Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Standalone CRM is Not Enough

Nearly every organization wants to serve its customers and constituents better, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is seen as the answer to be better connected and more responsive to the needs of those your company, association or government agency serves.

CRM gives you a channel through which you can interact, and excellent means of tracking these customer interactions.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM, for instance, tracks customer service calls, orders, quotes, and marketing outreach.  With Parature for Dynamics, you get additional channels of online chat and social media. 

While CRM is a great start, and arguably essential to improving customer service, it is not enough without being integrated with other systems in your organization.  Being able to reach a customer service representative quickly is good only if that person can resolve your problem, and the information needed to solve the problem is likely in other system, such as accounting, manufacturing, orders, or appointment scheduling.

When InfoStrat worked on a Dynamics CRM implementation at a large U.S. federal agency, it required integration with over a dozen systems in order to provide all the visibility needed by a customer service representative. 

Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a modern software platform based on open standards such as web services, and lends itself to integration.  Along with other integration tools on the Microsoft development platform, you can provide an excellent user experience for customer service reps and customers alike.

So the moral of the story is to give the customer service reps access to all the data that they need so they can improve the satisfaction of all your customers.  Don't stop with just a CRM system that let's you keep score -- go the full distance so they can make it to the customer satisfaction finish line.  

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