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CRM

Do you specialise in CRM for contact centres? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on Contact Centres Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the customer care market – and in December we’re focusing on CRM.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help customer care industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of CRM solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Carly Walker on c.walker@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Dec – CRM
Jan – Agent Coaching & Monitoring
Feb – Analytics
Mar – Call Centre Technology
Apr – Automated Customer Satisfaction
May – Social Media
Jun – Artificial Intelligence
Jul – Virtual Call/Contact Centres
Aug – Training & Development
Sep – Knowledge Management
Oct – Web Self Service/Chat
Nov – Display Boards
Dec – CRM

For more information on any of the above, contact Carly Walker on c.walker@forumevents.co.uk.

Why CRM (still) fails

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CRM is a core component of the operational toolkit – even SME adoption levels have now reached 79%, according to a recent survey from Workbooks. And yet, CRM success rates are still too low. For every business achieving phenomenal business transformation, another will have wasted resources and seen zero return.

As a mature market, there are countless CRM solutions now available, many of which are loaded with fantastic features and functionality. So what makes the difference between CRM failure and CRM success? As John Cheney, CEO of cloud-based CRM vendor Workbooks, explains, it isn’t the technology that delivers success – success can only be achieved if companies set clear business outcomes at the point of purchase…

Pressure to Change

In a post lockdown economy, businesses in every sector are adjusting to change. Staff turnover has reached unprecedented heights as individuals rethink priorities. Customers have not just moved online but radically raised their expectations of the quality of experience at the same time. New markets have opened; others have been mothballed. It is little wonder that businesses are reassessing their existing CRM solutions and asking: why didn’t it help?

Done well, CRM provides a framework that can transform operational performance in many areas. And, as some companies discovered during the COVID-19 pandemic, a well-designed and well implemented CRM can support rapid changes in business direction – such as the company selling window shutters direct to the consumer that moved 100% online within days, as soon as measuring up visits to the customer’s home were prohibited. And yet, the risk associated with implementing CRM is widely recognised: in the Workbooks survey and report, The State of the CRM Market: An SME Perspective, 50% of SMEs confirm they are already on their second CRM platform. Too many companies are still buying CRM, only to discover it has failed to deliver.

What’s going wrong? According to the survey, the primary reason for failure is that the CRM solution is a poor fit for the firm’s needs (53%) – yet features and functions (62%) remain the most important factor when choosing a CRM. If a business has spent time ensuring the technology is a great match, why is it still a poor fit? This is a significant investment – so why are companies making such a hash of buying such a vital tool in the business armoury, something that can utterly transform performance, profitability and customer experience?

Outcomes not Features

Taking a technology first approach to finding the right CRM solution is a fast track to failure. Forget the features and functions – they come later. Companies need first to understand the business outcomes required from the investment. Driving revenue growth? Enhancing the customer experience? Reducing operational costs? Improving decision making? Without clearly defined business objectives, companies will struggle to achieve any value from the CRM investment, whatever product they choose.

It is only once business outcomes have been defined – and prioritised – that companies can truly understand the requirements of the CRM solution and set clear expectations for its implementation.  For example, many companies are looking to CRM to deliver a 360-degree view of all customers. Fine, most systems can offer to pull data together, but why? How is that information going to be used? And where, specifically, will the value be derived?

If the desired business outcome is to improve cross-selling, then pulling all data into one place will allow the business to improve segmentation and fine tune marketing. But will the sales team be automatically informed when customers click through a marketing email? Will these leads be scored to help sales people prioritise their response? Taking the time to truly investigate how CRM could support a priority business outcome turns the project on its head.

Technology Sell

Few SMEs, however, have the business analysis skills to undertake this process – and, unfortunately, the CRM industry on the whole is not set up to provide that support. For most CRM vendors, the product sell is typically features and functions focused. Then, once the deal is signed, the implementation project is handed over to an integration partner – a team that wasn’t involved in the original sales process or any discussions about the customer’s business needs.

The model is disjointed as a result: reinforcing the emphasis on ‘bells and whistles’ differentiation during the product assessment phase and offering little to no alignment with business goals or priorities – all of which can extend time to value for the customer.

Unique Business

The honest fact is that while there are some differences between CRM applications – most notably in the ease of integration, with those using open APIs making it far easier – the software is approaching commodity status. Business needs, however, are unique. Every company has its own structure, its own customer base and engagement model.

A CRM investment is about achieving a competitive edge, about being better than the competition – and actively looking to explore, capture and use business goals to define the CRM deployment makes the difference between failure and success.

