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With ever more customer data to keep track of, the complexity of businesses keeps increasing year over year.
It happens every day: a customer gets the wrong communication by mistake, their lose trust in the business, and they fire back on social media… unless you appease them with discounts or other incentives.
Keeping customers front and center is made easier when you leverage technology, and specifically when you use CRM integrations to keep everything organized.
Your CRM As The Hub of Customer Information
We all know that the Customer Relationship Management system should be where you keep all of your customer data…
Yet, every year there’s a new system or tool that becomes important for communicating with customers.
With tools like appointment schedulers, payment processors, customer support systems, and voice mail or SMS… it’s hard to keep all of the data in one place.
You might have communicated with a customer (or a potential customer!) through one channel but if that information isn’t stored back into your central hub, you won’t know to reference it the next time you reach out.
Things get even more complicated when marketing automation comes onto the scene.
If you’ve got automations firing and your CRM doesn’t have all of the necessary data, you might be sending emails or text messages to potential customers as though they were already customers, or vice versa.
All of that to say that not having a data integration approach can cost you sales, and even long term customer loyalty.
Let’s look at 5 important CRM integration tools you might need to add to your technology stack.
1. Appointment Booking Integration
Depending on your business model, you might have a physical location where clients can visit or you might do everything over the phone or internet.
Either way, giving clients a way to schedule their appointments automatically is a time saver… and it can even increase bookings.
When you reduce the friction required to schedule and book your services, it means more appointments on the calendar for you or your team.
Being able to pull all of the past and future appointments for each client inside your CRM is key when following up. You can remind people of their appointments automatically, or let them know when it’s time to book for a follow up session.
There are plenty of appointment systems that integrate with different CRMs, the task is up to you to make sure they pass all of the necessary data back to your “hub”.
2. Customer Support Integration
Beyond booking, I believe that a strong customer support system integration is the most important type of CRM integration.
If you’re not able to pull up all of the previous support tickets that a prospect or customer has sent, it makes it very difficult to interact with that person in a productive fashion.
One thing that’s also helpful for customer support employees is to be able to look up a customer’s history with the company.
Do they have a history of asking for a lot of support, are they brand new, or have this run into this same issue before?
Once a customer support person has this data, it’s easier to answer a support inquiry with the right tone and information.
3. Social Media Integration
If your business has any presence on social media, then you know that customers tend to prefer to interact with brands through their social media channels.
Instead of reaching out to customer support direct, a customer might tweet at your company account or post on your Facebook page.
Being able to keep track of these interactions as part of the overall picture of your clientele is so important for efficiency.
Just like with a customer support CRM integration, having a social media integration helps the people in your business do their jobs with all of the key data that will delight customers.
If you remember that someone previously asked a question about a certain service, and now they have a follow-up – it looks good to reference the previous interaction.
4. Voice & SMS Integration
With more people using their mobile devices on the go, being able to reach customers and prospects through voice automation and texting is a huge advantage.
Even better if you’re able to handle these communications through your CRM or a direct CRM integration.
Misfiring a text could put you in hot water, but if you have confidence in your segmentation and automation sequences, you’ll be treating each person’s cell number with the perfect balance of marketing savvy and respect.
Since SMS and voice tend to be newer technologies for many businesses, it makes sense to have customers opt-in and also to give them clear expectations about the frequency and types of communication they can expect.
5. Payments, Learning, and Membership
Finally, you might directly need to take payments and renew memberships for your clients… and what better place to know the status of a client than through your CRM?
With more businesses incorporating an educational aspect into their client processes, it also makes sense to track learning objectives and see progression.
Offering a client portal allows customers to see their invoices, make payments or update their payment details, and also manage their membership.
This kind of self-service offering is extremely useful for business efficiency, but it also helps empower customers to stay on top of their own affairs.
It’s also a great way to onboard new customers, whether through learning modules or other educational aspects or with checklists to keep people moving through.
Knowing how far customers have gotten in the on boarding process is a great thing for anyone in sales or support to be aware of, and again makes for an important CRM integration.
What CRM integrations are you missing?
You might not need all of these CRM integrations, but if there is something you know that isn’t currently being reported back into your CRM… what is it, and is there an integration out there that could solve that problem?