August 20, 2012
Levementum Solves the Puzzles of CRM
By Rich Steeves
TMCnet Managing Editor
When most people think of CRM software, they tend to jump immediately to images of call center workers handling inbound or outbound sales of widgets or communications solutions. But in reality, there are a wide variety of verticals that find CRM solutions quite valuable. And Levementum is a CRM specialist that prides itself in being able to solve CRM puzzles that often seem far outside of the standard call center box.
For example, Douglas Guilbeau, managing partner and executive vice president of operations at Levementum, cited several different, non-traditional verticals that are seeking out CRM solutions. In the higher education space, colleges and universities are looking for “constituent relationship management” solutions to help promote student success. Traditionally, schools have been focused on recruiting, but more and more are realizing that it behooves them to find students who might be in danger of dropping out. With active alerting features, schools can look for leading indicators, such as plummeting grades or dropped classes, which may be portents of student dropouts. The schools can then intervene and get at-risk students back on track.
Levementum also sees the insurance industry as one that will have a great need for CRM solutions in the near future. With the forthcoming changes in the industry thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance providers are struggling to figure out how to reach new markets. Previously, according to Guilbeau, insurance companies were focused on selling to large groups or end-of-life Medicaid enrollment. But now that they will be forced into the direct-to-consumer market, these companies will have more need for CRM solutions.
The key, according to Guilbeau, is understanding the core reasons behind shifts in marketplaces and teaching providers that customer service still applies. Companies need to understand how customers communicate. He sees different tracks of customer service and feels that social networking plays a very specific role in the current marketplace.
There are two main aspects of customer service: tech support and transactional services. While more than 70 percent of customer interactions are still done through phone calls and a large percentage of the rest are done through e-mail, social media like Twitter (News - Alert) and Facebook represent a very tiny percentage. And, while many companies out there still use paper or e-mail to track customer interactions, jumping into the social scene with both feet is not necessarily the best idea.
This is one reason that Levementum deals with SugarCRM (News - Alert) solutions. Guilbeau says that Sugar’s profile gives the perfect balance of features and great value. The openness of the platform allows for integrations that lead to increased first-call resolution, it cuts down on time required for ERP integration and allows for implementation of IVR elements, among other features.
But most of all, Guilbeau said, Levementum enjoys solving puzzles. The company has a reputation of pushing boundaries and finding the right fit for companies, even ones that might not be the traditional fit for CRM. It’s a company that relishes a challenge and rises to meet it.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein