CRM and Call Center Software. What's the Difference?

Both these tools perform important functions and help you to achieve your business goals. How do they differ from each other and where you can use them? Let’s try to find out.

Definitions and purpose

What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a system that is designed to manage all the company's relationships with customers or prospects, and in most cases, it covers the whole process - from lead generation to sales. CRM provides you with comprehensive information about all the customer’s interactions as well as the full overview of the customer lifecycle. You can see their phone numbers, email addresses, purchase history, refunds, etc.

Why Do You Need CRM?

So what’s the purpose of keeping and storing all this digital history?

  • Control all inbound requests from prospects and customers
  • Improve customer experience with the help of the 360 portrait of the customer and the full interaction history
  • Understand the ideal customer portrait, the duration of the sales cycle, receive insights for sales and marketing from the sales analytics, etc.
  • Track lead prospecting process, save accurate lead and deal statuses
  • Retain existing customers, manage upsells, upgrades, contact person changes, etc.
  • Control the sales team productivity and consistency of communication with customers

What Is Call Center Software?

Call center software is all about communicating with customers and prospects. It helps businesses to manage the flow of incoming and outgoing voice interactions, route them to the right employees, automate the outbound calling process and control the required KPIs. Call center software gives your managers tools to assess agents’ performance as well as access to detailed statistics on all communication channels.

As customers interact with businesses through different channels (webchat, messengers, email), multichannel contact center software becomes increasingly popular. It allows your employees to handle calls, live chats, and emails in a single interface that improves your call center performance.

Why Do You Need Call Center Software?

The purpose of the call center software is to:

  • Route potentials and customers to the appropriate agents or departments
  • Take orders, sell products and services, collect debts
  • Collect statistics on calls and other queries (both inbound and outbound)
  • Track agents’ performance, analyze each interaction
  • Manage the high volume of outbound calls and campaigns

Use Cases

CRM

As we’ve already mentioned, a CRM system keeps track of all the customer’s interactions. It accumulates comprehensive information about the customer’s journey. Here are the main use cases of it.

  • Companies create in-depth profiles on customers and prospects to use them for marketing campaigns and other activities.
  • Sales reps create multiple sales pipelines for different products if each of the products demands a different sales process and track deal stages in each pipeline.
  • Customer service agents can register tickets, complaints, and requests and share them with the sales team.
  • Online stores can track users’ behavior (product page views, adding products to cart, etc.) for future upsells and cross-sells.

Call Center Software

  • Sales reps can use it for cold calling and telemarketing campaigns (thanks to such features as contact lists, call scripting, and dialers).
  • It may be used in inbound sales (for example, to take orders in an online store) and for immediate callbacks to the website requests.
  • The customer service team can use it for proactive communication with the customers, processing web chats as well as use self-service options.
  • Companies can also benefit from call center software by using intelligent call routing. It ensures that customer requests will be routed to the appropriate agent with a minimal number of transfers.

Key Features

CRM

Generating Analytics & Reports. A CRM system offers various reports that provide your executives and managers with a detailed picture of day-to-day customer interactions as well as the state of the sales pipeline, and sales forecasts.

Lead Filtering and Assessment. You can define rules to prioritize leads based on different parameters (job title, geographic location, industry, etc) and implement a lead scoring procedure in your company. It allows you to filter the most favorable leads from a long list and contact them in the shortest time possible.

Lead Management. Following-up with leads becomes easier. Your reps can create campaigns based on the lead’s behavior, set call reminders, and schedule follow-up emails. They also don’t need to use external tools for writing and attaching opportunity notes that are a real time-saver.

Interaction Tracking. Your managers can see how customers and prospects interact with your business. Such metrics as purchases, product page views, email opens provide them with valuable insights, allowing them to make more informed decisions.

Tasks Automation. These may include creating email templates with custom placeholders and a personalized message as well as auto-responder emails sent after customer service interactions.

Call Center Software

Automatic Call Distribution. It is a tool that allows distributing calls between agents or departments based on different parameters (agent’s skills, customer selection, etc) with lower waiting times. To learn more about the ACD system and how you can benefit from using it, check out our article.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). It means combining your telephone system with your database. Thanks to CTI, you can integrate call center software with other business tools, including CRM. As a rule, this enables you to show the caller's details on the agent's screen when the call connects (Screen Pop).

Dialers. Software tools that are used to automate mass outbound calls. They automatically dial contacts from the list and connect your agents with live calls only. It allows you to triple the number of live conversations per day, save your employees’ time and keep them motivated.

