timestamps, duration of the call etc. There is no need for an individual to remember particular details which reduces the probability of data being lost or forgotten.
VoIP and CRM Integration Improves Productivity
Streamlining and aligning disparate business systems offers more benefits than the immediate ones like cost savings. By reducing the need to rely on human memory and automating the process of calling clients, businesses can get more accurate and reliable data for managing customers. It reduces the time spent in hunting down client contact information and keeping track of who said what or when.
With some CRM software, VoIP calling can even be integrated with websites so that there is no need for an employee to be sitting at their desk or use a particular phone to contact clients. Calls can be made and received through any browser on a desktop or laptop. With browser and application based notifications, an agent will never have to miss a call or forget to call back an important customer or partner.
This integration also allows for comprehensive caller ID functionality. For instance, agents can greet customers by name since that information is automatically retrieved from CRM software beforehand. In fact, sales and customer service agents can even quickly glance at the entire transaction history with a particular customer without asking for any details such as account numbers.
Improving Customer Relationships
In an increasingly competitive business environment, superior customer service can be the differentiator between a successful or mediocre company. Hence integrating CRM software with VoIP enterprise provides benefits in the form of improved customer service and relationship management. Such integration offers short-term as well as long-term advantages, making it a win-win situation for businesses.