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Integrating scheduling and CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a key part of any business plan, and most companies today rely on specialised CRM software to keep important client information organised. One piece of key data that's missing from most CRM programs, however, is your internal business schedule. While there may be a calendar noting deadlines and client appointments, what about the day-to-day movement of your staff? Where is that factored in?
Integrating your employees’ shift scheduling with your CRM software can help your company offer better service by fostering client relationships with specific team members. Though many companies are focused on supplying quality customer service, many offer it haphazardly, having customers speak with whoever is available. The only problem is that when it comes to service, customers prefer to work with a single staffer who can provide personalised service.

The heart of CRM

It makes sense that CRM programs would be designed to work alongside staff scheduling because one of the key advantages of CRM software is that it enables businesses to provide customised service. With just the click of the mouse, all of a customer’s data is set before them. But what good is having all that information if a new representative has to assess and filter it each time the client calls? The ease of accessing customer information is sacrificed due to the lack of ongoing relationships between customers and service reps.

Perfecting project management

One way that CRM does encourage ongoing relationships with customers is by integrating project management features, making it easier to assign the same teams to clients repeatedly. But what if one or more key team members are away during the assignment time? Too often, CRM software results in project managers assigning team members without checking their full availability. They just open the client, start the project, and it’s only down the line that someone realises they’ll be out of the office. We also see this problem with standalone project management software.

If staff schedules were more closely integrated with CRM software, project managers could be alerted if they assigned a team member to a task during a time they weren’t available. Then, they could work with the client to determine what their preference is – continue with the same team and push out the deadline, or keep the deadline and accept work from different staff members.

Outsider options

If you’re already using a CRM platform you’re happy with, but it lacks scheduling integration, you may be in luck. CRM software is designed to be compatible with third party software, so there are likely other programs available that can run alongside your CRM software for more powerful scheduling capacities. This is even more common now, as the majority of software shift to the cloud and the software as a service (SaaS) model. Blend your services and see your customer service capabilities grow.

Building ongoing service relationships with your customers is an important part of your business, but you can’t do it well if you don’t maintain some degree of consistency. It’s time to go back to an older model in which customers have specific agents or representatives who know their needs inside and out. Using CRM software and similar programs just means that today’s businesses manage brick-and-mortar style personalisation with modern tools.

20 Sep 2016 09:00

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About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as Tech.co, Semrush.com, Tweakyourbiz.com, Socialnomics.net. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary.com and cryptoext.com.




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