Integrations between business systems are common, almost necessary for companies to function efficiently. And, as VoIP’s cost savings and communication benefits make it an increasingly popular option for small and medium businesses, VoIP integrations are also becoming more common.
VoIP integrations can happen between multiple systems, but one of the most common is the VoIP-CRM integration. VoIP-CRM integrations can reduce manual tracking and recording work while helping businesses improve the customer experience. For example, an integrated system can keep tabs on how long sales and customer support calls last without manual logging. This can help identify sales reps whose calls end prematurely, find times that people dislike being called, and more.
Other industries may use VoIP-CRM integrations in other ways. Medical organizations, for instance, can integrate their VoIP and CRM systems to better schedule telecare, route urgent calls from specific numbers to qualified operators, and more – all without the need for manual processing.
Businesses in multiple industries can improve their processes with VoIP integrations. In this article we’ll discuss a few of the key benefits across industries as well as the steps you need to follow to ensure your VoIP-CRM integration functions properly.
Benefits of Integration Your CRM and VoIP Systems
VoIP integrations provide multiple business benefits. Here are three of the biggest – and how they can help your team improve internal operations and even increase sales revenue.
As we touched on above, integrating your VoIP phone system with your CRM software can provide useful data. With a VoIP integration, your CRM will automatically record call duration, whether a call came from a mobile, home, or office phone, and the time of day a customer called. Your sales and support teams can then use that information to improve communication and service quality, time management, and more.
Better Call Management
Whether you’re running a sales team, a customer service department, or a telecare department at a hospital, CRM-VoIP integrations can help you manage your employees’ time better.
For example, with an integration, you can generate reports that show when you have high and low call volume. If your team is getting a lot of calls during a specific two-hour window each day, you can increase the number of assigned agents for that time. If a specific number keeps calling your agents and hanging up, you may want to block that number.
Superior Customer Experiences
Connecting your CRM to your internet phone system can help your team connect the communication they have with clients to other customer activities. In sales, this might mean past purchases, recently viewed items, and frequency of calls. In customer service, this may mean past queries and reports. Your teams can then use that information to improve the customer experience and better business performance.
For example, your customer service team can quickly greet callers and view their recent purchase history. They can then ask how the most recent purchases are working out, or if the customer needs any support. Sales teams can use similar information to suggest related products and services customers may be interested in, which not only provides a positive experience, but increases your business’s upsell and cross-sell revenue as well.
How to Make Your VoIP Business Phone System Work with Your CRM
Unfortunately, not all businesses see the benefits of VoIP integrations – even if they have them. Integrations come at different levels, with some integrations allowing only one-way data transfer or sending and receiving data at limited intervals. Still others will sync only certain types of data.
The good news is that VoIP integrations are typically less complex than other small business or enterprise-level technology connections. Your business can get all the benefits of a VoIP integration with a simple one-way integration that allows your VoIP system to send data to your CRM. To ensure your VoIP integration works correctly, follow these three steps.
1. Plan Ahead
Functional VoIP integrations start before you even make a purchase. Before pulling the trigger on a new VoIP or CRM system, ask if there’s an existing integration between the two systems you’ll be using. Most CRM and VoIP systems will provide an open API that allows for easy integrations, but others will be more complex. You’ll most likely run into this with large enterprises that need to map call data to custom CRM fields, which could require a custom integration. Fortunately, most SMBs don’t need to develop a custom solution – so look for a system with built-in VoIP integrations. If there’s no integration, consider looking for an alternative.
Once you’ve determined that there are integration options, make sure they cover all your business needs. For example, an integration may work well, but if it doesn’t allow your CRM to store call recordings when you need them, it’s not a good fit.
2. Review Service Updates and Support
It’s not unheard of for VoIP systems, phone hardware, or even CRM software to become outdated – and for providers to stop supporting past versions. Make sure that any software and hardware you use is going to be supported and updated going forward. Ask about service contracts, pricing, and other key elements that could influence your business and its budget down the road.
For example, if your CRM system will be supported, are upgrades an additional charge? How will upgrades affect your VoIP integration? You don’t want to be stranded after spending your money on CRM and VoIP technology, so ask questions up front.
Past that, make sure support is available if you need help with an integration. If there’s a problem with your integration’s data transfer, who can you talk to? In most cases, you’ll discuss integration concerns with your CRM vendor, but make sure support is available from both your business VoIP provider and your CRM company.
3. Implement and Test Your VoIP Integration
Setting up VoIP integrations can be as easy as adding a widget and filling in your SIP proxy address and login details, but you should always test your integration prior to receiving or making calls. You don’t want to lose valuable information or bungle any key communications – so testing comes first.
To test your integration, follow your system’s setup instructions or work with a support representative to finalize the process. Then, make a call and review the data your CRM system records. If it contains all the information your business needs, move on to testing an inbound call. If there are any problems, get in touch with your CRM or VoIP provider’s support team.
VoIP Integrations Are Only as Strong as Your Provider
VoIP integrations can be incredibly beneficial for businesses, but they’re only as valuable as the service you subscribe to. Basic VoIP providers and CRM systems will only provide basic call details, such as duration and phone number. Advanced solutions may include call queue management and built-in call recording.
Select the providers, systems, and integrations that will provide your business with the data it needs to better serve customers, then follow the tips above to ensure your integrations functions correctly.