Contact Centre

10 Questions to Ask About a Call Centre CRM System

Any business can benefit from a customer relationships management (CRM) system – a way to track every interaction with every customer, from your earliest prospecting to closing the deal and retaining the customer long-term.

However, with so many CRM systems on the market, it can be hard to decide which is the right one for your call centre. What are the features that you really need? Which ones will deliver value? And which areas should you look at when you’re comparing several options?

To help, we’ve put together a list of 10 questions to ask yourself when you’re looking for a CRM system.

  1. How secure will my data be?

    With the potential to make a connection from anywhere, web applications are hard to keep secure. When you use a CRM system that’s hosted on a shared server, this risk of a data breach is even higher. Check that your CRM system is hosted on a dedicated server, which can be equipped with its own firewall and an SSL certificate for encrypted transmissions.

  2. Is there a flexible API?

    A CRM system is at its most powerful when it’s connected to other applications and systems. With an API, your CRM system can be integrated with systems like your dialler, for uses including:

    • Screen popping client records on connected calls

    • Inserted qualified leads from the dialler into the CRM system

    • Triggering workflows based on telephone call outcomes

  3. Is time-saving workflow automation included?

    Workflow automation triggers specific events (or a series of events) based on certain criteria. For example, automatically sending an email following a phone call. If your CRM system includes automation, your agents can spend less time on repetitive follow-up – and more time selling.

  4. Can the user interface be customised?

    Most CRM systems try to cater for all types of businesses. As a result, they’re bloated with too many modules and fields that make it hard to navigate. To avoid this, look for a CRM system with highly customisable layouts, so you can make navigation as quick and easy as possible.

  5. Can the system help customers stay connected?

    Good customer relationships are built on two-way communication, but many CRM systems don’t focus on this. As you compare your options, look for a customer service portal that’s included with your CRM system – a way for customers to log in securely to contact you, raise issues, or submit documents.

  6. How does the CRM system integrate with our VoIP?

    For most businesses, telephone is the number one form of customer contact. That’s why a CRM system that fully integrates with a dialler and VoIP telephony can deliver such impressive results. It becomes possible to log calls in the CRM, ‘pop’ relevant customer information to agents, or click a single on-screen button to make an outbound call.

  7. What if our requirements change in the future?

    Even if you find the right CRM system for your call centre now, things are likely to change over time. To allow for scalability and new features, some CRM systems offer optional plug-ins that can be installed at any time. These typically add functionality like reporting, email connectivity, and other valuable features.

  8. Can the CRM system integrate with our website?

    Your web site is also an important part of how you interact with customers, so it’s essential that your CRM system caters for this. With web form support, a system can take the details that a customer has entered onto a website and feed them into the CRM system or dialler queue.

  9. Who is in control of our database?

    The data in your CRM system is an important business asset – but most CRM systems can’t give you complete database access because you share your database with other users. If your CRM system doesn’t give you complete database access, you won’t be able to make use of advanced reporting tools like Crystal Reports, or make your own database backups.

  10. How much will storage cost us?

    The space it takes to store your customer data is one of the biggest hidden costs of a CRM system. Worse, many systems don’t give you any choice about storage – it simply scales with use and comes with an unpredictable, hard to manage cost. Ideally, find a system that lets you control storage in a way that makes sense for your business – whether that’s upgrading your server storage, archiving data you don't need, or moving to a new server.

Find out about 10 essential features in our free eBook 10 Essential CRM Features for your Call Centre

Armed with these useful questions, you can fully understand the CRM system you’re considering before you commit to something that doesn’t fit your business (or your budget). However, these features aren’t always present or not present – they can vary significantly between different systems.

That’s why we’ve put together a new eBook, 10 Essential CRM Features for your Call Centre. Available as a free download, it’s your guide to the 10 must-have features that your CRM system shouldn’t be without, the specific details of each feature, and why they’re so vital.

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