4 Ways CRM Solutions can Boost Call Center Productivity

As call centers become increasingly prevalent and in many cases are the front line of customer interactions, their effective management becomes increasingly important. Call centers are becoming more than just an "order entry vehicle", they are being used as a method of consolidating information services, making the order workflow more efficient, cross-selling and providing valuable customer information.

Make an accessible and comprehensive customer 360 degree view
The primary sources of information for any CRM software are inquiries generated by the customer, information developed by the sales force and company surveys completed by customers. The call center has the capacity to handle large volumes of calls at any given time and consequently can produce large volumes of information, especially for customer queries.

Single interface for customer details
'Customer relationship management' by its very nature is a customer focused strategy, concentrating on information gathering and satisfaction or 'experience optimization'. The data collected in a CRM software is integral to the call center’s activities and its success. Knowledge of customers, their preferences and purchase history, all lead to better management of relationships.

Incorporating a CRM solution in your call center has following benefits:
  • Quicker resolutions for queries and requests.
  • Real-time activity management.
  • Better collaborations.
How can CRM benefit the outbound call center?
CRM software can benefit the outbound call center directly through the provision of customer information. This information has significant application in boosting customer service perceptions and in turn boosting customer satisfaction. By providing a holistic view of the customer information call center agents are more knowledgeable and able to provide quicker, better informed responses to the requests of customers.

In an outbound call center, CRM software prepares the call center professional for their call, by providing customer history. Coupling a CRM system with a predictive dialing system has been shown to increase contact rates. The concatenation of these systems provides a user interface which populates the agent's screen with the relevant customer information. 

The agent is then able to update the customer information within the CRM system. By using this two phase system agents become more efficient at closing the sale and time is managed more effectively as a predictive dialer will eliminate busy, no answer and disconnected numbers.

The understanding of the purchase history and purchase timeline allows the call center professional to recognize the customer's needs and enables the call to be made at the most productive time. These anticipatory calls are one of the most productive uses of CRM, allowing the call center to build customer loyalty and repetitive business.

How can CRM benefit the inbound call center?
In an inbound call center, CRM allows the call center professional to quickly build the profile of a new customer or enhance the profile of a customer calling in. The CRM system can be programmed to populate the most relevant marketing information automatically.

The CRM system can then display to the agent a profile of the current customer or provide space to build their profile. By accessing or building this profile, the call center professional is able to assess the customers’ requirements as well as maintain their history. Again, this is the beginning for building customer loyalty.

A CRM solution is also an essential feature in the follow-up, from both inbound and out-bound call centers. CRM software allows the call center professional to review what calls have been recorded and their outcome. In doing so, the call center professionals’ time in responding is reduced and a reduction in lead loss can be achieved.

Reduction in training costs with CRM
CRM solutions are, by nature, user friendly. This user friendly nature allows for a reduced amount of training for call center professionals. With all information on a customer within the system, the call center professional can quickly assess the customers’ requirements and provide them with what they need.

The value of the CRM data can also be seen in –
  • Better routing of calls. 
  • Increase in First Time Resolution (FTR) rates.
  • Reduced missed calls. 
  • Cross-selling opportunities.
By providing enriched knowledge through a CRM solution, the call center, both inbound and outbound, increases both efficiency and effectiveness. Coupled with predictive dialing for the outbound call center agent, CRM can reduce idle time and provide calls paced by the availability of call center agents. By pacing calls, the center also increases the number of customer contacts with agents.

Increased productivity, effective cross-selling and dynamic deal management, all add up to improved sales and services with reduced costs. Also, the CRM solution ensures the overall customer experience is better, increasing the chances of gaining strong referrals and advocacy.