Which is why SMEs need to take a different approach to buying CRM – one that starts with the business outcomes they want to achieve and, only once they have been prioritised, applies this insight to determine the functional CRM goals. Companies should look for vendors who can help them to define these business outcomes at the outset, in addition to offering implementation support. Delivering that end-to-end engagement, all the way from the initial outcome definition workshop to full implementation, ensures consistent product focus and maximises time to value.

Conclusion

When CRM projects work the business looks quite different. When projects fail, the business looks exactly the same – just financially worse off. And too many businesses, having been there before, are increasingly nervous of making the same mistakes. Faced with navigating a rapidly changing commercial landscape, companies are in a dilemma: they need CRM, they know it can work and deliver real value. But can they take the risk? Can they afford not to?

It is time to stop repeating the CRM mistakes of the past. Step away from product sell, the sparkly features and functions: it is businesses that prioritise outcomes and look beyond the technology – to what additional value a supplier can offer – that will be best placed to maximise ROI and achieve successful business change, fast.

2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center Freshworks is a Visionary Again!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Freshworks

Gartner 2021 Magic Quadrant on the CRM Customer Service Center has recognized Freshworks as a ’Visionary’ for our cloud-based omnichannel customer service platform, Freshdesk. This is our sixth consecutive year on the quadrant and the second time as its ONLY Visionary.

We believe that this recognition underlines our success in helping customers establish digital-first customer service in response to the pandemic-led evolution in consumer behavior and expectations. We also believe that our intuitive user-first approach to product development, powerful native AI engine and ability to enrich omnichannel support with rich customer context have helped us expand our presence among midmarket and enterprise companies.

We’re pleased to share a complimentary copy of the complete report where you can find Gartner’s take on the current CEC ecosystem and key considerations for businesses looking to implement CRM and CEC technologies.

Download now

Do you specialise in CRM for contact centres? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on Call Centres Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the customer care market – and in December we’re focusing on CRM solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help customer care industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of CRM solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Carly Walker on c.walker@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Dec – CRM
Jan – Agent Coaching & Monitoring
Feb – Analytics
Mar – Call Centre Technology
Apr – Automated Customer Satisfaction
May – Social Media
Jun – Artificial Intelligence
Jul – Virtual Call/Contact Centres
Aug – Training & Development
Sep – Knowledge Management
Oct – Web Self Service/Chat
Nov – Display Boards
Dec – CRM

For more information on any of the above, contact Carly Walker on c.walker@forumevents.co.uk.

Meet with Diabolocom at the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit!

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There’s only a few weeks left until the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit!

Let’s take advantage of this virtual event to enhance your customer interactions!

Diabolocom‘s 100% cloud software can be integrated to your CRM in only a few minutes.

Self-service, personalized messages, post-call workflows, …

Are you ready to set up the best strategies in order to increase sales while improving customer satisfaction?

Free Demo Here https://www.diabolocom.com/en/free-demo

Do you specialise in CRM for contact centres? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on Call Centres Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the customer care market – and in December we’re focussing on CRM solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help customer care industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of CRM solutions to call centres and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Gayle Buckland on g.buckland@forumevents.co.uk.

mplsystems

IFS-mplsystems named a Visionary in the Gartner 2017 Magic Quadrant

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

IFS-mplsystems has been named by Gartner as a Visionary in its October 2017 Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), Western Europe, for the third consecutive year.

This recognition follows the inclusion in the 2017 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center (CEC) in May, which makes IFS-mplsystems one of only two vendors to appear in both these Magic Quadrants, which the company believes  illustrates its ability to deliver effective omni-channel service through it’s unique combination of CCaaS, CRM Customer Service and AI enabled automation.

“Making complex customer service simple has been central to our customer proposition, and we are delighted that Gartner has yet again recognized us as a Visionary,” said Paul White, Director of Customer Engagement, at IFS-mplsystems. “From our unique Omni-Channel grouping functions, to embedding AI and automation within our agent applications, we have led innovation in the contact centre market over the past three years, and we are honoured that Gartner has recognized us once again. Our configurability and ease of integration of the solution, as well as the high level of support offered is confirmed by our clients through their loyalty and satisfaction levels. We look forward to continuing our positive influence on the global contact centre market through the IFS family, which gives us immediate access to a worldwide sales, delivery and support network.”

The report recognizes that the market is maturing and this is reflected within the market overview section, which discusses how the drive to develop the contact center into the ‘customer experience center’ is adding new dynamics to the CCaaS market.

