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Customer Relationship Management Tools Critical For Contact Center

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The evolution of technology has had an incredible impact on the world of business. Smartphones and other mobile devices have ushered in a new era of computing for millions - if not billions - of people. The ability to do almost anything from wherever one might be located has been particularly kind to the e-commerce industry, where online transactions are increasing every day.

But these portable machines do much more than just supply an outlet for shopping. Touchscreen devices did, after all, get their first big break on cellphones. As such, modern communications have undergone an incredible transformation since the inception of tools like the iPhone. Voice, email, texting and more can be accessed effortlessly on the same device and, in many instances, even the same application. People are, simply enough, more connected that ever.

These newfound abilities have put some pressure on the businesses frequented by the average consumer. Not only do smartphone and tablet users want to reach out to their friends and family, but they also have to be able to do the same with their favorite companies. Back in the day, contact centers needed only worry about one channel - the telephone. People would call up the help desk and representatives would try their best to answer the queries. Now, employees in these departments have to be proficient in multiple platforms, and they require a wealth of information at their disposal - namely about the customer.

Customer Relationships Key To Success

Customers need to view support from a company as conveniently accessible. In addition, they want to feel as though their business is appreciated. There is plenty of data out there that can be leveraged by contact center representatives in this way. Previous call history, for example, can be used to learn if the caller has previously requested assistance regarding a similar issue. This not only aids the employee in lowering call times and other critical metrics, but also leaves the customer feeling as though the organization is looking out for their patrons.

Having a relationship with customers in the modern era of enterprise is essential to retaining a client base and attracting new business. This hinges on the ability to collect, store and process data. For many companies, this cannot be accomplished with the current assets in the hands of their contact centers.

Unified Communications Initiatives, CRM Software Critical

The amount of information that needs to be available to contact center reps today is staggering. It is not enough just to make databases accessible to these employees - there has to be a cohesive experience that streamlines work and keeps productivity up.

This is where unified communications strategies can come in handy. UC systems are seeing increasing integration with customer relationship software like Salesforce. By combining these two resources into one interface, data can be effortlessly organized and shared without having to navigate away from the channel or work around siloed machines. Is the customer reaching out via instant message? Copying and pasting a portion of a product manual will be much easier to accomplish with these kinds of tools.

More Businesses Catching On To CRM Benefits

It is important to remember that CRM integration is not a prospective development. It is a very real means through which to nurture strong customer relationships. As a greater number of businesses recognize that, the market for this grade of programs and hardware will continue to increase the way that it is now.

According to research conducted by Gartner, the worth of the worldwide CRM market grew by more than $2 billion between 2013 and 2014. This spike brings the total market value of CRM software to $20.4 billion.

Leading the charge is Salesforce. Gartner found that the CRM company was preferred by 16.1 percent of the market, beating out offerings from other companies such as Microsoft and IBM to make it the number 1 platform in the world for customer relationship management.

"We believe Salesforce.com's CRM market share leadership is a reflection of the consistent innovation we deliver to our customers," said Salesforce president and vice chairman Keith Block. "We also believe the growth and adoption of the Salesforce1 CRM Platform is unprecedented, as more and more companies are unlocking completely new ways to connect with their customers in today's social, mobile, cloud and connected world."

Call Center Software Must Include CRM Functionality

The global nature of the Internet has somewhat changed the rules of commerce. Many fields of business that might not have had international competitors 10 years ago are suddenly finding themselves playing on a much larger field. As such, companies that are not doing whatever they can in order to improve customer relations may find themselves losing out to any number of rival organizations.

Contact centers need to be equipped with the right CRM software and UC capabilities in order to best assist and satisfy the people seeking help. There has to be improved access to data and telecom resources in order to make this happen viably. As more consumers do a greater portion of their shopping online, it will be critical to set a company apart from others with top-shelf customer service.

"The world is becoming completely connected," wrote Salesforce in a release. "Every day, millions of new products, apps and devices - from every industry - are connecting to the Internet. By 2020, there will be more than 50 billion connected things, from smartphones and wearable smart devices to jet engines and cars. And behind every product, every app and every device there is a customer. It is the Internet of Customers, and customer relationship management has never been more important."