Keeping customers happy in real time with CRM integration

Every business person who cares about delivering value, quality and integrity in servicing customers knows one thing: Responding to customer feedback promptly and consistently builds trust and guarantees repeat business.

Enterprise CRM technology must reflect that knowledge, belief and commitment by ensuring all the right steps for an appropriate response without delay — but also without missing the background information available in other document and data-heavy systems across the company.

With a paramount objective of allowing customer care channels to respond with timeliness and consistency for improved customer service, the enterprise need for a centralized solution for all incoming and outgoing communication and a single point of contact has never been more acute.

An effective CRM system must complete a specific cycle that sounds straightforward but is not always simple to achieve quickly, efficiently and accurately. It must be able to handle all inbound correspondence, automatically classify incoming mail and extract and organize of vital information. Then, it must automatically route this information to a department or user, and it needs to send an automated system response.

In a software-laden world, a CRM application is often purchased, developed and even performed as a separate function, despite the fact that customer information is harvested, stored and accessed across functional roles and departments for other activities. After all, the customer is the center of our world.

The reality is that customer relationships are strengthened by information and personalization. Each unique customer expects to be treated accordingly, which is only possible through a holistic approach to technology and processes that enable your response to customer feedback.

In a first-class CRM environment, response management requirements are strengthened with customer care requirements. Handling large volumes of customer activity ultimately forces us to increase not only the capacity and performance but also the intelligence and efficiency of the customer response system.

Homegrown correspondence systems face a number of inadequacies because multiple applications are required to capture relevant information, and responding requires access or data entry on various screens across multiple business systems (i.e., SAP, Siebel, Excel). When customer care databases are not integrated with other customer databases in the business, there is little flexibility in changing customer contact information across the board.

The takeaway for enterprises is that one robust system must manage both incoming and outgoing correspondence via integrated document management working in a real-time process environment. The right components combined in an integrated system cover the complete life cycle of your CRM applications and related communications from development to archive.

Solutions to individual customer problems using a long-term concept integrate new applications naturally into your environment, and they are available in reasonable, responsive time frames with the flexibility to implement first things first, to empower business users, to satisfy customers.

Annemarie Pucher is the CEO of ISIS Papyrus. Reach her at [email protected]

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