We all want to provide superior customer service. It’s often the driving force which sets one business apart from competitors. Customer relationship management (CRM) software and marketing automation software can drastically improve your company’s efficiency in providing customer service. Responding promptly to inquiries and concerns is the starting point, but being able to track and troubleshoot problems quickly is critical to a successful customer service program.

How CRM works

CRM works by gathering important data about customers, their behaviors and the sales cycle. This information can be accessed instantly to provide customer service representatives with a complete customer history, offering the capability to pull up essential data on a moment’s notice.

Key data at your fingertips

There are dozens of scenarios in which CRM software can improve efficiency. For instance, a customer service rep can instantly track shipments to give a customer accurate details regarding when a product was shipped and even obtain tracking information to find out exactly where the shipment is currently. Company representatives can also easily pull up previous order history for re-orders when a customer isn’t sure of stock numbers or specific quantities.

Analyzing data to improve customer service and refine product offerings

With a robust database of customer information, it’s easy for a business to analyze behaviors and purchase history. By tracking complaints and compliments, you can determine what processes are working, where common problems lie and work towards offering better solutions to improve customer satisfaction.

CRM isn’t only useful for your customer service strategy as a whole, but for tracking individual employees. For example, the data can be analyzed to determine which field service workers have the highest complaint rates and which are complimented in follow-up surveys most frequently. This data can be used to target customer service trainings or calculate employee bonuses.

What about marketing automation software?

Marketing automation software is founded on the same principles as CRM: That automated processes which enable us to collect and analyze important information can help us improve the customer experience. With marketing automation software, you can monitor and track all your marketing initiatives in one interface.

Eloqua, for example, allows users to track campaign management, contact and lead management and measurement using a single platform. With integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can manage:

•             Email marketing

•             Direct mail

•             Web site marketing

•             Lead generation

•             Sales force automation

The result? You spend less time measuring and analyzing your campaigns and more time implementing initiatives that work to drive leads—which are delivered directly to your sales team via Microsoft Outlook. Without these tools, your marketing and customer service teams would be making a significant time investment in monitoring each of these initiatives and tracking down and analyzing the available data to resolve issues and improve service offerings.

Leveraging valuable business software solutions, such as CRM and marketing automation, can have a dramatic effect on customer service efficiency. Instead of spending valuable hours preparing spreadsheets, you can focus on the core of your role, whether that’s product creation, generating marketing campaigns or guiding customers through the sales cycle. Not only will your customers be happier, but you’ll increase sales and boost your bottom line.