These are the knowable things: it’s 2018, every customer wants to be treated like the monarch of small European nation, and your support staff are working tirelessly to make everyone happy.
It’s also the age of multichannel communications. Which means those noble customers are coming at you from the left, right, chat, email, social media, and (of course) telephone.
This herculean task is even harder when all these channels act like perfect strangers — remaining separate and aloof. Progress only begins after you properly introduce them to one another.
As an icebreaker, I suggest you start by integrating your phone and CRM software. A seamless CRM phone integration, in many ways, turns these two critical communication platforms into good friends: effortlessly compatible and always working together to achieve more than each could alone.
Productivity: Eliminate the Busywork
If you aren’t using a phone system that integrates with your CRM tools, important details must be manually updated after (or during) every call. This back-and-forth process can — and inevitably will — drain your employees’ energy and lead to incomplete records.
Furthermore, the time spent digging through dozens of tabs for a specific piece of information is a waste of time for both your agent and the (increasingly impatient) customer. (Side note: Asking a caller to repeat information is a cardinal sin of modern phone support.)
The good news is, a competent CRM phone integration will do this auxiliary work for you and keep a complete customer history within reach. Detailed call information will be accessible directly within your CRM of choice, automatically updating records upon call completion.
During peak periods, agents can quickly move to the next customer in the queue, knowing a link to their previous call has already been saved to the correct customer’s file. When the phone stops ringing incessantly, notes, comments, and directions to other representatives can be properly documented using the playback.
Accuracy: Remember Everything, Always
Accurate and detailed notes are your agents’ secret weapon to providing superior service, leading to a stronger show of empathy, more-meaningful call-routing, and faster resolutions. (They’re also a good way to verify your analytics insights and uphold compliance standards…)
However, your agents are humans, with imperfect human memories. This is no fault of theirs — omissions and inaccuracies are bound to happen, even when call volume is normal (but when the seasonal rush kicks in, errors will multiply).
With an ironclad CRM phone integration, immediate transfer of information gives support and sales representatives the superpower of perfect memory. Customers and leads will be impressed (and maybe even a little creeped-out) by how agents are able to remember small details from past interactions as if they had occurred yesterday.
And even if we all know that “the customer is always right,” it’s also reassuring to know “The call recording never lies.” Easy-to-access evidence will help make training and performance reviews more targeted, and therefore more effective.
Anticipation: Get Clues to Better Help Your Customers
But as far as super powers are concerned, perfect memory is kid-stuff. A strong CRM phone integration also grants agents the ability to predict the future. That is to say, when your reps receive inbound calls via support (or sales) lines, the corresponding customer’s information will be pulled up within the CRM, ensuring your reps are informed and ready to assist the moment they say “hello.”
Without this small bit of foresight, your team will inevitably ask the caller to repeat information, wait on-hold longer, and experience more transfers (i.e. more repeated information). Whereas, with the CRM phone integration, all this nonsense can be avoided before the first touch.
Predicting a caller’s needs based on previous interactions requires a decent amount of training and experience on-the-job, but it’s a valuable skill for support reps to hone.
What does this friendship look like?
In this video, Clement is working in Zendesk (his go-to CRM) when he receives an incoming call. This automatically creates a ticket within Zendesk. Additionally, all of his actions in the Aircall interface — notes, tags, etc. — are reflected in the ticket, along with a link to the full recording.
Now, ever-versatile Clement is accepting an incoming call while working in Salesforce. Again, using only the Aircall app, he’s able to take notes and pass them along to a colleague who can run a detailed sales demo. Tommy, the company “closer,” will seal-the-deal by listening to the complete call recording and viewing Clement’s notes prior to action.
CRM Phone Integration: Better Together
When your CRM of choice is just an acquaintance of your phone, note taking is more difficult and productivity suffers. Once that initial introduction is made, your CRM and phone system will soon be inseparable.