How Your CRM and Unified Communications Are Better Together
At many organizations, information silos and communications friction can slow down productivity and frustrate teams as they collaborate at work. For some businesses, these problems are never really solved until they reach a breaking point and begin drastically interfering with operations. It's unfortunate because there are actual solutions that are available with today's communications technologies, allowing teams to work more effectively together again.
Your company may be experiencing something similar or you might be searching for productivity strategies to help you take your business to the next level. Either way, implementing some smart communications technology may resolve these issues for you.
Here's how bringing call center unified communications and applications to your organization can make a difference.
How Unified Communications (UC) and Call Centers Grow Your Business
Call center representatives use a number of applications to get their jobs done every day. One of the most important apps reps use daily is customer relationship management (CRM) software. It contains all customer contact information and a history of incidents with each customer. This helps your team identify the best strategies for customer outreach and customer service.
Without accurate information, it's much more difficult to customize product and service offerings to the individual account or buyer. CRM unified communications and CRMs allow you to accomplish just that.
UCaaS and CCaaS: Good for Business
As organizations grow, their communication needs can also increase. Many businesses use communication tools such as call control, instant messaging, video conferencing, unified messaging, collaboration tools and business process integration (BPI) software.
When your CRM is part of a CRM unified communications suite of applications, integration across all applications is possible. It also enables teams to stay productive while reaching their customers more effectively.
Benefits of UCaaS and Call Centers
A communications suite that integrates several applications together can be far more efficient than using distinct applications. Communications suites can include:
- Call routing
- Call queueing
- Billing integration
- Access control
Using CRM to Improve Organizational Growth and Customer Experience
Organizations use several different applications, depending on the business, industry and company size. Of these applications, the CRM may be one of the most important systems in the entire company. With the right CRM in place, your organization can fuel further growth and continue providing excellent customer experience.
As such, having the right CRM alongside the right communications solution isn't an option—it's essential for success.
Benefits of Unified Communications and CRM
To serve the increasing number of customers and collaborate well, businesses need to make two strategic decisions:
- First, adopt a unified communications framework
- Second, establish call centers
Unified communications will help integrate numerous asynchronous and real-time communication tools, with the objective of improving business communication, collaboration and productivity.
Call centers centralize and effectively manage all inbound and outbound requests and communications by phone. Aside from call centers, many companies start with only CRM and go from there as the organization grows.
For example, employees manually enter some customer data while other customer data comes through via the company's eCommerce platform. When a customer creates an account through the website, that same information goes into the CRM. No matter how it gets into the CRM database, it is the central record of storage for customer data.
Connecting billing to the CRM is the next step to expanding integrations and realizing gains in productivity. Instead of having to separately look up the same customer in both the CRM and billing software, one platform can provide at-a-glance access to these records with a single query.
When a customer is searched on the CRM, links to their billing history are displayed, reducing the time it takes to view the customer’s information. Depending on the extent of the integration, total dollars spent and other important billing values might be displayed along with the customer record.
Some companies may find that their old CRM doesn't provide for any integration. While migrating to a new CRM will be painful and time-consuming, staying on the old CRM will cost in terms of productivity. The migration is a one-off transaction while staying on the old CRM will continue to be a drag on productivity.
Quick and Easy Setup
Researching CRMs may reveal a migration path. If not, the company may have to manually re-enter customer data into the new CRM. Not all customers will need to be re-entered. The company can start with its most active customers and work its way down to the least active and finally non-active customers.
This type of migration will allow the company to get up and running with the new CRM in the least amount of time.
Communications Implementation, CRM and Call Centers
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a cloud delivery model that allows you to enjoy a variety of communication and collaboration applications and services without the need for on-premise unified communications software.
On the other hand, contact center as a service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based customer experience service that can perform the same functions but without the need for acquiring expensive infrastructure.
Should Organizations Adopt On-Premise UC and Call Centers?
On the surface, on-premise UC and call centers are more affordable to implement, as you only need to pay a one-off license cost to start using them. Additionally, with on-premise services, it’s easier to customize the systems to your specific needs. Not to mention, you don't have to worry about the security of your data.
However, implementing on-premise unified communications and call centers will take longer because of the need to acquire relevant licenses and hardware, set up the infrastructure and train the IT team. Secondly, the cost of the infrastructure needed for the on-premise systems can be expensive.
Cloud providers adhere to the best security and compliance protocols, with many having dedicated teams to handle your unified communications and call center needs. Most companies prefer to host their unified communications and call centers via the cloud, which allows them to quickly realize productivity gains.
How UCaaS and CCaaS Work in Tandem
It's not all or nothing with UCaaS and CCaaS. Innovative companies, such as 8x8, have integrated UCaaS and CCaaS services into a single service. With 8x8’s unified communications call center, you can easily handle all your communications capabilities in one place. In addition to enterprise-ready contact center solutions, 8x8 offers you cutting-edge business phone services, collaboration and virtual meetings in one secure, reliable unified communications suite.
This brings your communications and information apps together. More of what your team actually uses every day is available via a single platform for streamlined communications and better productivity. As your organization grows, your communications solution grows with you.
Furthermore, it can change to meet your needs. That way, you don't have to worry about outgrowing your platform and being stuck with an inflexible communications system. Your organization can access what it needs, and you have even more unified information for your customer service department and sales representatives.
If you're looking for a solution to help with addressing communications silos, this could be the answer.
Integrated UCaaS Communications and Applications
The best productivity gains come from a suite of applications that are bundled together. These apps have either been created by the same vendor or vendors that have worked together to ensure high compatibility. A CRM integrated into a bundle or suite means fast and easy access to apps such as billing, call history, helpdesk, messaging and any other apps within the bundle.
This is what is meant by CRM unified communications. This bundle of apps is provided by cloud communication services companies.
CRM and Communications Solutions in One Place
Call centers use communications service providers extensively for UCaaS and CCaaS software. Even outside the call center, your organization can stay connected via a single platform that's flexible and low-maintenance. No hardware is required.
The customer simply installs the service provider's application on their workstations. Starting up one app also starts all the apps in the bundle—a far more productive and friendlier experience than having to start multiple apps. After all, when your organization is working to reduce communications friction, having a unified experience is an essential part of the solution. This removes some of the biggest challenges of bringing communication and information together within organizations.
Having apps all in one place is not just good for the call center or for call center unified communications. Communication is important for your entire organization. Now, everyone can communicate and collaborate using the same software solution. This can improve productivity and effectively solve the silo dilemma.
Before you order a CRM unified communications platform, remember that they include a CRM app within a bundle of tightly integrated communications apps. Look for a CRM solution that is included in a suite of communications apps to produce the highest productivity gains. Consider cloud communications service providers that offer CRM unified communications software.
Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Unified Communications platform, your business gets the unified messaging it needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.