Together We Stand, Divided We Fall Victim to Do-Not-Call

By Heather Baldwin

In the world of customer-related technology, there are CRM applications, there are call center solutions and ne’er the twain shall meet, right? Maybe in the past, but it’s unlikely to be the case going forward. Do-Not-Call legislation is prompting companies to take a hard look at integrating the two applications, a step Concerto Software has been advocating for years. “We’ve been pushing for integration with CRM for a long time,” says Ralph Breslauer, executive vice president of sales & marketing for Concerto Software, a provider of contact center solutions.

The move makes sense for a number of reasons. First, from a compliance perspective, integrating the technologies helps you scrub and cross-reference lists before you dial, says Breslauer. By flagging DNC phone numbers in your CRM database, you can avoid calling them. Additionally, DNC exempts the contacting of customers with whom you have done business in the past 18 months or who have made an inquiry or application within the last three months. That information typically is stored in an organization’s CRM system.

Another reason to integrate contact center and CRM systems is that CRM solutions can provide the foundation for creating personalized recordings for telemarketing campaigns. Part of the DNC legislation requires that organizations using predictive dialers answer the prospect’s pick-up within two seconds. In cases where a live agent isn’t available, Breslauer is advocating the creation of recorded messages targeted to the needs and preferences of each customer. Say, for instance, that you sell camera equipment. When you release a new tripod designed especially for your ZX-1 digital camera, you could integrate news of that release into a recorded message that would play during a telemarketing campaign whenever your ZX-1 customers picked up the phone and a live agent wasn’t available. But you need your CRM application to do it.

Finally, by integrating with CRM, companies can route certain incoming calls to specific agents. For instance, if a call comes in and you know from the information in your CRM system that the caller is Spanish, bought Product A and is one of your most profitable customers, you can immediately route that call to the right Spanish-speaking agent. “Rather than thinking of the call center as something separate from CRM, you need to tie the two together,” says Breslauer.

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