Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

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Customer relationship management, usually referred to as CRM, is a method for managing an organization's relationships with its customers. Most often, the term CRM refers to a CRM system—which is software for managing contacts, streamlining sales processes, and improving business relationships.

What Does CRM Software Do?

While the term CRM can refer to a company’s customer relationship management strategy or the process the company uses to manage relationships, it usually refers to a cloud-based CRM software system. CRM software organizes customer and colleague information, including contact information, communications records, and other relevant details.

The CRM system is where all interactions between an organization and the public are tracked, coordinated, and managed. This software provides businesses with a central repository of information, so they can develop better relationships over time. With CRM software, a customizable dashboard displays everything in one place: customers’ contact information, history with the company, previous orders and communications, and more.

CRM software has many uses at a company, including:

  • Sales teams use CRM software to manage leads and sales.
  • Marketing teams use it to track and forecast.
  • Managers use it to assess employee progress toward goals and targets.
  • Customer service teams use it to track customer issues across channels.
  • HR teams use it to maintain employee records and track the recruitment process.

CRM software provides a streamlined way for businesses to manage relationships with partners, supply chain providers, and customers with the ability to add notes, schedule meetings, and more.

Why Do Businesses Use CRM?

Relationships are paramount to the success of any business. CRM software helps businesses maintain and deepen their relationships with customers and other individuals and businesses with whom they interact. Many businesses today use a CRM system to organize their contact data and inform their actions. Whereas only 12% of businesses used cloud-based CRM software in 2008, this figure rose to 87% by 2018.

According to Salesforce, one of the world’s most popular CRM platforms, in addition to helping businesses organize and manage their information in order to stay organized and proactive, CRM software provides the following 10 benefits:

  1. Enhanced contact management
  2. Cross-team collaboration
  3. Heightened productivity
  4. Empowered sales management
  5. Accurate sales forecasting
  6. Reliable reporting
  7. Improved sales metrics
  8. Increased customer satisfaction and retention
  9. Boosted marketing ROI
  10. Enriched products and services

CRM and Contact Center Integration

When a company’s contact center is integrated with their CRM system, agents can access analytics that help track progress and amplify success. Sales teams get full visibility into revenue, costs, and profit. With this type of transparency, they can see the whole picture and assess their sales calls not only on how long they take, but also on their outcomes. Ultimately, tracking the unique metrics that apply to each business helps to improve customer relationships and accelerate company growth.

When you integrate your contact center with your CRM and continually measure your success, you see what's happening in real time so you know where your immediate focus needs to be. You know when and how to reach customers so you can improve your productivity and efficiency. By looking at historical reports, you can compare and contrast, to see if you’re making improvements over time.

How CRM Systems Work with Twilio APIs

APIs are like building blocks. Using APIs, you can build an entire contact center from scratch, or simply add the features you want to the one you already have. Twilio API building blocks include Programmable Voice, SMS, Chat, Video, Sync, Notify, WhatsApp, and TaskRouter, which fit together to build a world-class contact center experience piece by piece.

Because Twilio is vendor-agnostic, our APIs can integrate with any CRM. Rather than enforcing a set of certified applications and relying solely on in-house developers for innovation, Twilio draws on a vast pool of developers in the wider community who are constantly building their own solutions using all kinds of platforms and software and sharing the code with other Twilio users. Armed with this knowledge, your in-house team can use Twilio APIs to build, integrate, and test your communication workflows with agility, with little or no impact on existing CRM infrastructure.

Here are a few examples of things you can do with Twilio APIs and your CRM:

  • Access VoIP without plug-ins or telephones.
  • Automatically generate and route service tickets for IoT devices to optimally-located technicians via SMS/MMS.
  • Improve conversion rates with automated dial-backs for new leads.
  • Power native SMS/MMS communication between customers and customer service agents to resolve issues quickly.
  • Add new features as you grow without the need for new apps or CRMs.

If you’d like to know more about how Twilio APIs can work with your CRM, talk to a Twilio expert.

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