Outbound Contact Center and CRM Functionality

Outbound Contact Center and CRM Functionality

The importance of a CRM platform for an outbound contact center

The difference between an effective outbound contact center system and a highly ineffective one can often amount to the use that your company is making of your customers’ information. A CRM platform can vastly help streamline this, since leading CRM vendors can centralize all customer data into a single, unified profile (that is often based in the cloud).

By knowing the ins and outs of your various customers through centralized profiling and analytics, your outbound contact center can improve workforce productivity, while also reducing costs and turnaround times in due course. When agents know the context behind customer interactions, as well as the communication channels they prefer, your outbound contact center and CRM can be hubs for a leading Unified Communications (UC) system.

The benefits of a CRM platform for an outbound contact center

Proactive contacts

Your outbound contact center provides an opportunity for your company to improve customer loyalty, by connecting with them to share information that may be valuable. Whether you are delivering timely updates, announcing promotions or suggesting service improvements, the key component of this strategy is to be sure that you are targeting your customers correctly and providing information in your communications with them that is truly relevant. A cloud CRM solution can help you understand your buyer’s story, so your outbound contact center team has the insight to reach out to the right customers with the right offerings, at the right time.

Effective use of CRM information

It is likely that your outbound contact center already has a CRM system in place that helps you to collect customer information. This CRM platform is a gold mine of relevant information that helps you to understand the needs of your customers -  if it is integrated with the right business intelligence tools for wise decision making.

A well-engineered CRM solution allows you to maintain information relating to your customers’ upgrade and service schedules, service or equipment renewals, and a host of other time-sensitive data. While this customer data can be used to target specific customers at specific intervals in time, it can also power predictive analytics to forecast future trends, so that your outbound contact center campaigns can be tailored to resonate with customers well ahead of time.

CRM and contact center working in concert

When coupled with your CRM platform, your outbound contact center becomes exponentially more effective. Rather than contacting customers in a haphazard manner, your business is able to contact a specific group of customers and offer relevant information and/or resources to them.

Combining the two systems also allows for scheduling when it comes to planning communications and promotions - especially if you use a CRM for holiday sales. Rather than basing your outbound customer contact strategy solely on a scheduled time frame, your business is able to schedule contact based on factors such as product needs, service renewals, changes in service, location and even hobbies/activities.

Essentially, your CRM solution can help guide the workflow of your outbound contact center. Using cues and filters that you have set, your CRM solution can dictate which customers are in need of assistance or information at any given time.

Informed contact center agents

Another important benefit of a completely integrated CRM/outbound contact center is the availability of information to your representatives. Rather than approaching a customer with information that doesn’t exactly fit their needs or is redundant, your representatives have knowledge of your customers’ individual situations.

With access to past customer communications, your representatives have the ability to discern that a particular client may be in the market for an additional service, or that in addition to a service renewal, a customer is also looking to expand an existing equipment contract. Armed with this information, your agents are able to handle customers more effectively.

The key in creating effective proactive contact with your customers through your outbound contact center is the quality and availability of your existing customer data. Your CRM platform will be able to help dictate your outbound communications in an effective manner, giving clear and relevant direction to your customer contacts.

How to connect a CRM platform to an outbound contact center

If your company hasn’t been using a CRM together with an outbound contact center just yet, explore the pros and cons of open source CRM to implement a basic application that will require minimal customization, while being free to use. Once your outbound contact center team gets accustomed to streamlining workflows with a CRM, seek to expand your application’s functionalities - especially in the wake of high business growth.

On the other hand, a CRM for small business may also be a good option for your outbound contact center, depending on the scope of your own organization. No matter what your requirements are, starting small when it comes to a CRM platform will not only elevate the role your outbound contact center plays for creating a unique customer experience, but will also pave the way for your organization to learn which tools are truly valuable for your business - and therefore which tools to invest in, in the future.

Building a business assessment by having discussions with relevant team members is best practice when aiming to upgrade or purchase CRM software. Start by asking questions revolving around existing problems pertaining to your outbound contact center. Learning about the latest features of CRM software can then help you and your team connect the dots between features that are valuable, for solving the problems you currently face.

Once you’ve built CRM vendor rankings depending on the unique requirements of your outbound contact center, it is time to view demos from multiple providers. Upon shortlisting and final selection, also consider additional factors such as deployment options, long-term scalability and the learning curve for employees who will associate with the system. By tallying these factors with your timeframes and budgets, your outbound contact center can get started with a dedicated CRM system that can supply a wealth of insights for better customer targeting, as well as retention.