Integrations make our clients’ lives easier by allowing them to connect apps they use every day to their AnswerConnect accounts. Setting up an integration automates certain tasks, so you don’t have to think about them. They just happen.
One of the most popular integrations we do connects our live answering service with our client’s Customer Relationship Management software, or CRM. Clients use CRMs such as Salesforce, Zoho, Infusionsoft (and many more) to manage their relationships with their customers. It’s right in the name!
A CRM integration might sound complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple. When you get a call, we can push any information from that call to your CRM. Then, you don’t have to get the message from us and manually enter the data into your CRM software. It just happens automatically as soon as our virtual receptionist ends the call.
Why use a CRM integration?
There are many benefits to integrating your CRM system with your answering service. Let’s look at three: Efficiency, Reporting, and Cost-Effectiveness.
A CRM integration is just plain fast. Our receptionist takes down your caller’s name, email, phone number—whatever information you’ve asked for. This can also include a call type, so you can easily separate your support calls from your sales calls, for example.
Without an integration, you or someone in your office would have to receive that message and manually transcribe it into your CRM. A CRM integration lets you skip that data entry step. And you can still get your messages by email, text, or through our online portal, Client Web Access, just like before.
You can even set up follow-up actions within your CRM to automatically respond to the call—more on that later.
If you have CRM software, you’re probably already using it for reporting purposes. With an integration, your reporting becomes more complete and gives you more valuable insights. Are you getting a lot of support calls on the weekend? Is that ad you’re running bringing in business? With a CRM integration, you’re in a better position to answer these questions and make the right decisions for your business.
A CRM integration doesn’t cost you anything at all. Our team would be happy to set one up for you, completely free of charge. And it doesn’t even use up any of your plan minutes, because the information is transferred in a flash to your CRM system when the call ends. Our virtual receptionist doesn’t have to do anything!
Types of CRM integrations
There are a ton of CRM systems on the market, and we can work with many of them. The integrations we can do fall into three broad categories.
True, Google Sheets is not a CRM—it’s a spreadsheet application like Excel that Google provides free to anyone with an account. But if you don’t have CRM software for your business, we can still push your call data to you with an integration. We’ll just work with you to set up a Google Sheet, and then populate it with the information from each call. You can work with the data in Google Sheets or export it to another application, if you prefer.
Zapier is a web-based service that enables connections between different software applications. These “zaps,” as Zapier calls them, allow us to link our answering service software with your CRM. Zapier works with a huge number of apps. If your CRM system is on their list, we can probably create the CRM integration for you!
Custom webhooks integrations
While Zapier covers most of the CRM systems our clients use, there are some exceptions. For these, we can look into creating a custom integration for you through webhooks. Without getting too technical, webhooks allow us to do things not possible through Zapier. Our integrations team can advise you on how best to connect the software you use with your AnswerConnect account.
What you can do with a CRM integration
Our clients use CRM integrations for a variety of purposes. A few of the most common are adding new leads, creating support tickets, and adding contacts to a mailing list.
Add new leads to your CRM system
When you spend time and money in marketing, you want to make sure you capitalize on that investment. A CRM integration can add your callers’ contact information to your system as a lead. This allows you and your team to follow up to convert the sale, and track your communications with that lead all the way.
Create support tickets
If you’re using AnswerConnect to field calls from your current customers who need help with the product or service they’ve bought from you, a CRM integration can help. We’ll create the link necessary to turn support calls into tickets in your system. Then your support team can take it from there!
Add contacts to a mailing list
Many of our clients use an email system such as MailChimp or Constant Contact to stay in touch with customers and leads. A CRM integration makes it easy to add people to your list, automatically, when they call you. Watch your list grow with minimal effort from your team.
CertaScan Technologies: AnswerConnect-Zoho Integration
CertaScan provides a 21st century solution to identifying infants in hospitals using a modern scanning technology and patent pending system to scan the feet of newborn babies. Footprints from birth are a recognized and viable way to uniquely identify each baby. Use of these footprints for forensic identification can be utilized throughout the life of the child and the technology can help authorities identify babies in the event of a kidnapping or natural disasters.
CertaScan Technologies uses the Zoho CRM to track its support tickets. AnswerConnect provides a toll-free support line for the hospitals that use CertaScan’s equipment. In order to provide duplication of tracking and reporting, we have built an integration that uses the call types built into CertaScan’s script determine to whether the information from a given customer call results in opening a new case in Zoho, sending an email, or escalating the call to one of their technicians.
After the integration: client-side automations
Getting your call data into your CRM is great. But it’s what you do with the information that really creates value for your organization. Matthew Brenner runs ItsDonated, a professional fundraising organization that makes it easy for people to donate unwanted boats to charity. Brenner facilitates the sale of the boats at auction, and connects buyer and seller for pickup. The money currently benefits the Eye Defects Research Foundation but ItsDonated expects to add more charities in the upcoming years.
It’s Donated uses the Salesforce CRM. When someone calls the organization wanting to donate a boat, they’re told to look for a donation packet in their email inbox. But It’s Donated’s previous call center couldn’t integrate with Salesforce. “Those callers would have to wait until we returned to the office to receive that email, as it was manually generated,” Brenner says. “Now, with AnswerConnect, callers receive it immediately instead of waiting days, which allows them to start our donation process quickly. It has also increased our lead conversions, as callers don’t tend to seek out other donation centers because they no longer have to wait for information.”
ItsDonated’s automated email response is just one way clients can configure their CRM to respond to the call data we push to them through the integration. Some of our clients, who use our service to field support calls, have an integration that triggers an acknowledgement email to let their customers know their support ticket has been created and that they’ll follow up soon.
How to get your integration
A CRM integration and automated follow-up actions can be a great boost to your efficiency and ability to report on key metrics while not costing you a penny more!
If you’re interested in learning more about what AnswerConnect can do for your business, call our team at (800) 525-1315.
If you’re already an AnswerConnect client and want to talk about setting up an integration with your CRM software, we’ll need to know just a few things from you:
- What CRM do you use?
- What information do you want pushed from your call data to your CRM?
- Do you want this information added to your CRM as a lead, case, or contact?
If you know the answers to these questions, contact our client services team at (800) 531-5828 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren’t sure, get in touch with us anyway! We’d be happy to walk you through it.