5Ways. to Put Your CRM Data to Work. for You and Your Customers

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1 5Ways to Put Your CRM Data to Work for You and Your Customers Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are becoming increasingly prevalent in today s organizations to collect and manage information about customers. These solutions make it possible to improve the productivity and the efficiency of the sales, marketing, customer service and other functions while at the same time enhance the customer experience. Today, many organizations are seeking to share and leverage information from their CRM systems with other information channels to take these benefits one step further. One way organizations can optimize their investment in CRM solutions and at the same time improve the customer experience is to integrate their CRM systems with phone applications. In fact, in a recent report by AMR1, the company predicts that data integration and data quality will be the two areas of investment in the coming years. A critical source of that data from sales to marketing to support is the telephone. 1 Source: CI0.com; 7/20/ International Drive McLean, VA MyAngel ( )

2 The benefits of IVR/CRM integration to both the organization and the customer are measurable. This paper explores the various ways that today s organizations are automating the interaction between CRM and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) applications to increase customer loyalty and retention, maximize efficiency and productivity of service and sales functions, increase revenue opportunities and decrease costs. #1 Empower Your Customers Organizations that leverage IVR applications with their customer service functions understand that one key to generating a positive caller experience is providing selfservice options, or providing callers with fast and efficient phone-based interactions to automatically deliver real-time information at their convenience. Simply put: the best way to serve your customers is to have the information they need, when they need it. Simply put: the best way to serve your customers is to have the information they need, when they need it. Information from your CRM system can be used in an automated fashion to provide the caller with personalized information at the start of the call. IVR systems can be set to read data such as whether the caller is a VIP customer or may have recently ordered one of your products, upfront and respond accordingly. By doing this you accomplish increased customer satisfaction in two ways: 1) VIP customers can be addressed as such, sent into a special queue with more succinct IVR options and shorter on-hold times, making them feel that they are appreciated as customers; 2) a customer who has recently purchased your product or submitted a help desk ticket can be identified by caller ID, and given the information they are likely looking for such as order or ticket status immediately without having to wait on hold to speak with an agent. Critical to successfully extending the self-service CRM functionality to the telephone is flexibility. Your application must be able to quickly respond to changing customer or business needs. For example, if your organization has added a new product and you d like it to be available via the phone as well as online, you must be able to add that option quickly and easily to your IVR application. Today s hosted IVR applications, like those from Angel, make adjusting and changing your phone options a simple process; a web-based toolkit enables real-time adjustments through a simple web browser. #2 Personalize The Customer Interaction For More Efficiency Yankee Group estimates that live telephone conversations still account for 77% of customers access to enterprise information, and that telephone interaction will remain the dominant form of access for years.2 Organizations, however, consistently struggle with managing contact center costs. With that in mind, phoneenabling CRM systems for the contact center provides an environment for decreasing costly live agent time 2 Source: SearchCRM.com; 2/8/2007 2

3 while increasing the overall customer experience by shortening the call transaction length and providing personalized menus and options. Today s technology enables call center solutions to integrate fully with CRM systems. When a call comes in, these solutions are able to access your company s database to retrieve related details, such as customer records, purchase history, or billing information, to facilitate the call. Know who is calling you, and make your best guess as to why they are calling. CTI integration facilitates this process by proactively providing caller information via pop-ups as the call comes in. With information about who is calling, company information, case information and more at their fingertips, agents are better prepared to address caller needs. This allows your agents to interact with your customers in a more personalized way. Did they open a case recently? If so, chances are that they are calling about the status of that case. So, when they call, volunteer that information: let them know that you know that they opened a case and tell them what the status of their case is. Even if they are calling about something else, they will appreciate the effort you are making. The contact center agent can then use this information to verify account status, identify problems with the online transaction, and more efficiently troubleshoot whichever issue prompted the customer to call. Advances in service technology also reduce the overall number of calls to the contact center and help to ensure that the calls that do come in are not simply about routine, easy-to-fix issues. Through the availability of personalized information an IVR/CRM application allows organizations to proactively determine a customer s preferences and potential needs... To maximize the benefits of using a voice application within the contact center, it is important that your customer data is readily available to move the call forward effectively and resolve customer issues or inquiries. Phone-enabled CRM applications like those from Angel offer voice-oriented incident management, order status, repair tracking, refund status, password reset and customer survey capabilities. They provide instant and intuitive access to a broad selection of support options and help customers resolve more common and/or lower priority items on their own. The interactive caller experience also ensures routing to the most appropriate call center agent. Best of all, these solutions provide unlimited call capacity to handle large volumes of customer service requests insuring no customer is left on hold, and improving the call experience. #3 Generate New Revenue Through Cross-Selling Up- Selling One of the biggest benefits of integrating phone applications with CRM solutions is the ability to provide targeted sales offers to customers and use these systems as revenue-generating tools. By tapping into customer buying behavior or other information as part of the interaction, organizations can tailor offers to specific customer segments. Exposing customers to on-hold promotions that may not apply to them or forcing them to listen to unlimited menu options significantly impacts the customer s call experience and their inclination to buy. Providing a customized call experience not only enhances your perception with that customer but can potentially add to your bottom line. 3

