In this definition...
What is contact center CRM?
Contact center CRM tools, or call center CRM tools, help businesses with call centers manage their interactions and relationships with leads by storing contact data and providing calling or messaging strategies for the contact center. Call centers have high volumes of calls and lead conversations to manage; CRM solutions allow organizations to automate the lead tracking and nurturing process within call centers.
Who is contact center CRM designed for?
Contact center CRM is software specifically designed for organizations that have one or multiple contact centers, with agents who make outbound calls to and receive inbound calls from leads. A CRM tool for call centers uses features such as voice services and lead tracking to help agents and administrators easily make calls from a device and manage ongoing relationships with leads.
During a call, an agent views the customer’s data in a window on the CRM dashboard. This data can include contact information like email addresses and previous conversation records. Typically, an agent can edit the customer window during the call with any new information they’re provided with, such as time frames or level of interest.
Contact center CRM features
Contact center CRM software often includes these features:
- Cloud-based web portal: Although some CRM solutions differ in deployment, many modern tools are cloud-based rather than solely on premises. Cloud-based solutions work whenever the user has an internet connection and frequently work on multiple devices.
- Access controls: For security and privacy purposes, some contact center CRM software can be configured to obscure sections of client cards from agents, depending on their access permissions. This can help businesses stay compliant with regulatory standards, since they’re able to report exactly what information employees can access.
- Integrations: Call center CRMs often integrate with other types of contact center software, like support and operations solutions.
- Automation: When an agent makes or receives a call with a lead, the lead’s contact information and previous call history automatically appear. Some contact center CRM solutions include automatic call routing, which sends a call to the right agent.
- Omnichannel routing: Contact center software ideally integrates with all of a business’s channels for customer communication, such as text and social media, so that conversation can be directly routed to the right agent regardless of what medium the lead uses.
- Voice services: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) doesn’t use traditional phone lines; it’s routed through the internet instead.
- Contact profiles: Contact windows or cards within a CRM give agents and administrators all the relevant information about a lead that has already been recorded. This includes personal information such as phone and email but also data from previous calls that an agent recorded.
Benefits of using a contact center CRM
For businesses that have call centers, contact center CRM solutions provide the following benefits.
Call center-specific CRM features
Lead features are specifically designed for call agents and their managers. Context from past conversations with a lead allows agents to jump directly into assisting them, without asking leads to repeat their previous questions or needs. This also helps businesses to personalize their relationships with leads.
Streamlined relationship management and data storage
Managing relationships with all customers and potential customers is streamlined. Notes from previous calls appear automatically, rather than residing only on paper where they can be lost. Ideally, every single lead has stored records of contact information and other data.
Companies have the ability to communicate with their leads in the way that works best for them. Omnichannel communication allows businesses to talk with leads on whatever platforms they most frequently use and see conversation history from all those channels.
Recommendations for next steps
Customer conversations are more relevant and accurate. Features like call scripting use automation and potentially artificial intelligence (AI) to identify data from previous customer conversations. These features can also suggest the route that the next call should take.
Contact center CRM vendors
HubSpot, one of the top CRM providers, offers features for call centers, including call logging within the CRM, one-click call recording, and call queues. HubSpot’s help desk software integrates with AirCall, a cloud-based phone solution that makes all call data, like call duration and agent comments, available to HubSpot CRM users.
Nextiva offers inbound and outbound contact center solutions, as well as VoIP phone services and video conferencing. Omnichannel communication includes webchat, video, and social media. Businesses can also build reports based on communication from all channels. Additionally, Nextiva offers interactive voice response (IVR) so customers can serve themselves.
Five9 is cloud call center software that offers workforce optimization, with managed configuration and upgrades from the provider. Workforce optimization includes customer service interaction analytics and integrations with Salesforce and Zendesk. An intelligent virtual agent handles simple, ordinary conversations, and the agent assist feature transcribes calls.
RingCentral offers contact center software for both inbound support centers and outbound campaigns. For inbound calls, skills-based routing directs calls to agents that are most likely to be able to assist customers. For outbound calls, RingCentral offers multiple types of dialers. Conversations are encrypted, and third-party auditors help RingCentral stay compliant.
Looking to buy a call center CRM solution? Read the Buyer’s Guide for Call Center Software Solutions.