Microsoft Dynamics and Call Center Software: Putting the Engagement Back in "Customer Engagement"
As consumer needs and expectations continue to evolve, businesses around the globe are discovering the value in adopting advanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, such as Microsoft Dynamics, to assist in collecting and organizing the vast amount of data their clients provide, and use it to deliver seamless customer service across various channels and touch points. And with organized client data, agents can more effectively upsell, cross-sell, target marketing efforts, and solve potential issues before they escalate. But arguably the most vital component of sales and service delivery, and one most CRMs do not inherently provide, is voice—despite its ability to drastically enhance internal efficiencies, reduce costs, and transform the customer experience when properly integrated with a CRM platform.
The obvious question— why?
The Case for Voice
Despite the rising popularity of alternative digital touch points such as self-service, web-based chat, email, and social media, voice continues to remain a critical customer engagement channel. In fact, while web selfservice usage recently exceeded that of telephony, the overwhelming majority of consumers still prefer using voice for “more complex” and “difficult” inquiries. And nearly half of all self-service interactions are eventually escalated to voice, as most are too complex to be handled without the added assistance of a live representative. So while some may see telephony as a dying customer engagement channel, evidence suggests it will likely remain critical to business’ success, especially as they strive to differentiate on the basis of the customer experience.
No matter what role the CRM plays within your organization, the ultimate goal should be to facilitate client engagements across all channels and touch points
CRM and Telephony are Working in Siloes and it Stings
So if voice, or the “human” touch point, is such a critical component of the customer experience, then why have most organizations separated it from their Customer Relationship Management databases completely? And what are some of the problems they are encountering as a result? According to Forrester, roughly 42 percent of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications. Factor in that less than 10 percent of interactions are entered into most CRMs, and it is no wonder the global switching economy has reached an all-time high of approximately $1.5 Trillion. The common culprit? Agents commonly do not have real-time and readily available information about the customer at the time of the interaction or often lack access to prior customer interactions for future use. As a result, the lack of key customer insights typically provides the perfect scenario in which low first call resolutions and lost sales are common.
The Solution? Unify the Agent Desktop
According to Ventana Research, nearly half of contact center agents need access to three of more applications to resolve a single customer issue, whether it be database management, billing, accounting, communications, etc.—in some cases more complex inquiries may require as many as twenty. And yet, often times, the number of required platforms and solutions can often be significantly reduced via the consolidation and unification of systems into a into a single user workspace. For Denis Seynhaeve instance, robust contact center solutions such as 3CLogic’s offer users multiple channels and touch points (voice, email, text, web chat, social media, self-service IVR), and can integrate with a number of third-party applications such as CRMs (Microsoft Dynamics), Customer Service Management systems (Zendesk, ServiceNow), Workforce Optimization solutions (Envision), and Workforce Management solutions (Verint) to allow for a more seamless yet powerful agent portal—the ultimate goal being to optimize the use and effectiveness of a representatives while quickly addressing the needs of the customer.
The Benefits Of A Unified Agent Desktop
So what are the benefits of integrating a CRM solution such as Microsoft Dynamics with a cloud communications platform? The opportunities are endless. As it relates to customer service activities, callers can automatically be routed to the individual best suited to meet their needs, while populating the rep’s screen with all client details, previous interactions, and dynamic scripts catered to each client. As it relates to sales and marketing, web generated leads can seamlessly be pushed to the dialer, enabling agents to contact them immediately, without delay. And for larger outbound campaigns, agents can contact leads faster and with more success using automatic dialing and local presence capabilities.
No matter what role the CRM plays within your organization, the ultimate goal should be to facilitate client engagements across all channels and touch points in a manner which makes optimal use of the customer data your CRM manages. However, any success will largely depend on how effectively your CRM complements the communication channel(s) your organizations makes available to end-customers. After all, what would be the point of a customer relationship management tool if it lacks the ability to help properly foster actual relationships?