contact center crm integration

Contact Center 101: The What and Why of CRM Integration

Sir Francis Bacon is credited with coining the phrase, “Knowledge is power.” If he were alive today, he’d make a great contact center consultant. He’d be touting about the increased knowledge your agents—and your business—gain when you integrate your contact center software with your customer relationship management (CRM).

What is a Contact Center and CRM Integration?

Simply put, it’s a connection between your CRM system and your contact center software that automatically passes data back and forth to make each system—and the people and processes using them—work better. As a rule of thumb, your contact center software should easily integrate with any CRM—if it doesn’t, find one that does!

Why get personal?

Why does your contact center need to deliver personalized customer experiences in the first place? Two reasons: your customers are demanding it and your competition is doing it.

Your contact centersoftware is the primary source of customer interactions across your various channels, while your CRM systemis the primary source for your customer information. Integrating those two separate sources of customer-related data for a more holistic view of your customers is just common sense.

Why integrate?

Integrating your CRM and contact center software extends the value of your CRM data. You can use that data to route customers to the agent who can best resolve their issue and give that agent the relevant information they need to successfully handle the interaction.

Conversely, mapping your contact center interaction data to your CRM system builds a more holistic view of your customers journey so you can make better business decisions. For specific examples of business benefits your contact center could experience, read my blog on 5 KPIs You Can Improve By Integrating Your Contact Center and CRM.

What should you look for in a CRM integration?

Now that you’re interested in integrating your CRM and contact center software, here are some key capabilities you need.

  • Consolidated Agent Desktop: Empower your agents to handle more interactions in less time by giving them a single place to both handle interactions and access customer data. By embedding call handling controls and digital interaction capabilities within the CRM interface, agents no longer need to navigate between multiple applications, reducing time and effort. And since the CRM interface is already familiar to the agents, learning the new call controls takes less time.
  • Screen Pops: Our 2019 NICE CXone Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark found that 77% of customers surveyed expect companies to know their purchase history, regardless of the communication method used. By automatically presenting relevant customer information from your CRM system on your agent’s desktop, your agents have immediate access to the complete customer history and interaction context, regardless of the channel. Putting this data at the agent’s fingertips also ensures that customers don’t need to repeat themselves and helps guide the agent’s next steps towards a successful resolution.
  • Automated Data Synchronization: Eliminate error-prone manual entry and reduce agent after-call work by automatically mapping your contact center interaction data into your CRM customer record. Updating your CRM with call recording and digital transcript links, and contact interaction metadata—such as time and date of interaction, agent, disposition, and more—ensures you always have an accurate, up-to-date, holistic view of your customer journey.
  • Interaction Routing: Use your CRM information to connect your customers to the right resource the first time regardless of channel. That ideal resource could be a self-service option for customers looking for their account balances, a special queue for customers whose accounts are in arrears, or live agent who is specially trained to close opportunities. Leveraging customer CRM data to determine the best routing based on prior customer purchases or interactions improves first contact resolution and reduces customer effort.

A tight integration between your call center software and CRM system enhances the business value of both systems, helps you enhance your customer experience, boosts your agent productivity and empowers more informed decision making across your business.

NICE CXone offers a wide range of pre-built CRM Integrations for market-leading CRM providers—including Salesforce, Oracle Service Cloud, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Bullhorn, SAP, SugarCRM and NetSuite—that enable you to use your customer knowledge to power your business.