What Are CRM Unified Communications?

Call center representatives use a number of applications to get their job done. One of the most important apps a rep uses on a daily basis is the CRM or customer relationship management application. When the CRM is part of a CRM unified communications suite of applications, integration across all applications is possible.

A communications suite that integrates several applications together provides is far more productive for reps than using several disparate applications. Some of the applications involved include:

  • Call routing
  • Call queueing
  • CRM
  • Billing integration
  • Messaging
  • Access control
  • Helpdesk
  • Reporting

There can be more depending on the call center. The CRM is one of the most important applications in the entire company. It contains all customer contact information and depending on integration with other applications, a history of incidents with each customer.

Outside of call centers, many companies start with only a CRM. Their employees manually enter in customer data although customer data may also come through via the company's ecommerce platform. When a customer creates an account through the website, that same information goes into the CRM. However, some customers will place their orders over the phone. In that case, reps must manually enter in customer information. 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. Without this step, an employee wanting to see how many times a customer has called in and how much they have spent with the company requires two steps:

  1. Look up the customer in the CRM and to find any notes about their incident history.
  2. Look up the same customer in the billing software to get the total amount they've spent with the company.

Once the CRM and billing software is integrated, when a customer is searched on the CRM, links to their billing history are displayed, making it very quick and easy to view billing information. Depending on the extent of integration, total 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. 

Researching CRMs may reveal a migration path. If not, the company may have to manually re-enter its customers 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. It will also be able to quickly realize productivity gains.

How Does A CRM Platform Integrate With Unified Communications?

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/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. Call centers use these providers extensively for UCaaS and CCaaS software. No hardware is required. The customer simply installs the service providers 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.

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 that is included in a suite of communications apps to produce the highest productivity gains. Consider cloud communications service providers offer CRM unified communications software.

Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Team Messaging System 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.

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