I hear a lot of discussion about whether companies should use their CRM or contact center solution for agents. The right answer, I believe, is both. Let me explain.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, such as Salesforce, are critical applications within a contact center and excel at:
- Retaining transaction history—critical context necessary to help a customer, especially as you move through an omnichannel interaction.
- Digital channels—many, but not all, CRM applications are now helping you actually manage digital channel interactions with customers right from within the application itself
- Knowledge base—many CRM applications are now offering knowledge bases that can help with self-service and/or help agents be more productive
- And more.
Cloud contact center solutions excel at:
- Voice— 66% of all customer service experiences involved the customer calling the company; and 67% of all self-service interactions end up involving an agent.
- Omnichannel Routing—the ability to connect customer journeys across any channel by ensuring each customer gets to the right agent is central to a contact center solution and not something a CRM solution provides.
- Workforce Optimization—critical to unlocking your team’s potential, WFO solutions are now fully integrated with modern contact center solutions offering workforce management, recording, quality management and more.
- Analytics—rich and customizable reporting on all aspects of operations and the ability to infuse analytics into the routing and workforce optimization are core to modern contact center solutions.
- Digital channels—like a CRM solution, modern contact center solutions can manage digital channels as well. While you may choose to leverage your CRM application for these channels, there may be business units and/or contact centers that don’t utilize a CRM application that offers this functionality, so having this as an option from your contact center solution becomes highly valuable.
- Transaction/history detail—while CRM applications are positioned as offering a 360 degree view of your customers, there is context (such as recordings and sentiment analysis) that CRM applications don’t have, but contact center solutions do.
- And more.
The Best Solution is a Blend of Both
If your goal is to deliver exceptional omnichannel experiences to customers while engaging and empowering your workforce, a blended approach is your best option. Blending the solutions allows you to tap into the full functionality of both to achieve these goals.
And, with cloud contact center solutions you can do this while still delivering a simplified agent desktop experience. The debate really shouldn’t be an either/or discussion. CRM and contact center solutions were designed to solve different problems and in the few areas of overlap, they can be integrated in such a way that lets you leverage the functionality of choice while still tapping into the full potential of each solution.