Confusing, hard to use software creates friction. It can make employees frustrated, irritable, and unproductive, and the last thing anyone wants is short-fused agents.
Inversely, happy employees mean happy customers. When your agents feel empowered and supported, call centre morale flourishes. The right CRM helps boost institutional success by streamlining vital processes, improving communication, and controlling the flow of data.
Operational Optimisation: The Big 3
In today’s fast-paced business world, high level customer support can’t be achieved without the right tools for the job. It doesn’t matter if you have the best agents in the game, if you lack the digital infrastructure to manage your customers’ data effectively, your customer experience suffers. But don’t worry! CRM is here to help!
Quality CRM means better call centre management. By making use of helpful applications like contact management, ticketing, and phone trees, call centres can boost customer success while reducing overhead. What more could you ask for?!
A contact’s CRM record can be used to store vital demographic information, like contact info and buyer preferences. CRM records also keep a running history of all customer-brand interactions, allowing agents to access detailed records regarding a contact’s purchasing history and previous support experiences.
Preparedness is an essential aspect of next level support. Well kept CRM records empower call centre agents to find the information they need to drive customer success, without having to ask the customer each time. From your contact’s perspective, your support services appear professional and helpful, rather than disorganised and annoying. No one wants to be asked the exact same questions by every agent they speak with.
Inaccessible data is almost as bad as no data at all. Quality contact profiles should be easily navigable, with a comprehensive search function to find specific CRM activities. Your CRM is going to contain so much valuable data, so it’s important that you have extensive search and filtering capabilities.
Today’s “call centres” should offer more than just phone support. Customers today expect a variety of support channels, so they can choose a format that’s convenient for them. Email, phone, and chat are all considered standard channels for technical support.
These are the bread and butter of any comprehensive support strategy. Another channel you may consider adding to your multi channel support strategy is ticketing. For resource strapped organisations, ticketing is a godsend.
Ticketing is a scalable customer support solution, and the perfect compliment to phone and email support channels. With ticketing, customers can monitor progress made on their specific enquiry, and you make sure no support enquiries are lost in mix.
How it works: customers can open a ticket, at any time, regarding a support enquiry. Updates will be delivered to their mailbox. They can view updates at their leisure, and respond if necessary.
When updating a ticket, customers have the option to attach multiple files, such as videos and screenshots of the issue they are experiencing. With GreenRope, every group can be set up with it’s own isolated ticketing hub. This offers call centres the flexibility to create separate ticketing systems for different brands, departments, or types of enquiries.
Ticketing makes for good record keeping. Lengthy email threads quickly become confusing and hard to navigate. They can also be impossible to find in a cluttered inbox, making it difficult to reference old conversations. Tickets, on the other hand, are simply categorised as opened or closed, and each ticket has its own distinct number. Old tickets can easily be found by searching for the ticket opener, who the ticket is assigned to, or the contents of the ticket.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of ticketing is its scalability. Unlike live chats and phone calls, ticketing doesn’t require agents to be immediately available for one on one interactions. We’ll expand more on the technology used in ticketing when we discuss the importance of CRM for communication.
For most call centres, the toughest part of 2020 was figuring out how to make their business models function remotely. A lot of call centre managers loved their phone systems back in the day, before discovering the simplicity and usability of GreenRope phone trees.
Phone trees allow on-the-phone customer support to work effectively, even when agents are spread out across the country. Phone trees can be easily set up so that when a customer calls your support number, the call can be forwarded to the right person in your organisation. The number where calls are forwarded to can be differentiated by time of day, or by using a dial pad option menu.
Teams can’t succeed without effective communication. Complex support enquiries sometimes require help from multiple team members or departments, necessitating access to first rate communication technology. Essential CRM features like ticketing, project management, tasks, and CRM activities buoy the efficiency of internal communications by delivering updates to the right people, in a timely manner and comprehensive format. Let’s break down why each of the aforementioned features are essential to operational success.
Ticketing; The most important function of any CRM solution is its ability to communicate relevant data with the people who need it, while gating it from the people who don’t. Access to ticket updates are available to all users with the correct permissions, and offer details on the development of an enquiry through updates.
Ticket updates can be viewed within the system or delivered via email. When updating a ticket, sharing mechanisms allow users to communicate their updates with the ticket opener, the internal ticketing team, both, or neither. Users also have the option to CC additional emails with each update. The ability to quickly and easily gate content helps companies avoid overwhelming their people and confusing customers through oversharing.
Project management; Project management offers an easy and effective way to track employee updates and monitor your team’s progress toward defined goals. This app lets administrators create team projects with assigned managers and set tasks. Project management allows call centre managers to visually track the progress of projects with timeline graphs, receive automatic weekly updates via email, and create project deadlines that are automatically posted to their CRM calendar.
