Virtual phone systems and CRM need little introduction to anyone active in the business world. A look at a range of recent studies indicates that close to 40% of American businesses make at least partial use of VoIP today. The CRM software market is also growing rapidly with estimates that it will be bringing in an astonishing $80 billion in revenues in five years time. What do these two technologies share in common?
Appreciating the Natural Affinity between VoIP and CRM
The key appeals of VoIP, or internet phone systems, to the business world, come from the significant reductions in telecom equipment installation and maintenance costs, combined with the flexibility that incoming call forwarding and other advanced telecom features provide.
The impetus for the increasing use of CRM comes from recognition of the importance of effective management and use of customer data to increase sales and improve client service. While the VoIP and CRM objectives at first glance appear to differ, a closer look shows a great deal of common ground between them.
Where VoIP and CRM Converge
From their different perspectives, effective VoIP and CRM systems give businesses the tools to deliver real improvements in customer service that differentiate them from their competitors. For example, through use of VoIP incoming call forwarding and setting call schedules, firms can make sure that each customer call is quickly taken by the employee best suited to handle their query.
Recording of customer calls is another way in which VoIP provides firms with a valuable tool to improve their customer interactions. The CRM systems also play key roles in enhancing the caller experience and making the employee’s job that much easier by placing details of the customer’s previous dealings at the fingertips of the representative.
It is obvious that both VoIP and CRM have much to contribute to the business’s success, and it is also easy to see how they can complement each other. Although many companies may operate both systems independently it is hard to understand how this is justified from an efficiency perspective when they can be most effectively combined.
The Advantages of Integrating VoIP and CRM Systems
The pooling of resources between VoIP and CRM enables businesses to avoid duplicating resources, and it aids them to take full control over client communications throughout the sales process. Experience shows how this can dramatically boost client call to sale conversion rates. The idea of combining these two systems is becoming so popular that you can now even find internet phone system providers offering their customers free integrated VoIP and CRM packages.
This integration operates on various levels, but a few examples are more than sufficient to reveal the rich potential. When the customer calls, the VoIP system automatic attendant feature quickly guides them to the appropriate department or representative. Even if this person is away from their desk, the call is transferred to their smartphone. When the representative answers the call, a virtual card pops up with all the information they need to give a personalized service that is most likely to nurture client loyalty. The caller is notified that their call is recorded for training purposes and with the aid of this data the team can evaluate the representative’s performance and learn valuable lessons.
While most users of VoIP and CRM may not have yet realized it is possible to seamlessly integrate them, no doubt news of the gains from such integrations will influence many more firms to take up this option.