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CRM phone system integration—the right call

CRM phone system integration helps you dial in to amazing customer service by automating tasks and putting all the information you need right at your fingertips

Last updated February 1, 2023

Even in the age of social media and email, many people still want the option of talking to a human agent. Indeed, a CFI Group report found that 76 per cent of customers prefer phone calls to reach customer support.

But when customers call, they expect quick and easy conversations. This means customer service agents need to be knowledgeable, empathetic, and informed. No easy task. And it can quickly get complicated to keep track of all the moving parts.

But this is where CRM phone system integration comes in because it stores all your customer information, interaction history, and other key data in one place. Sometimes also known as computer telephony integration (CTI), it helps call centres and customer support teams manage customer interactions more effectively and resolve customer issues faster. Optimised workflows, valuable insights, and more help businesses better understand customer behaviour and improve customer satisfaction.

So, let’s delve deeper and look at what CRM phone integration can do for you in 5, 4, 3…

5 key factors for your data

Accessible CRM phone system integration ensures your data is easy to access, from customer interactions and purchases to calls made and received. So, your agents always have the information they need right at hand to make better decisions about how to serve customers.

Organised No more sifting through tabs to find the right piece of information and keeping customers waiting. Customer information automatically pops up in your CRM as soon as an agent receives a call. This means they’re informed and ready to help immediately.

Centralised You don’t need memory superpowers with CRM phone system integration because it ensures all the details from previous conversations are available in one place. Start impressing your customers by remembering small details from previous calls and interactions.

Consistent CRM phone system integration ensures everyone has access to the same information. This means every agent has a complete view of each customer’s history. So, even if a specific agent usually handles a certain customer, an available colleague can take over and provide the same first-class customer experience.

Real-time Real-time call data in your CRM software can provide valuable insights into customer behaviour. But you can also update client data in real-time to keep everyone on the same page. After all, up-to-date information is the lifeblood of excellent customer service.

4 key features for better customer service

Queues Queues ensure that every customer gets the attention they deserve and that no call is ever left unanswered. Use your CRM to define your maximum queue size, wait time, and more.

Routing Integrating your phone system into your CRM is a great way to make sure customer calls always reach the right agent. Take advantage of features like interactive voice response (IVR), group routing, and after-hours routing to be your customers’ beck and call.

Notes Detailed and accurate notes on each customer are invaluable to agents. Knowing and understanding customers allows them to show genuine empathy and resolve their problems faster. In short: real-time customer information is exactly what your agents need to provide excellent customer service.

Automation Automating tasks like dialling, call recording, and updating records can save both time and money. It also reduces the need for manual data entry, which not only boosts efficiency but also helps avoid errors, e.g. dialling the wrong number.

3 key benefits for your business

Work smarter Connecting your CRM and phone system means employees don’t have to keep switching between different apps to make and receive calls—not to mention manually updating important details after every call. And features like click-to-dial help your agents get in touch with customers faster.

Manage better Use CRM phone system integration to monitor and record calls for quality assurance. KPIs like the number of calls handled per day, caller hang-ups, and average call time build a picture of how your agents are performing. Evaluating these statistics can help you improve the productivity of your whole team. Plus, call recordings are the perfect way to make training more targeted and effective.

Analyse deeper Customer service is now hybrid and omnichannel. But The Zendesk CX Trends 2020 Report found that more than 50 per cent of customers still tend to call service teams—making it the most popular channel for customer service. So, it’s important to understand how you’re performing in this area and where to improve by looking at analytics like average call duration and peak times. And don’t forget, data-driven insights from phone data can help build laser-focused marketing strategies tailored to customer behaviours.

Computer Telephony Integration case study: Harry’s

With benefits like these, it’s no wonder more and more businesses are choosing to integrate their CRM and phone systems. But let’s call on a specific company to see how they used Zendesk to improve their phone support.

Harry's men shave products

Harry’s provides men’s grooming products and shaving supplies as a subscription. The New York-based company has become a global success since it was founded in 2012 and now employs more than 170 people. The customer service team provides support via phone, email, live chat, and social media but phone accounts for 50 per cent of the team’s volume.

Harry’s therefore decided to implement Zendesk Talk, which can integrate more than 90 different telephony providers, to keep everything organised and efficient. Within the space of a year, the team reduced their call abandonment rate by more than 50 per cent, and they’re now answering 80 per cent of all calls within 60 seconds or less. Zendesk Support and Talk help Harry’s deliver quick, effective, and personalised customer support.

“We’re really making sure we have people in the right place at the right time, and that our customers are reaching a person as quickly as possible to get their questions answered.” - Katie Rogers, Senior Director of Customer Experience at Harry's

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