Tasks; Tasks can be assigned to individual users through projects. When provided, users can denote the time spent and objectives completed when working on a particular task.
CRM activities; CRM activities list all touchpoints between your brand and any given contact. These touchpoints are easily viewable in that contact’s record. They include things like email broadcasts and website visits, as well as conversations with brand representatives.
When call centre agents begin work on a support enquiry, they can check that contact’s record to view past support interactions and use that information to inform where to best focus their efforts. For example, if a fellow agent had dealt with past enquiries from the same client, they’ll be able to see what they discussed to determine the best starting point from the enquiry at hand.
Transparency and Accountability
Unlimited Users for One Price
When searching for a CRM solution, it’s important to understand the difference between per contact and per user pricing. As you may have guessed, per user pricing factors in the number of users in your account when totalling your subscription fee, while per contact pricing charges based on the number of contacts present in your account. Many prospective buyers are unaware that this difference has profound implications beyond mere cost.
Per user pricing often pushes resource limited companies into sharing login information. BIG mistake! Sharing login credentials undermines data integrity by compromising your CRM system’s ability to track user actions.
When mistakes are made, your first instinct is to find out who’s at fault and how this happened. With everyone sharing one login, this can be nearly impossible. With per contact pricing and unlimited users, call centres don’t have to choose between affordability and accountability.
By setting up each user with their own login information, call centre managers can easily track user actions through a users’ actions log. This will help maintain operational efficiency and data integrity by providing who did what, and when. As your organisation grows, being able to access the details of potential gaps in your process becomes crucial.
Flow of Data
We’ve allocated a lot of digital real estate to discussing particular features and why they’re useful, but let’s take a step back to examine the fundamental function of CRM. CRM is all about the flow of data.
Enabling your support team with access to critical data when they need it is essential to maintaining peak performance. At its core, Customer Relationship Management is all about disseminating important customer and company information in a timely and responsible manner. CRM systems rely on automation and permissions to make sure the right people have access to the data they need, when they need it.
Shared Access Permissions
Shared access permissions allow account administrators to designate varying levels of access to team members. Permissions can limit access to features or groups that contain high level or sensitive information. You likely don’t want entry level agents to have access to your corporate accounting figures, and with shared access permissions you can guard privileged data from particular team members or departments.
Shared access can also be used to designate admin users with admin-like status. By making users power users, they can share administrative capabilities by being able to dole out shared access permissions themselves. Making shared access super users will give full permissions for every group they’re a member of.
Certain features have additional sub permissions which can be used to tailor access even further. Something as sophisticated as ticketing, necessitates greater control to prevent misuse.
Automation provides the locomotion needed to disseminate critical information. Usually when you read about CRM using automation to distribute data, the word ‘automation’ is prefaced with the qualifiers ‘sales’ or ‘marketing’. While CRM can effectively be used as the driving force behind a company’s sales or marketing strategies, these qualifiers detract from the technology’s wide range of applications. Automation can be used for all sorts of different business operations, including support.
As we mentioned earlier, email alerts and notifications are one way CRM helps keep your team up to speed with the multitude of different tasks, projects, and interactions which make up agents’ daily work routines. This way everyone’s on task, well equipped to manage their workload. Alerts can be set up to use specific templates which include placeholders or dynamic data rules, allowing you to customise your alerts for specific scenarios.
Automated follow ups are a great way to check in with customers. Whether you choose to reach out via email or SMS, automated follow ups allow you to quickly and easily reach out without having to spend valuable manpower on a mindless, repetitive task. Automated follow ups can be triggered and delivered through a workflow. If your customer’s response requires a live agent to follow up, your team can easily take it from there.
In addition to follow ups, workflows and journeys can be used to modify data fields in a contact’s record, change group assignments, and add tags. This type of automation will update and reorganise contact information based on specific actions, saving you time and manpower.
Your people deserve the very best in digital infrastructure. Complete CRMs help call centres deliver high calibre customer service, by providing the necessary tools for data management. With applications like ticketing, telephony, project management, and more, CRM has become the backbone of call centre management. The convergence of so many powerful technologies into a single, digital platform optimises the flow of data and increases user transparency.
If you haven’t yet found the right CRM for your organisation, it’s not too late. Knowing the essential features for call centre management will give you a leg up when talking with sales reps and brand representatives.
Let’s run it back. The key features you need to look for when selecting the right Customer Relationship Management platform for your call centre are ticketing, telephony, project management, tasks, comprehensive customer profiles, shared access permissions, and automation.
Originally published Jan 25, 2021, updated Jan 16, 2023