Call Center and CRM Integration
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the process by which a business can collect, organize, retrieve, and analyze customer information. A solid CRM system gives a company the ability to personalize interactions during customer service calls, cross- or upsell future products, and better track and resolve issues.
CRM software is often at the heart of the relationship between a business and its customers. However, because customer-related information comes from a wide variety of sources, it can be challenging to ensure that the data stays up-to-date and accurate to be useful to those who access it.
According to Synthio, business-to-business contact information in typical CRM systems go bad at a rate of 24-36 percent due to job changes, role changes, and other factors.
Companies that operate an in-person contact center must be able to provide current and correct information to its representatives in order to keep customers happy. If those businesses employ an AI-driven call center solution to manage basic, tier-one questions, that AI component must be fully integrated with the contact center in order to both access and add to CRM data.
How can customer relationship management help my call center?
Your call center representatives are a critical link to your customers. A strong CRM system arms those representatives with the tools they need to provide stellar customer service. For example, representatives who can see customer history as well as previous purchases can more easily resolve current issues, answer questions, and cross-sell new products.
How can CRM improve call center procedures?
Call center software can improve call center procedures by minimizing the need to collect the same information from customers repeatedly. As soon as a call is initiated by a customer, that data should immediately populate the representative’s screen, allowing that team member to pick up the conversation where it last left off.
Integrating an AI-Driven Solutions
Many businesses today are choosing to build a hybrid contact center, which may include internal customer service experts, third-party vendors who provide overflow call center services, and conversational AI.
At the same time, many companies have implemented a CRM system, which comes with challenges of its own. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, one-third of all CRM projects fail due to being over-budget or having data integrity problems or technology issues.
Although AI-driven solutions are an affordable way to screen and handle basic questions and customer service requests, it’s critical that the solution you choose can integrate with your CRM. The AI-driven solution must be a “team player,” if you will, having the ability to not only pull customer information and use machine learning to draw basic conclusions, but also to populate the CRM record with the automated actions that were taken by the AI-driven system.
What types of integrations should be offered?
If you’re evaluating different AI-driven call center solutions, be sure to ask which integrations the vendor offers out of the box. Best call center software should easily integrate with major contact center software systems including Salesforce, Zendesk, Kustomer, ServiceNow, and Shopify, for example. Others may offer Contact Center and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) integrations including Talkdesk, Five9, Genesys, Twilio Flex, Amazon, and Nice inContact.
If you use a proprietary or lesser-known CRM system, be sure your vendor has the capability to support custom API integrations.
What are other factors to consider when integrating AI solutions with CRM?
Anytime you are considering a partnership with a vendor, it’s important to gather references. Ask other customers of your vendor how the deployment process went for them. You want a vendor that provides your company with an implementation team that will work hand-in-hand with your call center to find the most efficient integration pathways that can be easily scaled.
In addition, be sure your vendor has a secure platform, which can provide a high-availability infrastructure that is meant to run efficiently 24/7 across thousands of concurrent calls at a high call quality.
Finally, CRM integrations should make call escalations and transfers more efficient. You’ll want your AI-driven system to intelligently pass calls off to the appropriate agent with context, notes and a complete CRM record to make transfers seamless and minimize average handle times.
What does a successful CRM integration look like?
Once you have successfully integrated an AI-driven solution with your contact center operations, the entire customer interaction process should function seamlessly.
When calls are received, the AI-driven solution should be able to authenticate the callers, greet them by name, and offer the most relevant resolution based on historical interactions.
If the automated system cannot address current questions or concerns, the system should seamlessly escalate and transfer the call to a live agent. The transfer should contain all relevant context including call center information, the reason for the transfer, and any related notes, giving the live agent the tools to pick up the conversation from where it was left off with the AI-driven interaction. Hubspot reports that most live agents take an average of 50 calls per day so you want to make sure those are high-value interactions.
AI-driven solutions can easily handle tasks such as issuing refunds, communicating order or account updates, or changing accounting information with no human interaction. The system can then bring the call to completion without escalation, automatically creating summaries or tickets to update the customer records. This information is then immediately available in the CRM system for complete visibility.
Replicant’s AI Solution
Replicant is a partner who offers AI-driven BPO solutions that can be easily and completely integrated into your CRM system. Learn more about our conversational AI and the way it can help your business. Our solutions streamline processes, reduce costs, and improve your customer service interactions.