The Power of Integration

In the world I work in every day, the word “integration” usually stands for some piece of software that will communicate between inContact’s platform and some other system.  These systems are typically CRMs (Customer Relationship Management), but we have integrated with applications of every type. 

One of inContact’s biggest strengths is our development environment known as inControl and its latest iteration inContact Studio.  The tools included with these development environments allow you to natively communicate with backend database systems, web services, web protocols, and much more.  On top of that, we have the ability to easily configure client-side events to drive productivity to your agents.  Most importantly, with a little know-how these tools can help you create meaningful interactions with your customers, whether through an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) or directly with your agent.

Getting the information your agent needs in a way that takes them less time or less hassle has immediate pay-offs.  By using an IVR to collect information from your customer and then utilizing that information to navigate your CRM application for your agent, you can shave precious time off the total call length.  In addition you are improving the all important “Greeting” portion of your contact.

Who hasn’t called into an IVR and been asked about twenty questions about who you are and what you need, and then inevitably still be routed to a live agent only to be greeted by an agent with a question like: “May I have your account number please?”  I mean that is frustration in a nutshell!

Information gathered through any means needs to flow through the entire lifecycle of your customer experience.  One of the key failures of many IVRs is that they are not integrated with the agent in a meaningful way and therefore cannot provide a seamless customer experience.  

I love a good IVR (yeah I am a geek) and when I see one elegantly written and perfectly matched to the business brand and to the customer’s expectation, I must say I am very impressed.  However, if the experience ends with the IVR (or the website) then it is a failure.  Ultimately customer service is about human interaction even if at times we choose not to speak to a person.  We should never forget that simple fact.

Now this brings me to my final definition of integration.  inContact’s mission is to make this process of caring for your customers as easy as possible for you.  Our IVR system is completely integrated with our contact routing engine, which allows you to have a completely integrated process for deploying customer interaction solutions. This allows for a more holistic design of how to deliver on your service objectives.   

Always remember the entire life cycle of a customer interaction.  At any point someone using self service may need an agent.  With some planning you can get loads of relevant information in front of your agent right along with the customer.  This will improve the experience of your customer, make your agent more productive, and likely cost you less money in the long run.