It seems like all areas of a business now rely on software in some way. There is payroll software for Accounting, lead nurturing and CRM for Sales, and customer service for the support team to resolve customer issues. All these systems are great, but in this modern era of business how do companies communicate internally with so many different technologies?
The answer is integration, which is a direct information link between two different software systems to share data. For example, a common integration is between sales and customer service software systems to share customer information (name, company, email, etc.). These integrations can range from sharing only a couple of fields every hour to almost instantaneous connections monitoring thousands of data points.
So, why are these integrations essential to success? Here are the reasons…
They save time and money – While there is often an up-front cost and resource investment associated with creating customer service integrations, especially if they are very complex, in the long-term they are highly valuable to a business when executed properly. Gone are the days of manual information requests between departments; instead all applicable information is available at the fingertips of every employee. Some companies choose to leverage a single piece of software (usually customer service or sales) as their “information hub” that all integrations run though and where everyone has an account. By funneling all your integrations through one place, all the up-front work pays off in a major way by significantly increasing employee productivity.
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Great integrations mean less information gets “lost in translation” – We’ve all played a game of “telephone” in our corporate lives. We ask a colleague for a customer service report, who then asks another colleague in a slightly different way, and then they ask someone else. Before you know it, the information you get isn’t at all what you asked for! Then you need to navigate this complex tree of knowledge just to get what you really want. Integrations solve all these issues by providing employees with a plethora of information so requests don’t get unnecessarily complicated or misunderstood.
Technology that works together improves morale – As you can imagine, navigating a work place scenario like the one above to acquire information isn’t an experience that excites someone. Empowering employees to obtain their own information from a software system they know and prefer is a great way to improve your customer service culture. It results in employees spending more time doing the work they were hired to do instead of chasing colleagues around for the basic information they need. This empowerment also means employees will generally elevate and improve their work as well, which is awesome for improving the morale of your customers too. After all, happy employees = happy customers!
To summarize, customer service integrations are essential to success because both the company as a whole and its employees win in a major way. Integrations not only improve the bottom line, they also make employees more productive and happier. Mastering integrations within your company will create an environment for success that your competitors will envy.