While customer relationship management (CRM) technology is essential for any business that works with customers, it becomes even more potent through CRM integrations with social media channels, emails, websites, and more.
What Are CRM Integrations?
CRM integrations cover various parts of the customer relationship journey – e.g., social media or billing. Many CRM systems come with these integrations already installed and offer customization. Not every business will need lots of social media help – for example, a B2B software business might be okay – but this same company might require more customer service support than a small B2C startup.
What’s important is to keep on top of CRM trends so you can remain competitive. Integrations will help you do this.
Nine Essential CRM Integrations
By incorporating as many of these facets of CRM as possible into your CRM software, you can streamline CRM processes and serve your customers more effectively.
Here are nine essential integrations to consider:
Email marketing is a powerful tool for marketing professionals. Recent data estimates email marketing revenue will more than double between 2021 and 2027. It provides a way of interacting with customers personally and sharing offers and promotions straight to their inboxes.
Integrating your email marketing into your CRM software will allow your team to streamline your marketing message to customers. You’ll also be able to put together and send campaigns more efficiently.
Your email campaigns can be matched up with social media campaigns, your website, and other customer interactions to create a consistent brand image.
It’s a daunting prospect, customer services, but as your business grows, you’ll need multiple ways customers can get in contact with you. First-call resolution is an important metric. It measures how many customer queries are answered on the first call or contact.
Your team will help more customers quicker with access to customer experience data from across the sales process. As with integrating social media and your website, integrating customer service calls and messaging will help build a consistent brand message and engender trust by providing speedy resolutions to issues.
Social media is a valuable marketing tool, meaning it’s essential to have your social media strategy integrated into your CRM system.
Many consumers use social media to find new products and services, including many B2B customers. Whatever product or service you offer, you’ll likely interact with some customers on social media. Your brand message needs to be consistent with other marketing outlets, like email and your website.
You can also use social media to answer customer queries. Initial contact and post-sale queries are two very different aspects of the sales process, but both are measured using these platforms. For this reason, it’s helpful to have social media integrated with the rest of your CRM strategy and software.
Customer Data Collection
With the increased focus on GDPR legislation, this has become an essential element of customer relations. Customers are rightly concerned with how their data is collected and handled. They want the way they give necessary data to your business to be simple, transparent, and safe.
By integrating customer data collection (email signups for a mailing list, for example) into your CRM system, you can better track customer data across your team.
You might have an existing customer engagement platform that handles all of your business’s interactions with customers. You can integrate this with your CRM software to ensure a smooth data collection process.
Billing and Payment
Billing is one of the most critical areas of your business because it’s often the essential experience that shapes client or customer opinion.
Suppose a client or customer has difficulty paying for your service or product. In that case, they’re likely to form a negative opinion of your business: not the image you want for your innovative product or service.
When you integrate this service into your CRM system, you’ll be able to keep track of the payment system and see any errors that arise. It will also simplify seeing what customer service options are available on which platforms should customers have further payment issues.
If you choose to integrate this, you may need to migrate customer data to new software. When doing this, make sure everyone in your team knows how to avoid data loss or leaks.
Keeping track of every event, meeting, and training session in a large team can be difficult, but you can integrate your team’s calendar into your CRM system to allow you to share schedules and projects.
Implemented process systems are great to keep track of your team’s work. When they have many different tasks on the go that involve information stored in your CRM system, it’s a good idea to keep relevant project deadlines in the same place.
This is particularly useful if your team leads customer-facing events like regular webinars or product how-to sessions.
Your website will be the most critical point of contact for many businesses between you and your customers.
A website that’s easily navigated and simple to use is essential to maintaining positive customer relationships. One that’s consistently slow, jumpy, or requires many steps to arrive on a sales page is not customer-friendly and is therefore likely to stop customers from completing the sales process.
Integrating your website platform with your CRM software can help you to identify and solve common customer queries. Imagine you notice customers often leave the sales process at a certain point or frequently contact you with a particular question. You can automate the process of finding weaknesses in your website.
You can then easily update your website to solve a sales funnel issue or produce content that answers frequently asked industry questions. These are just some ways connecting your website with the rest of your CRM system can improve customer relationships.
The area of your website that’s likely to have the most customer exposure is its eCommerce features. This is especially true if your business provides a product that can be ordered instantly and without manual intervention.
For example, if your company sells a new type of smartwatch, there are several things you will need to consider. As this is an expensive item, customers will be more easily put off by a complex sales process.
Therefore, you’ll want to make sure the price and any additional costs are displayed and that it’s easy to make customizations and add these to the basket. Try to reduce the number of steps the customer has to go through before purchase.
You should also regularly go through your sales process to test its functionality. RPA software is a great way to identify problems in sales funnel functionality and repair them. By writing a program that can identify problem areas without needing human input, you can save on labor hours and the cost of losing sales to a poorly designed sales process.
It can be easy to forget about your customer relations team when thinking about CRM systems. This team is an integral part of managing customer relationships, so it’s useful for them to have communications all in one place.
Integrating internal communications enables you to upgrade your technology and improve workflow. You might replace your POTS lines with a VoIP system to reduce hardware costs and call disruption or switch to a communications system built into a CRM software package.
However, you choose to communicate with your team. Integrating this system into your CRM software will allow them to have the information they need at their fingertips to serve your customers better.
Choosing the Right CRM Software
The next step is to look at whether you need additional CRM software or replace what you already have. Some service providers offer free CRM systems, and others are exclusively paid versions. What you choose will depend on the size and scope of your business and what you plan to do with the software.
However, you’re planning to start by analyzing how you currently use CRM technology and your plan to gain and maintain customers. By understanding your customer base, you can adapt your CRM integrations to best suit them.
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform and enterprise phone system for better and easier team collaboration. She has over ten years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.