CRMs are an essential part of a modern call center. They are powerful tools that help with productivity by streamlining manual work processes.
They also improve the customer experience by ensuring all agents have access to the data they need to solve customer queries.
But, they are also complex products. If you and your agents don’t understand them, you’ll not only be missing out on these benefits, but they may negatively impact your work.
In this article, we’ll give an overview of how call centers can use and benefit from a CRM to help you use yours correctly.
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In this post:
- What is a CRM Call Center?
- Why use a CRM Call Center?
- How to implement a CRM strategy?
- 4 Advantages of a CRM Call Center?
What is a CRM Call Center?
A call center customer relationship management (CRM) tool stores all information a business has about a customer in a profile.
Collecting this information and making it accessible helps agents provide customer service personalization that better meets the caller’s needs.
The data a CRM stores depends on the business type. An ecommerce store will keep data about purchases and contact history. In contrast, a B2B seller’s CRM will include contracts, emails, and proposals.
Some of the most common information to store in a CRM includes:
- Contact details
- Biographical information
- Contact history
- Website interaction history
- Purchase history
- Software product usage
- The plan the customer is subscribed to
- Contracts and important documents
Basically, anything a business’s customer-facing teams can use to provide better service.
As well as these data-storing capabilities, many call center CRMs connect to other tools you use to enable automation. These let you streamline the process by removing manual work.
A common example is that when someone emails you at a connected address, the tool will store this contact in the CRM.
Why use a CRM Call Center?
Call centers can use a CRM for many reasons. Here are some of the main ones.
Provide personalized customer help
Call center CRM software gives agents and sales teams access to in-depth customer data. This provides them with a better understanding of the customer and their needs.
They can use this context to provide better solutions to problems.
Imagine a SaaS customer calls to ask for help about a certain issue. The agent can look up the plan the customer is on, their business type, and their support history to provide a solution that better meets their needs.
All the agent needs to do is pull up the customer’s profile when speaking with them.
Power your sales team
You can use CRM software to store data about leads and prospects, not just customers. This allows your sales team to generate sales more effectively.
They can store all data gathered in the sales process and use this to suggest solutions that fit the customer’s needs.
How to implement a CRM strategy
CRMs are most powerful when integrated into your call center tech stack.
This enables three things:
- You can share data between your CRM and the other platforms you use
- You can automate tasks so that a trigger in one tool causes an action in another
- You can add third-party functionality to your CRM or other tools
Here is more about how to build a call center CRM strategy.
Data is critical to CRM usage. Integrating tools allow you to share data across your system.
This keeps CRM data up-to-date and allows other tools to benefit from the information.
An example of this is what happens when an agent creates notes while on a call or during post-call work.
If the CRM connects to the call center software, it will add this data to the customer’s profile. All agents benefit from the notes created by the agent.
The same will happen for call logs, recordings, and other data collected during the call. And it’s not just your call center tools that can share data—your ecommerce, social media, and even website can feed data into the CRM.
An example of the second point is when your system automatically sends data from a CRM to your call center software alongside incoming calls.
Even though the call takes place on a different platform, the agent can still use the information saved inside the CRM system.
Once tools are connected, it’s easy to automate action between them.
For example, you can set up your system so your CRM and call center software work together to identify an incoming caller by matching the phone number to an account profile.
If there is a positive match, the CRM can automatically bring up the profile, giving the agent instant access to customer information.
Another example of automation is when a customer fills in an online form on your website.
You can set this to automatically create a new customer profile and populate it with information from the form. By connecting your CRM to your autodialer, you could even set up a call to go out at a time requested by the new lead.
Connecting software allows you to add functionality from one tool to another.
A popular example of this is click-to-call. Connecting your CRM and call center software allows you to add a call button to the customer profile. Your agent clicks this button to start an outbound call with the customer.
Other examples include:
- Use time tracking software to track work in the CRM
- Connect to email software to send and automate outbound email
- Transform tickets into tasks in your project management platform
Just remember that whether or not you can access these features depends on the CRM you use.
4 Advantages of a CRM Call Center
Using a CRM with a good integration and automation strategy provides many benefits.
Here are four of the best ones:
CRMs speed up support by providing agents with the data they need to solve problems faster. They don’t have to ask customers endless questions to find out what they want.
It also helps cut down the time call transfers take, which can greatly impact Average Handle Time (AHT). That’s because customers don’t have to repeat themselves to each agent.
Instead, the second agent can look at the call notes created by the person who first answered the call to discover more about the problem.
CRMs also bring down AHT by automating time-consuming post-call work. Instead of the agent having to manually input data collected during the call, the CRM transfers data into the customer’s profile.
Better customer experience
Faster, more informed service typically results in a better customer experience.
It’s been shown that some of the main things calls want from the customer calling experience are faster support and not having to repeat themselves.
They also want agents to have sufficient information about their problems.
These are all problems that your call center CRM can solve.
Everyone can access the same data
CRMs make the same data available to all your agents. Anyone in your business can provide the same high-quality service.
Here’s an example of how this is useful.
Imagine a customer calls about a problem. An agent agrees to look into it and call the customer when the issue is solved.
With a CRM in place, it doesn’t matter who makes the callback. All agents have access to the same information, so anyone can make the final call. This ensures the customer hears from you right away, even if the original agent is busy or absent.
CRMs can support the sales process. Reps can use the information in the CRM to build a complete view of a prospect’s needs and tailor solutions toward these issues.
Meanwhile, automation ensures you miss fewer opportunities. For example, every inbound lead gets automatically added to your CRM.
CRMs are a useful call center tool
Most CRMs can benefit from a CRM if they aren’t already using one.
The key to choosing a CRM is ensuring it works alongside your call center software and other business tools.
If it does, you’ll be able to streamline your work processes while providing an improved customer experience.