Reporting Tools. You can get detailed information about your agents’ performance, your main contact center KPIs, see the reports on each outbound campaign as well as incoming calls, web chats, and much more.

Call Monitoring. Your supervisors can monitor the agents’ performance in real-time by listening to their calls and jumping right into the conversation if necessary. It is also possible to listen to recorded calls and assess them by using quality cards with the desired parameters.

Main Users

CRM

CRM can be beneficial not only for big companies. Among its main users are:

  • Small and medium-sized companies that focus on B2B sales. As a rule, these businesses have a long sales process with high ticket items that needs permanent tracking
  • B2C businesses that rely on leads: real estate, insurance, and others
  • E-Commerce stores: CRM allows them to provide personalized offers, track the most popular products, etc.
  • Businesses that want to improve their customer experience by using data analytics from CRM.

Call Center Software

The main users of call center software are the following:

  • It can be beneficial to all types of call centers - inbound, outbound, and blended.
  • It is a useful tool for companies that don’t have a dedicated call center department but need to handle calls and customer requests from other channels.
  • Small businesses may use it for launching outbound lead prospecting and e-commerce shops for setting up a virtual call center with remote agents.

What Is the Difference Between Call Center - CRM Integration and CRM - Call Center Integration

As we’ve already mentioned, these two tools are better to be used together. Only then will they allow you to cover all the business tasks. Let’s take a look at what’s the difference between the two types of integration and what are the benefits each of them has.

Call Center - CRM Integration

It means that the CRM system is integrated into your call center solution. Your agents can see customers’ data from CRM only during calls in the solution’s interface without switching between two windows. If they need to make some changes to the client card they can do it within a call center solution. The changes, as well as the link to the call record, will be saved in the CRM after the conversation by API. This integration type allows you to achieve a better security level when working with the remote call center team - all client data is visible to your agents only during the call, and you decide what information you are going to show them (phone numbers can be hidden completely if required).

CRM - Call Center Integration

This term means that a call center solution (call center widget) gets integrated with a CRM system. Agents can make and receive calls within a CRM without switching to a call center solution. When an agent wants to make a call, they have to click on a button that is added beside the customer’s record. During the inbound call, the customer’s profile is displayed as a screen pop. Agents can use the primary call center features without leaving CRM - pick up a call, put the customer on hold, transfer the call to another agent, mute and unmute the call, etc. Also, a call disposition may be added that will be stored in a call center solution. In some cases, such automation as a Power dialer is also available.

Both integration models have similar features. You can push any added or exported customer record to another system. All changes made will be saved automatically in both systems. Also, you can use both CRM and call center software independently if necessary. It is up to you what model to choose. Whatever you decide, the main benefit will be the same. Such integration is a real time-saver.

How Voiptime Cloud can help you

There are two ways how we can help you to optimize your business processes:

1. Integrate Your CRM Into Our Call Center Solution

It is a typical example of Call Center CRM integration. When the Voiptime Cloud call center gets integrated with your CRM, your agents can see the latest customer data during the call. You can limit the information that is shown on the agent’s screen (for example, by hiding the part of the client's phone number), thus preventing the data breach. The integration can be done by API or Iframe.

2. Offer Our Call Center CRM

Voiptime Cloud call center solution has a built-in mini CRM functionality that allows you to store and organize customer data without any third-party systems. With our call center CRM, you can:

  • create and use customizable client cards that are displayed to agents during calls. It is up to you how many fields to create in a client card. Also, you can choose what information to make available to your employees during the conversation.
  • easily construct filters with any combination of client card fields in CRM. This feature can be very useful when creating telemarketing campaigns.
  • use API integrations to have all the necessary data from other business tools at hand.

Conclusion

A CRM system and call center software are equally important solutions. They perform different functions and can’t be interchangeable. A CRM system helps you to manage all your company's relationships with customers or prospects. A call center solution is responsible only for communication with your customers or target audience via phone calls, allowing you to leverage more features than just click-to-call that is often available in a CRM. Both solutions require time to implement and business processes to describe but the degree of your employees’ involvement is different. The efficiency of CRM implementation depends on their performance: if they stick to procedures and enter data after every interaction with a customer, it’ll work well. A call center solution allows getting numerous data directly from logs, statistics, and the like, which, in turn, enables you to detect cases of sabotage and take measures immediately. These solutions differ in terms of pricing as well: CRM may turn out more expensive than call center software. However, it is better to have both of them implemented in your business because it will help you to perform all your business tasks more efficiently.

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