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Build Better Forecasting by Integrating Your VoIP System with a CRM

crm voip phone system calls customer service business company

When people think about corporate customer service, they might imagine rows of cubicles, with employees answering phone calls and combing through client accounts to solve problems. And even with that surface-level image, problems start to crop up. Customer service representatives are communicating with customers over the phone, but they're using an online program to solve the problem or find more data. There are lots of cubicles and, depending on their own experiences, people might imagine harried customers or empty desks.

But VoIP solves a lot of those problems. The phone and the online databases aren't separate systems; they're interconnected tools. Calls get queued better and problems are easier (and therefore faster) to solve. Your department can even simplify their recordkeeping because the phone calls are savable files. Once you integrate it with a CRM, it does even more. But if you've ever used an integrated VoIP calling system, you already know how it can make the job a bit easier. 

Here's how it can also help with

  1. Forecasting

  2. Scheduling

  3. Process improvement

Find the trends in your customer service data.

When customer service calls were purely over the phone, companies had to rely on manual logs to forecast their future service needs. The department heads needed to devise strategies and pick the right data points that would give them the most clarity. But there are two problems with that: manual logging delayed responsiveness, and manual systems can only predict what they measure. If there was an atypical event like a product release, a severe dip in the stock market, or even a tropical storm near your servers, you might never have been able to connect that to an uptick in calls.

But CRM integration lets you mine data better. You can pick out everything from geographic factors to the specific type of question that is being asked. CRMs are designed to track processes from problem to solution and, while that makes them a great organizational tool to close out tickets, it also makes it a great resource for forecasting. You can use this data to model what the overflow is going to look like after the next product release or near the end of the next Q4.

Schedule representatives accordingly.

A large portion of your response will involve scheduling. If there is going to be a twenty percent increase in calls after your company sends out a patch or modifies the website, then you need to schedule in twenty percent more representatives. If the end of each month doesn't have more calls but it does have longer calls, you need to bring in more people to prevent a stagnant queue.

Before CRM integration, fluctuations would mean a lot of frantic schedule changes and a lot of overtime pay. But now you can organize the schedule more efficiently so your employees don't have to work extra-long shifts or suddenly be called in on different days. You can even use the data to find the most optimal schedule for regular business activity, not just the extremes.

Identify the common problems.

Aside from a few very angry outliers, many of the calls your company handles fall within common categories. There might be a wide range of common issues, but a CRM can pick out the patterns. For example, if your reports pick up on a lot of calls about a recent two-step authentication feature on the company site, make sure there's a universal answer that all the representatives can use. Standardized responses increase clarity and vetted answers reduce call lengths. Take advantage of your CRM's reporting feature to find new trends in call types, call durations, and the number of steps to solvency so you can stay on top of the playbook.

Go to IronLogix for more information. Whether you've been thinking about switching to VoIP or you want to get the most out of your current setup, we can help.

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