Implementation-Related Considerations

  • Involved technical experts to draw up an ideal design plan for the VoIP and all required hardware. They must clearly outline all structural changes for optimum integration deployment well in advance.
  • Are you already a user of either VoIP or CRM? If so then the newly introduced technology must be compatible with the existing solution, as well as compatible with the network infrastructure.
  • There are some security concerns that seem to appear when applications are integrated. It's important that a comprehensive security framework is in place and that it gets newly aligned with the new integrated configurations.
  • There are must a detailed plan for system management and administration, such as assigned roles and responsibilities for system upgrades, database management etc... Also plan for the the support and training of all users and affected departments to get develop buy-in as well as the skills required to handle the new system correctly.

Some potential challenges in CRM-VoIP implementation

While the promises and benefits that CRM - VoIP application integration delivers are real and achievable, there are also very real implementation challenges that must be tackled in order to realize the benefuts and avoid disappointments and project disasters.

Reliability: VoIP quality is largely a function of broadband quality and strength – there are still situations or locations where broadband quality is not a given, for all sorts of reasons. The same applies of course to electricity. In place where either broadband or power supply cannot be relied upon, VoIP should only wbe considered with great caution. power source and uninterrupted service are important and without them VoIP.

Security: With VoIP there aren't any serious security issues to be managed, as it involves live communication between employees and with external parties such as customers. With CRM, we deal with stored information, some of which can be sensitive date or critical to the functioning of the business. As in any data-driven environment, there are security issues, for example competitors or other mal-intentioned malicious parties engaging in eavesdropping, identity theft and hackers infecting the system with Trojan attacks. VoIP must therefore also involve sound security improvements (such as installing of firewalls)

Quality of Service Degradation: The security measures required can sometimes slow a system down. The expert tuning and configuring of the system can deal with such degradations.

Processor Drain: If after the integration only one processor handles both communication and data storage and retrieval, the processor may experience a lot of strain at times, especially with insufficient cooling. This can even crash the system at times of high usage.

ROI (Return of Investment) of VoIP-CRM Integration

It must be stressed again that the potential benefits of application are concrete and very achievable.

Productivity Impact

Phone-CRM integrationThe integration will reduce the amount of clicks, between windows-and interfaces-navigation and the use of disparate call up menus via touch dialing, auto dialing and auto pop-up of client data, complementing each incoming call and leading to higher productivity and lower times used for data entry.

  • Integration actually reduces the cost of lead generation and lead conversion, especially when staff are well trained and when the database is well organized and maintained.
  • The ability to log and record calls and conversations can be used to improve quality and efficiency of calling staff. Most CRM solutions can be used to generate reports on targets and on performance – these reports really start making sense when combined with the power of call logging and call recording. Managers can then really evaluate which of their staff are effective and which need extra training or other help.
  • Call recording can also be used for sales and customer service training, using example of poor as well as best practice calls to develop staff skills and therefore efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Call scheduling and pre-set alerts can help increase staff productivity, because no longer do they have to remember exact calling schedules or other repetitive activities, such as call-throughs or pre-set sms.

Cost Impact

  • With VoIP-CRM integration, all communication and data exchange is carried out over the internet. This translates into significant savings.
  • CRM and phone communications can be converged into one platform. Using a 'soft' IP phone instead of the traditional large desktop phone terminal also leads to cost savings.
  • Working remotely, for example in the field, at the client or from home, becomes a much more realistic possibility. This can lead to greatly reduced office and even transport costs.
  • System upgrades can often be downloaded as one download bund and with self-explanatory instructions – this reduces the need for costly internal or external expert skills.
  • Using a single integrated network reduced the costs of maintaining hardware the wiring of two separate systems and local PBX.
  • Storing voice and data information in one and the same database, and using the same network for both voice and data files to be transmitted, reduces costs even further.

Conclusion

Valuable customer relationships, customer retention and business growth depends on two foundations:

  • Meaningful data and
  • Efficient communication.

A well-planned integration of VoIP with CRM will deliver strong benefits, for staff, for managers and for customers. Timely, efficient and meaningful communication, automated work processes and relevant information, in place and ready to use, lead to strong customer relationships and a competitive edge for those who embrace the promise of application integration.

 

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