The functionality of your organisation’s CRM is directly dependent on how well you integrate it with other key channels. Effective integration will help to automate common processes, increase data accuracy, and offer you a 360-degree view of your customer base.
How are so many CRM systems falling short?
Often, organisations fail to properly integrate their other customer management applications into their CRM; meaning at every stage of the sales pipeline, customers are being treated differently, and communication is becoming less and less personal.
It is critical that before your organisation begins to implement a CRM solution, you understand the importance of integration in ensuring a greater customer experience. To help you to do this, it’s imperative that you define a clear communication strategy for your CRM before you act.
CRM success isn’t defined by how many customer touchpoints are sustained throughout the sales pipeline, rather it’s how thoughtfully your organisation can integrate your communication strategy within your CRM to stay informed about the client and ensure a satisfactory customer experience.
Get a single view of the customer
Maintaining a comprehensive centre of data that stands behind every customer interaction, whether it be transactional, a service call or a request for information (RFI), is critical for retaining customer loyalty. When all information relating to the client is scattered across multiple applications that fail to speak to each other, it becomes difficult to gain a 360-degree view of the client and their position within the sales pipeline.
Important client details could be lost, sales opportunities could be overlooked, and customers could start to feel like they are dealing with a different company at each point of contact. Not only is this threatening from a cost perspective, but it ultimately depersonalises the customer experience, and can cause customers to become frustrated and discouraged.
Maintaining the information in each of the separate channels is tedious and makes miscommunication virtually inevitable. Without applications linked and synced in real time, important updates regarding the customer could be missed. Managing each application to ensure all information lines up requires constant attention and is frankly not sustainable.
One of the major benefits of implementing a CRM solution is the ability to analyse customer data and review performance. If your organisation only has access to outdated, inaccurate or incomplete information, you aren’t effectively utilising CRM’s capabilities to its full potential, and essentially limiting opportunities for profitability and growth.
In a study conducted by Forrester, 2000 employees using Microsoft Dynamics were surveyed and found that when their system was properly integrated, ROI could exceed by 245%. Leading organisations realise that integration is critical to the success of their multimillion-dollar CRM investments, and are choosing to unify their channels to gain a more comprehensive, single view of the customer.
Know who your key customers are, make sure that customer data coming in from all channels is integrated in real-time, and be able to identify where opportunities lie.
The benefits of getting it right
Back-to-front and cross-channel integration of your CRM will not only provide your organisation with a 360-degree view of your customers, but it will also allow you to prioritise prospect and clients, reduce service costs, cut lead times, as well as increase customer satisfaction levels and reduce churn.
With an integrated and multi-faceted view of all prospects and clients, it becomes simple for employees to view urgent tasks. Sales are easily able to pinpoint their realistic opportunities and then focus on driving them to a sale. Interactions with top-tier customers are easily tracked through all stages of the sales pipeline to ensure a maximum quality of service.
With effective integration, employees are able to use priority queuing to shift less profitable clients to more cost-effective client touch-points, such as email. In this way, integration allows your organisation to deliver the best quality of service to your clients, allows you to maintain a variety of customer touchpoints throughout the sales pipeline, and prevents your teams from missing potential sales opportunities.
When all touch-points are maintained with up-to-date information, the time it takes an employee to resolve a customer issue is minimised. Every call, email, direct message, or face-to-face conversation is recorded and found in one centralised place, making it simple for customer service agents to resolve customer issues without wasting time tracking missing pieces of information. Effective integration collectively minimises the cost of each customer interaction, and ensures a higher level of customer satisfaction, which together will reduce customer churn.
Where do we go from here?
Implementing an integrated architecture is a crucial step to achieving CRM success. A lack of cross-channel integration just doesn’t cut it anymore - it’s now industry standard - and will ultimately dictate successful marketing activities, customer service and drive your organisation’s overall performance.
Get in touch with the Superfluid team to get your CRM up-to-scratch and help you to compete with and beat your competitors.