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More Bang for Your Buck: Getting the Most from CRM Software

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How to leverage smart insights from customer relationship management tools to set your company apart from its competition.

A smart, integrated customer relationship management (CRM) software solution can help bolster the customer experience by providing a wealth of insights about your clients over the life of their relationship with your brand. Unfortunately, many contact centres don’t currently have access to intuitive, responsive CRM software that enhances agents’ abilities to quickly meet customers’ needs.

The SMB-Enterprise Divide

It turns out that smaller companies are actually at an advantage when it comes to trying to stay ahead of trends in the CRM sphere. The bigger the company, the harder it is for it to meet rapidly escalating consumer expectations for response time, quick access to historical data, and intuitive and proactive problem solving in the customer service sphere. Choosing a CRM software platform for your contact centre may be a bit overwhelming, but you can’t afford to delay the inevitable. Again, smaller companies can position themselves ahead of their enterprise-level competitors since it can take larger operations longer to implement new or upgrade existing CRMs.

In fact, new research from CRM evaluation firm SoftwareAdvice.com finds that it’s small businesses – not huge companies – that get the greatest satisfaction (and bang for their bucks) from implementing new CRM software. While 37 percent of smaller companies report being “very satisfied” with their CRM, nearly half of larger firms express dissatisfaction with their software. So, sometimes size does matter when it comes to investing in improving customer experience by making a quality CRM a key factor in your contact centre!

Getting the Most from Your CRM

Too many contact centre managers focus on CRMs only as passive ways to look at historical purchasing information and dated customer data. An important paradigm shift necessary for getting the most out of any CRM software is to think of it as a vital, dynamic instrument that can help track customers’ relationships to your brand in real time.

Even smaller businesses can bring an “enterprise approach” to improving the customer experience by investing in a new or upgrading an existing CRM platform. If you’re already running CRM software but working with a bulky legacy model, you’re still behind the times. To be competitive in this exceedingly fast-paced economy, you need a cloud-based CRM to have instant real-time access to the data your customers already expect you to have. your company apart from its competition.

What’s the Rush?

Think you have time to dilly-dally? Guess again: research from IT analysts at Gartner shows the CRM market is predicted to continue strong growth (nearly 15 percent annually) through 2017. More shocking is the impressively high 22.6 percent projected compound annual growth rate for the cloud-based CRM market alone.

Be sure any new CRM software solution in which you invest will connect seamlessly with your existing contact centre telephone software to capture and record phone call data and add it to your newly enhanced complete customer profiles. This is important for several reasons:

  • Accessing comprehensive customer data will be possible for every agent on every call, whether it’s handled by one agent or must be transferred to a different department.
  • Customer service agents and sales representatives will both have access to a complete customer profile and can leverage each others’ insights.
  • A full historical data record may be important down the line should you need a trail of “breadcrumbs” to tackle future issues or even litigation.

When it’s time to invest or upgrade, be sure the intelligence threshold on your new CRM isn’t too lofty. Investigate the onboard training tools to be sure that agents won’t require a prohibitively long period of adjustment before they can be up and running with a new CRM.

Improving Customer Experience With a Quality CRM Platform

We’ve established that a smart, cloud-based CRM is a vital part of the modern contact centre’s customer service system. Whether you’re already running a legacy system and just need to upgrade or you’re about to take your maiden voyage, be sure you select a system with good included training tools so your agents can get up and running without delay. You’ll notice an immediate improvement in the way your agents are able to provide a fuller, richer customer experience. For additional tips on delivering the best possible service for your loyal customers, download our free white paper.

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