4 The most effective use of CRM within an IVR is to utilize known customer information along with real-time information to drive anticipated menu options. Through the availability of personalized information, an IVR/CRM application allows organizations to proactively determine a customer s preferences and potential needs and present appropriate tailored options in the IVR menu. Based on a customer s buying history or previous interactions, that customer is presented with specific menu items customized to that individual, resulting in personalized communications in the IVR based on real-time customer information. Using this same process, organizations can leverage the CRM/IVR relationship for up-sell and cross-sell opportunities with customers. Based on information you may already have about the customer, as well as data collected through the call, the company s IVR solution determines what choices will be offered to the customer on an IVR menu and what messaging will be played during call transfer and hold times. Scripts can also be presented to a live agent s desktop to guide the sales process with the customer. #4 Get Your Sales And Marketing Lead Management In Synch A common frustration among sales and marketing alike is the capturing and tracking of leads. Sales representatives often complain that taking the time to input information about prospects means time away from selling, and when they do use the application, the information is often incomplete. Marketing must deal with leads that are inaccurate, decreasing the efficiency of marketing campaigns and activities. By phone-enabling your CRM solution, you provide the ability to store a new lead from a simple phone call. These speechenabled IVR solutions enable users to automatically capture the names and addresses of callers and place them into their CRM account for easy retrieval and analysis. By voice-enabling your CRM solution, you provide the ability to store a new lead from a simple phone call. This kind of automation increases the data quality, helping you and your sales team to qualify a significantly higher percentage of leads into sales opportunities. In addition, when a phonebased lead comes in, that lead is captured in seconds, enabling immediate follow-up or other actions. Sales representatives can also, via a simple phone call, enter lead information and update records, as needed, from wherever they are. In addition, with a simple voice command, a call can be placed from your sales representatives to a prospect or customer no dialing, no phone numbers needed. These effortless functions help increase their adoption of the CRM application and improve their productivity in the field. By streamlining processes and eliminating work that competes for time from other tasks, you can create a winning situation for all stakeholders. 4

5 It is clear that combining the power of the telephone with CRM applications can easily enhance your perception with your customers as well as increase loyalty. #5 Be Proactive To Increase Loyalty With Outbound Campaigns Outbound campaigns have traditionally been an important part of any businesses customer and prospect outreach strategy. Successful outbound campaigns leverage customer information to provide meaningful interactions with the customer and enhance the call experience. These campaigns are designed to provide customers with information based on detailed knowledge of the customer s profile, preferences and stage in the sales process. By combining the power of your existing information and business systems with your IVR, you can create more strategic outbound strategies and programs. Customer notifications are a key example. Airlines tapping into customer records can proactively update passengers about changes or cancellations in flight information. Financial institutions can alert customers to issues with their accounts. Government agencies can remind citizens about driver s license renewals or deadlines for taxes. With knowledge about a customer s recent purchase history, marketing departments can produce targeted campaigns to up-sell or cross-sell services that are meaningful to that customer. With just a few examples, it is clear that combining the power of the telephone with CRM applications can easily enhance your perception with your customers as well as increase loyalty. In addition to the customer benefits, combining your CRM and IVR applications for outbound campaigns drives tremendous value for your business. Increased customer loyalty drives additional revenue. By proactively addressing customer issues before they occur, you can greatly reduce inbound call volume handled by live agents, thus further reducing costs. Your CRM solution is also a critical part of acquiring new business opportunities, and many organizations have outbound lead generation or inside sales departments whose sole role is to make outbound calls to prospects. In conducting any outbound campaign, it is important to maximize the number of outgoing calls to increase the number of sales opportunities and, ultimately, drive sales. Today s sophisticated IVR applications make it possible for CRM users to access information from a CRM application through the telephone, and can even be instructed to place a call to a contact stored in the CRM through simple click-to-call functionality. In addition to the time-saving benefit of eliminating manual dialing, this solution saves time for busy agents, or field or traveling sales representatives by automatically logging the call, its results and follow up tasks directly into the lead record in the CRM application. Using this kind of application, your employees are empowered to leverage their CRM data from anywhere, without the need for Internet access. 5

6 Conclusion CRM systems can play an enormous role in helping organizations understand their customers. Phone-enabling CRM systems helps take those benefits to the next level, helping organizations fully maximize the telephone as a sales, marketing, service and support channel. By integrating CRM technologies with IVR and call center solutions, organizations will help drive greater customer satisfaction, higher retention rates, and more successful attempts at up-selling and cross-selling by providing tailored, accurate and timely responses to the customers needs. Part of the Angel Solutions Suite Angel is a leading provider of on-demand call center and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions. The Angel solution delivers value to organizations of all sizes to more productively and efficiently address business problems through the power of voice technology. As a fully hosted solution, no investment in hardware, software, or human resources is required, delivering immediate ROI and easing and simplifying deployment of voice applications that meet unique business needs. Angel is the only provider to offer a web-based toolkit, Site Builder, that facilitates voice menu design through a simple Internet connection and our innovative technology enables complete integration with databases or CRM tools, enhanced scalability and flexible applications. For more information, visit 6

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