Why Digital Customer Service Integration Is a Necessity

As Benjamin Franklin, said “time is money.” Nowhere is that truer than in 21st century business. Time is of the essence today more than ever, especially when dealing with customers. 

Today’s digital customers don't want to wait, and they don’t want hassle. In fact customers are willing to pay more to companies that make life simpler by being easy to get a hold of and responding quickly when things go wrong. Business was less complicated when information only traveled at the speed of the telephone, but the good news is that technology offers solutions to the challenge of keeping up with customer service on social media and other digital channels. The key is integration. 

A few years ago, integrating digital customer service and CRM seemed like a good idea. Now it's a necessity. Doing so allows brands to utilize customer data to offer more personalized service, while the speed of automation makes customer service agents much more efficient.

Integrated digital customer service is important because time is money, and great customer service has a direct effect on the bottom line. Knowing more about your customers and serving them more quickly and efficiently will both save money and earn money.

What is integration?

The complete cycle of digital customer service integration can be broken down into several steps which give insight into the benefits of integration:

  • Data gathering through app and web use
  • Data integration
  • Routing and triggering of customer conversations
  • Additional data use for sales conversion

There are three key areas integration will positively affect: ROI, Efficiency, and Customer Satisfaction. All of them stem from the efficient use of data. 

ROI

Time is money, remember? More customer data allows agents to serve more customers more quickly. Without integrated CRM, it takes longer for the agent to get the info for each customer, prolonging the time it takes to solve the customer’s problem. We’re talking the difference between 1 second and 30 seconds. For each of those seconds saved, you’re saving money.

But there’s more. By gathering customer data, you’ll learn which channels are most important for your customers. Then you can offer the most relevant channels and back off other channels that are used less frequently. You can’t get that kind of information without integration.

Efficiency

Efficiency is key for improving the ROI on digital customer service. But we’re not just talking about speed. When you improve the speed of the agent’s response, you improve efficiency in other ways as well.

Imagine a company with 200,000 customers on Facebook. Without CRM integration the company knows very little about those customers, so they keep serving them the same old way, forcing repeat customers to reenter data. Integration allows agents do everything faster because they don’t need to regather customer data. That leads to lower AHT. It also allows for the personalization of offers.

Agents using integrated digital customer service don’t just know more about who their customers are, they know what their customers like, so management can make informed decisions about what to offer.

Finally, knowing more about what channels your customers want allows you to adjust the overall channel mix. That brings us to our third point.

Customer satisfaction

One of the biggest complaints that customers have about customer service is the time they waste having to re-enter information as they are shifted between channels and agents. That's why more efficient customer service means more satisfied customers. But that’s only one side of the customer experience. According to studies from groups like Forrester, satisfied customers depend on engaged employees. Customers want a sense of personalization, not just efficiency.

Giving agents more data about customers is the simplest way to create that connection. Based not only on sales plans but on who your customers actually are, you can personalize offers and service styles to each customer, depending on what they prefer. Everything about the customer experience is faster and more personalized, and that means more happy customers.

Prepare for the future

The great advancements in digital customer service that took place over the last decade will pale in comparison to the rapid changes the future holds. The borders of marketing and customer service will continue to blur as the number of customers using digital channels increases. If a brand has 200,000 customers on digital channels today, in a few years (with luck) they’ll likely have a million. So the sooner you start, the sooner you can get better results. The only mistake you can make with integration is postponing it.

We’ve designed Brand Embassy to simply and easily integrate with existing contact center technology, so you can start seeing the positive impacts of great digital customer service immediately. You won’t just be saving money by making agents more efficient, you’ll be making money as your customer service and customer experience differentiate you from the competition. Sort of like how Benjamin Franklin also said “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

 

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