According to this report on 1to1 Media, linking CRM and unified communications (UC) brings together the various customer touchpoints into one integrated system. While integrating CRM and UC is ideal for cultivating an existing customer base, adding search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities and analytics goes a step further by helping companies transform prospects into clients. This article offers a guide to five critical factors to consider when bringing these technologies together.
"1. Establish a cross-functional team: This team should include CRM experts and representatives from different parts of the business. This approach ensures that each function in the organization has a voice, while preventing a siloed approach to customer service. For CRM expertise, engage with a systems integrator (SI). The role of the SI is to provide IT and business strategy along with tactical execution that included knowledge transfer, so your staff is able to eventually manage the system.
"2. Conduct an IT audit. Before you invest in an entirely new CRM solution or consider fusing CRM and UC tools and functionality into your existing infrastructure, assess the value of your current IT investments. The analysis should be done by taking into account how well the technology maps to the business needs, as well as the real cost of the IT investment including, customization, employee training, and the subsequent learning curve."