Welcome to the Partner Corner blog, your place to engage on interesting topics regarding innovative technologies for the Sugar platform. This guest post is written by Rachel Brink from 3CLogic, a Gold sponsor of this year's SugarCon. I encourage you to join the conversation and share your thoughts by commenting on this post. Enjoy! --Mark Weitzel
Customer experience is quickly becoming a business’ next competitive battleground, expected to overtake price and product as a brand’s key differentiator by the year 2020. The global “Switching Economy”— the potential revenue in the U.S. market due to changes in consumer spending—has swelled to $1.6 trillion. Integrating your call center and CRM will boost customer satisfaction scores and retention rates. Here are five best practices to consider when looking for an integrated solution.
1) Deliver Multichannel Support: Because 76% of consumers want to use three or more channels during a single transaction with a company, multichannel customer service should be considered an absolute necessity. According to the Aberdeen Group, companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers. To ensure streamlined and informed interactions, businesses must converge digital channels under a single roof and leverage the CRM to make customer information available across all touch points.
2) Reduce Average Time in Queue: Studies have shown that only 43% of consumers are willing to wait for longer than a minute, meaning that 57% of consumers will hang-up if their call is not answered by a live individual in less than 60 seconds. Failing to plan for high call volume or fix long wait times presents businesses with a number of challenges, including lost sales and reduced customer loyalty. Businesses should offer callers the option to remain on “virtual hold”, which prioritizes them based on information pulled from the CRM (size, spend, customer level e.g. a "Gold" customer, etc.), and schedules a call-back when the next qualified agent becomes available.
3) Optimize Call Routing: Constant transferring has always been an ongoing issue within the call center, with one in four consumers reporting no resolution of their problem or inquiry. Leverage advanced call routing strategies, with information pulled from the CRM, e.g. identifying a "Premier" customer, to automatically select the right agent for the customer.
4) Ensure Customer Information is Documented and Readily Available: 42% of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems and poor user interfaces (Forrester). Less than 10% of interactions are entered into the CRM, limiting an agent’s insight into a customer’s service history. By integrating Sugar and 3CLogic, customer facing professionals have immediate access to every interaction from the call center. This increases efficiency and drastically improves first call resolutions and customer satisfaction.
5) Measure the Results and Tweak Accordingly: While it is not a crystal ball, a customizable and robust reporting engine can help guide a help center in the right direction. Measuring call center specific information e.g. an agent’s CSAT score can help highlight a help center’s strong suits and progression, or areas that are falling behind and need improvement. However, when call center data is aggregated with CRM information, a more sophisticated view of the customer can be understood.
Following these best practices, an integrated call center and CRM is a powerful tool to win more business and increase customer satisfaction. Call center history is a critical part of the 360-degree customer. 3CLogic and Sugar are two key front office systems that work together to make every customer relationship extraordinary.