Customer relationship management (CRM) is a critical system for businesses to be able to control their relationships and communications with customers. With so many similar products and services out in the market today, the key to stability and standing apart from the competition is by forging long-term customer relationships through superior service and easy access to information and answers.
In a recent blog post, Soffront, a provider of cloud CRM solutions, discussed the benefits of integrating knowledge management with CRM. Knowledge management involves taking the abundance of data received every day, from e-mails, reports, phone calls and meetings, and managing it to effectively use and apply to a business.
According to Forbes, three key reasons why actively managing knowledge is important to a company’s success are because it:
- Facilitates decision-making capabilities;
- Builds learning organizations by making learning routine;
- Stimulates cultural change and innovation.
Knowledge management also plays a critical role when it comes to the customer experience. A truly integrated system that leverages customer intelligence with organizational knowledge leads to a competitive advantage.
One of the benefits Soffront discussed is increased productivity. When agents are responding to customer requests in CRM, they can have access to commonly asked questions and company information directly from a knowledge management system. If a customer is inquiring about company policies, product information or technical support, it’s much more effective to respond with the answer than replying with, “Hold on, I’ll have to check on that for you.”
This also leads to another benefit of integrating these two systems; reducing the amount of redundant tasks. If a customer has a question for a company representative that they are not prepared to answer, updating the situation in the company’s knowledge base can help prevent other agents from experiencing the same issue in the future.
Integrating CRM with knowledge management allows agents and managers to keep a complete track of how many calls, e-mails and questions have been resolved with solutions from the knowledge base, and which issues are most active and repetitive. This offers visibility to how customers are interacting and an opportunity for companies to take this information and update their processes to improve the experience.
Knowledge management also helps increase customer satisfaction by enabling self-service capabilities. A knowledge management system can offer answers to frequently asked questions, account information or any other questions they may have. It eliminates the step of contacting an agent and improves their satisfaction by being able to find what they are looking for immediately.
Soffront’s enterprise CRM solution includes customer support software, which helps companies respond to cases faster, lower support costs and improve customer satisfaction. Users can define their support process, offer a natural language search interface for self-service, give customers access to a customer portal, respond faster to e-mail inquiries and get timely, fact-based insight on the support process with Soffront analytics for support.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson