Think of the last phone call you made to a services-based company—for example, your cable provider, insurance company, utility provider, etc. Likely, an auto-attendant asked you a series of questions to route you to the appropriate agent. After pushing “4,” you sat—irritably—on hold waiting for the next available agent to process your call.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, you heard the voice of a human on the other end of line. Now ask yourself a question: What was the very first thing they said to you?

Most likely, they asked for your name and account number. Your frustration may have hit a new high as you were asked to repeat the spelling of your last name. But imagine if the rep had answered the call with, “Good morning [insert your name]!. We are so glad you have called in. I see that we spoke with you last on [insert date].”

This personalized greeting may have helped you disarm a bit. You may have even become more forgiving for the long hold time. For you, this small but powerful gesture could have made your overall interaction with the company feel a little better. For the company, this was a small but powerful step forward in the age of the customer experience.

We all know that the age of the customer is alive and well and that the experience our customers and prospects have with our brand has never been more important. In fact, a recent Walker study found that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. As is stated in the study:

“The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience. Immediate resolution will not be fast enough as customers will expect companies to proactively address their current and future needs.”

The little things—such as your call center reps greeting your customers by first name—will start to become the big things. The things that keep your customers loyal and engaged.

One of the first steps brands can take to differentiate their customer experience—especially if in a heavy call-based business—is to consider the power of integrating their office phone system with their CRM. For instance, we recently worked with a regional insurance agency to up-level their customer service call flow by creating an integration between their Avaya IP Office phone system to their Vertafore CRM. From a technical standpoint, the integration relies on an Application Programing Interface (API) to capture information about incoming calls and use that to find customer information in Vertafore.

In layman’s terms?

The insurance agency’s call center reps are able to tell who is calling before they ever pick up the phone by having key account information displayed in front of them in the form of a screen pop. Since the CRM and phone system are connected and can share data between them, our client’s employees are able to personalize the call center experience by picking up the phone and saying, for example, “Good afternoon Mr. Smith. Are you calling about your homeowner’s insurance policy today?”

Through the integration, our client was also able to derive more impactful call analytics, enjoy automatic call logging and dial directly out of their CRM. Not to mention, the client was able to greatly reduce call frustration that can be caused from customers repeating their names and account numbers when they call and every time a call gets transferred.

Phone-to-CRM integrations can be incredibly powerful and allow a brand to considerably augment their ability to deliver a “wow” customer experience.

Do you leverage any of the following systems below? Drop us a note—click here. Let’s start talking about the power that can come from integrating your phone and CRM systems.

Phone Systems:

  • RingCentral
  • Cisco Call Manager
  • CallTower
  • ShoreTel Sky
  • Zyxel
  • Mitel MiCollab
  • Twilio Voice
  • Telzio
  • Vonage
  • 8×8
  • Nextiva
  • New Horizon
  • Evolve IP

CRM Systems:

  • Vertafore
  • Salesforce
  • Freshsales
  • HubSpot
  • Zoho
  • Zendesk Sell
  • Pipedrive
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