Companies are revising their evaluations and selections of vendors to provide nonvoice channels (email, web chat, video chat, social and so on) to their customer service environments. During the past 5 to 10 years, many have looked to either their CRM vendors or best-of-breed specialists to provide these customer interaction channels.

“However, voice-based interactions continue to make up a significant portion of interactions in contact centers,” said White. “As such, as companies look to evolve their customer support to become more customer-centric across all interaction channels, some are recognizing the benefits of acquiring both their voice and nonvoice channels as a package from a single vendor — and very few CRM vendors support phone-based assisted customer service. Benefits include the use of a consistent business rule management capability for routing, queuing and escalating interactions across channels; this enables the company to prioritize handling of the best customers, regardless of customers’ chosen channels. Obtaining all interaction applications from a single vendor also makes it easier for companies to manage reporting and staffing across channels, rather than having to integrate operational performance data across separate systems.

“Customer interaction desktops are a CEC-related subject that has attracted a notable increase in client inquiries. A ’single view of the customer‘ through multiple digital channels is something that most organizations recognize would improve the customer experience. However, with multiple touchpoints for customer contact across disparate application platforms, it is difficult to achieve without significant development effort by the customer service organization.”

IFS-mplsystems’ vision is to ‘make complex customer service simple’, which is achieved through their unique combination of Omni-Channel communications, CRM Customer Service and AI enabled automation providing service and support staff with pioneering intelligent desktop applications. Bringing together calls, email, chat, mobile and social messaging with contextual customer data in a single unified CRM Agent Desktop, these applications gudie agents through complex processes and  transactions.

The data mash-up concept takes data from multiple sources across an enterprise and intelligently adapts to present agents with the precise data they require to resolve a customer request, rather than forcing them to search multiple tabs and menus. Alongside this, simple to configure workflow delivers automated processing and prompts. The impact is a dramatic improvement in agent efficiency combined with transformed customer experience because agents can deliver rapid, informed omni-channel service.

www.mplsystems.co.uk

 

 

mplsystems

MPL Systems in Gartner’s May 2017 Magic Quadrant

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

mplsystems, a leading provider of contact centre and field service technologies, has announced its inclusion in Gartner’s May 2017 “Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Centre (CEC)” for the third consecutive year.

This follows their inclusion as a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Contact Centre as a Service, making them one of only two vendors to appear in both Magic Quadrants.

This unique combination of contact handling plus Customer Service CRM in a single intelligent Agent desktop means you can slash the times agent spend dealing with requests whilst delivering clients a seamless Omni-Channel service.

www.mplsystems.co.uk

IP Integration launches TrustCall

683 1024 Stuart O'Brien

IP Integration has launched new patented technology, TrustCall On-Demand, designed to assist contact centres initiate secure, seamless call-outs to a cloud payment processing platform.

The Patent for TrustCall On-Demand was granted in April following a two-year pending process, with the technology being compliant with PCI DSS and future regulations such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Speaking to Call Centre Helper, Steve Murray, senior director at Trustcall said: “This is the first true pay-per-transaction model for taking PCI-compliant payments over voice, webchat and SMS, and as such it can significantly lower costs for contact centres.”

“The innovative technology we’ve developed has ensured the grant of this patent; it is ground-breaking, and will improve both efficiency and costs for customers, some of whom are paying large amounts to route all their calls to meet with compliance, when only 10% or 20% actually relate to a payment.”

Joe Prentis, CEO and Founder of IP Integration, said: “It is a constant challenge for contact centres to remain compliant with PCI DSS and other forthcoming regulations and to manage the cost of handling payment-related calls.

“With the launch of TrustCall, we have created a solution that gives them options that will lower their costs without forcing them to compromise on compliance or delivering a great customer experience.”

TrustCall can be embedded into existing CRM systems or used as an independent application.

www.ipintegration.com

mplsystems

Learn from mpl systems at the Call Centre & Customer Service Summit

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Customers expect consistent, accurate and efficient service when they contact an organisation.

Yet all too often an agent has to navigate multiple disconnected systems to extract the required customer data, traditional CRM systems do little to alleviate these issues.

In contrast mplsystems’ unified agent desktop delivers a single customer view, designed for the contact centre, collating data from multiple systems, guiding agents through complex processes and providing omni-channel communications, all as part of a single agent application.

Join us to learn about technology options and best practice in our seminar: Empowering Agents & Workforce Optimisation at the Call Centre & Customer Services Summit 9.45am on Monday April 24th.

Join the seminar at 9.45am on Monday 14th April 2017 – For more information contact Tina Parekh on 01926 623 500 or email info@mplsystems.co.uk.

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