CRM Today: How the Best Contact Centres Are Using CRM

Whats happening with CRM today?

Think your CRM strategy is lagging? See what the experts have to say about how the best contact centres are using their CRM today.

Tracking Workflows, Allocating Tasks, and Setting Reminders

Thumbnail image of Paul Weald
Paul Weald

A unified agent desktop has all the relevant information – including a complete history of all transactions with that customer – where the agent can track workflows, allocate tasks, and set reminders, replacing the need for internal emails between staff members and departments.

Reducing the Need for the ‘Cutting and Pasting’ of Data Between Screens

A system that is configurable in terms of business rules and procedures to adapt to departmental processes and link to major systems reduces the need for ‘cutting and pasting’ of data between screens.

Dealing With Multichannel Requests Consistently

The best contact centres are using their CRM as a common user interface across phone, email, chat/messaging requests to help consistently deal with multichannel requests.

Building User Confidence

CRMs can act as a comprehensive and accessible lookup of reference materials – for training and knowledge sharing to build user confidence and demonstrate the system’s value to everyday processes.

For practical methods to build advisor confidence, read our article: How to Build Advisor Confidence

Verifying the Customer With Screen Pops

When the customer calls, the system recognizes the number and screen pops the customer’s details and previous history. This speeds up the time taken to verify the customer.

Driving Progress With Continuous Improvement

Those operations that get it right not only have a configurable tool, but also a process for continuous improvement so that the champion processes and practices used by the high-performing upper-quartile agents are rolled out across the entire operation.

Contributed by: Paul Weald, The Contact Centre Innovator

Delivering Customer Journey, Omni-Analytics, Personalization, and More

Jamie Whitty, Partner at Sensible Solutions Consulting
Jamie Whitty

CRM for the contact centre started with simple database applications like MS Access, MS Sequel and Lotus 1-2-3, helping to drive key customer data collection points and early ecommerce support within segmented stages of the customer journey like sales, tracking customer issues and managing resolution.

20+ years later, CRMs have evolved significantly and the best contact centres in the industry (as defined by industry experts) have accomplished true customer journey & omni-analytics, personalization, and back-office process automation (RPA) with an advanced level of data security that manages the significant data threats which now exist today.

Integrating Training and LMS Capabilities

CRMs now integrate training and LMS capabilities with advanced AI and workflow processing – supporting true integration with industry-leading CCaaS platforms like Five9, Genesys, NICE, Talkdesk, and others.

Moving Away From Premise-Based Operating Models

As CRMs have evolved to SaaS operating models versus premise-based, this level of operational and customer-focused CRM integration has been and is creating a strong ROI model for the industry’s best contact centres – including revenue and productivity improvements, while improving customer churn and overall customer and employee experience.

Contributed by: Jamie Whitty, Partner at Sensible Solutions Consulting

Showcasing Value to Business Strategy

To be viewed as a business asset, most call centre leaders are finding ways to not only cut costs but show value to business strategy through customer service insights, customer experience improvements and product/service improvement ideas.

For call centre leaders, collaboration with either CX or insights teams is essential to ensure that customer insights are not reported solely from a siloed perspective.

Enhancing EX (Not Just Business Processes)

Keith Kmett, Principal CX Advisor at Medallia
Keith Kmett

An often-overlooked best practice is to design customer service CRMs to enhance the agent’s or employee’s experience – rather than just address business processes or needs.

A CRM should improve the experience of agents, enabling them to deliver superior service to customers.

Technology alone is not enough to succeed; people and processes must work as a team. Using CRM and AI technologies, for example, should reduce employee stress, speed up training, and provide relevant cues to agents.

Ultimately, the strategy for agent retention and elevated customer service is to shift the focus from scrutinizing agent faults to understanding and meeting their needs to perform their roles effectively.

This approach cultivates an environment that promotes empathy and, consequently, the best customer service.

Contributed by: Keith Kmett, Principal CX Advisor at Medallia


Where Are Contact Centres Getting It Wrong?

According to Paul Weald, The Contact Centre Innovator, there are also several common pitfalls that contact centres typically experience, including the following.

Juggling Multiple Applications on the Agent Desktop

A lot of time is wasted when agents need to access different transactional systems in order to complete separate processes.

Struggling With No Single Customer View

Issues arise when there is no common customer data record that links across different transactional systems.

Lacking Personalization

Systems that fail to provide the ability to deliver a differentiated service really hold contact centres back – for example, not having flags that identify vulnerable customers’ special needs.

Systems that fail to provide the ability to deliver a differentiated service really hold contact centres back.

The result is that the operational agents must find workarounds to ‘paper over’ these requirement gaps.

This has a two-fold impact – firstly it diverts the spotlight away from the root cause technology gaps, and secondly it reduces the likelihood of the type of change which is hard to implement and prioritize.

For further reading on CRMs, check these out:

If you want more great insights and advice from our panel of experts, read these articles next:

Author: Megan Jones
Reviewed by: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 12th Dec 2023 - Last modified: 19th Dec 2023
Read more about - Technology, , , , , , , , , ,

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