Nowadays, a business with a long list of paying customers, leads and potential clients is technically in limbo without the efficient use of CRM. (And yes, CRMs have gotten social, too. But that’s a story for another day.) For the uninitiated, CRM is a tool that is used to track, manage, automate and analyze information regarding a company’s clients. Having the software in place allows you to move and share data across departments to better serve your customers’ needs. With CRM, knowing the people you do business with is as easy as a few mouse clicks.
CRM (customer relationship management) software, cloud-based or on-premise, can go high end, low end, and everything in between. That means choices ranging from SAP to Sage CRM to GoldMine and Nimble – really, there’s a wide selection and one that’s bound to fit your budget while addressing your company’s specific needs is a definite possibility.
APIs and software interoperability
API (application programming interface) – a set of standardized requests created for programs to communicate with each other
Now, imagine yourself in a business engaged in software development. Regardless of the size of your company, chances are you have at least three departments working together to keep the business going: sales, marketing and IT support. With shared data, your people are better able to interact with and service your customers’ concerns. Easier said than done, you might think, especially if you’re using, let’s say, SalesForce for sales and marketing and another specialized software for IT helpdesk support, as an example, from Comindware.
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Essentially, you have two different software for the same set of customers, which, needless to say, requires that you switch from one application to another when interacting with them, that you update two different trackers after every client interaction.
Using API to join together web-based services, SalesForce data integration with your current IT support application results in one record for each customer. This way, when a customer calls in for help, you can cut to the chase and immediately get down to business because everything you need to know (contact information, products purchased, previous support trackers, etc.) is in one place.
APIs and data integration
Data that is organized, structured and easily quantifiable can go a long way, especially for businesses that thrive on such. Having separate solutions for separate departments should not deter you from providing the best possible experience to the very people who keep you and your company in business. With APIs, not only are you provided with synchronized data that leverages exceptional customer satisfaction, you get enhanced workforce collaboration and engagement as well – a win-win for both sides of the equation.
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