Are you Making the Most of your Support CRM?

Companies are not taking advantage of tools that will improve customer retention, increase sales and reduce company costs. Hopefully this blog will make it easier for your company to improve their implementation of their Support CRM.

A Support CRM's raison d'être is to help its customers with the product or service they are offering. So doesn't it make sense to utilize all possibilities in the selected platform to achieve that goal? Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.

Admittedly we are Zendesk experts, but this blog is essentially product independent. 

This blog will give an example of a business case in Customer Service and how they could apply their CRM better. See if any of the issues are relevant to your own company. The blog is also just as relevant if you do not already have a support platform. Consider this article to be a checklist of expectations. 

Our Example Business Case

A (fictional) company in the financial industry has a leading solution for buying and selling shares. Their solution is available in a browser and mobile app. The customers frequently have questions of differing types such as how to buy&sell, credit card issues, balances and other related issues. They have 20 active agents in two distinct locations worldwide offering 24/7 service and six team leaders. They are manually addressing every customer query.

First Shot at Implementation - Anything seem familiar in Your Company?

They implemented a Support CRM 12 months ago. It contains a bedrock of excellent features for improving the customer experience. Essentially, they took the system out-of-the-box with minimal adaptations and changed things internally to ensure their workflow was simple enough to sit (technology-driven rather than business-driven). 

For those interested, the table below describes what they did. The next part of the blog explains what they should be doing to maximize their investment and customer experience.


Little encouragement for customers to self-service

  • Email: They already had email (Gmail in their old system) so this was just a replacement. 
  • Web form: They allowed a web form for customers to enter their questions.
  • Widget for the browser app: None
  • Mobile: They made the web form mobile compatible so they could link to the form from the mobile app. 
  • Phone: Using their regular landline carries, with no further integrations.
  • Help Center: They built a very basic Help Center that's essentially an FAQ with a few frequent answers
  • Chat: None
  • Social Media: None


No integrations with external systems

  • Integrations with other systems: None


Small efforts only to increase efficiency

  • Defined SLA: Very basic and no difference between customer type
  • Defined fully developed business flows for the Support CRM to follow: Minimal
  • Customer communications: Those set out of the box
  • Determine ticket type and assign to the appropriate group automatically: None


Only using built-in, not specific to company

  • Fully developed analytic system for measuring performance: Out of the box
  • Ability to check SLA performance: None
  • Ability to check and drilldown agent performance: Limited


What they Should be Doing - Are You?

Our fictional company have implemented minimally, losing so many in-built features of the Support CRM. This is what they should be doing. Our descriptions are brief. If you need something expanded, it means that you probably have a need for the feature, so maybe drop us a line to talk about it.

If we put it in one paragraph, this is what they should be doing:

Create a business flow that's ideal for the business that the support CRM should follow. Customers should have many options to help them self-service their own problems. The CRM should be integrated with other critical business apps (such as sales, finance, ERP, phone, etc) so the agent experience should be all available from the same application. Managers should be able to access detailed configurable statistics on demand and per schedule. 

In detail, we can flush out the table above to show what they should be doing. Notice how it will increase both the customer and agent experience. More help for the customers and more efficient workspace for agents.


Offering help content when it's needed to reduce tickets

  • Email: Although they are reducing email as a channel, when a customer sends an email the Support CRM replies automatically with a list of suggested articles in relation to the request. The customer can also follow up. 
  • Web form: When a customer starts filling in the form, a dropdown appears with related article from a full Help Center of articles.
  • Widget for the browser app: Context-sensitive widget right in the app. A single click shows the relevant articles related to exact page the customer is on.
  • Mobile: Uses the Support CRM ready-made code that provides help, chat and form from directly within the app. The customer can find information they need without leaving the app.  
  • Phone: Use a VoIP solution that integrates directly with the Support CRM. When a customer calls, he or she calls within the CRM. The agent can proactively answer with the customer name and see all relevant information.
  • Help Center: Fully built Help Center, with a modern experience and content written with the customer in mind. This same content is used in the bullets above.
  • Chat: Integrated workflow with content. First a customer looks for an answer. Only then is chat offered. Encourages self-service. Chat allows an agent to manage multiple enquiries at the same time. 
  • Social Media: Integrated with Facebook and Twitter


Enabling 360 degree view of all relevant systems

  • Sales CRM integration: View customer purchase history 
  • Financial and Payments: View customer's financial position and history
  • Telephony: Calls managed from one system
  • Mailings: Send mailings to customers in database
  • Social Media: Tickets managed when comments made in Google Play or App Store.


Creating the ideal blend between automatic and personal

  • Defined SLA: Implemented with internal alarms to warn when close to missing response time
  • Defined fully developed business flows for the Support CRM to follow: Planned and executed. Includes managing different time schedules and continually updating customers on their ticket status.
  • Customer communication: Customers are continually updated regarding their ticket, including proactive update even when no answer available. 
  • Determine ticket type and assign to the appropriate group automatically: Using customer selected Web Form or text in the message to determine appropriate agent team for assignment. Other criteria such as schedules, location, customer type are also taken into account.


Fully measuring performance to improve

  • Fully developed analytic system for measuring performance: A number of relevant graphs and table created that directly address the needs of the company.
  • Ability to check SLA performance: Yes.
  • Ability to check and drilldown agent performance: Yes


What's Next for You?

The company in our example will begin to see reduced tickets as customers self-serve and the agent experience is so much quicker due to the integration with other applications. It would not be too much to claim that support-time will be reduced by over 30% from the solutions we have discussed.

The table above is a good checklist for anyone planning to implement a fully operational and effective Support CRM in their company. For optimal results we recommend using our experts at ContextEngage. 

If you feel that your company does not have a Support CRM or they have implemented a Support CRM but are not utilizing it (this is the most likely), you have two options:

  • Develop your own workplan for purchase and implementation.
  • Ask us at ContextEngage to help you implement the above. It's not as involved and complicated as you may think. We have been there and done it, so we can make it easy for you to succeed. Our tool of choice is Zendesk, which supports ALL the features in the table above. Your customers will appreciate it. 

Chat with us now

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