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The 4 Biggest Challenges in CRM-Supported Customer Service

Especially in larger organizations, there's hardly any way around CRM solutions for customer service today. They help to keep an eye on customers across channels and automate tasks that are nearly impossible to handle manually. However, to ensure smooth operation, there are several factors to consider. This blog post discusses the 4 biggest challenges companies must overcome to truly benefit from their CRM solution.

A powerful CRM system can be invaluable for companies with a high volume of service inquiries. CRM platforms lay the foundation for more effective and faster customer communication, efficient service, and ultimately loyal and satisfied customers. But this only works if the system is correctly aligned with the company's individual requirements and if the right tools are used for each application area.

Often, after some time, it turns out that despite using CRM, the desired results are not achieved: Relevant KPIs fall short of expectations, customer correspondence is still sluggish, and employees are overwhelmed. The potential reasons are numerous, but our experience shows a series of recurring challenges.

Among the most common mistakes in using CRM platforms are:

1. Lack of User Acceptance

Introducing a CRM system naturally comes with technical hurdles that need to be overcome. However, it's important to remember that, in the end, it's people who will use the solution. Against this background, companies need to ensure that their service, sales, and marketing employees are on board from the beginning and provide the necessary resources and training measures required for a smooth transition to CRM-supported processes. Low user acceptance inevitably leads to poor data quality and thus to poor results.

2. Existing Tools Are Not Seamlessly Integrated into the CRM System

When companies decide to introduce a new CRM solution, they are usually already working with a range of other software solutions for various areas of application – for example, ERP systems and marketing tools, where large amounts of data accumulate. The seamless integration of existing tools is one of the top priorities when setting up a new CRM platform. If this is not executed with the necessary consistency, the dreaded data silos are created: Instead of converging uniformly on the CRM platform and enabling a consistent view of each customer, many important data remain unused in separate systems and are thus not considered or require constantly switching between different systems. This leads to lower acceptance and large sources of error.

3. Ineffective Data Analysis

CRM solutions have extensive data analysis capabilities. However, this potential is not always fully exploited. This can be due to a lack of data consistency (for example, due to the previously mentioned inadequate integration) or lack of analysis competence on the part of the employees. Moreover, often there is a lack of appropriate analysis tools within the CRM solution.

4. Difficulties in Complying with Compliance Regulations

In customer service, it's becoming increasingly difficult to balance data protection and compliance regulations with effective customer communication. Even for direct communication with customers, there are legal regulations or company-internal guidelines that employees must consider when composing texts – which costs time and nerves. Ideally, a CRM system automatically ensures legally secure communication in customer service with the help of corresponding features or extensions.

The Consequences of a Poor CRM Strategy

The challenges shown have both internal and external negative consequences for a company: Both customers and employees quickly notice if CRM processes do not function as they ideally should:

1. Unnecessary Manual Work in Customer Service

Depending on the company, there are usually industry-specific customer problems that occur frequently, leading to many similar customer inquiries. For service employees, manually answering the same questions over and over is a time-consuming routine task that is perceived as frustrating. Over time, this not only affects the efficiency of customer communication but also incurs significant costs.

In customer service, every automated click and keystroke saves a lot of time and money in the long run. Template-based document creation with standardized formulations helps service teams avoid mistakes and legal issues – for example, when customers want to claim compensation due to delivery delays.

2. Long Response Times

Fast response times are one of the most important quality features in customer service. No customer likes to wait. The Average Handling Time (AHT) is one of the most important success metrics in customer communication. While the AHT was long limited to the duration of phone calls, new service channels such as email, social media, or WhatsApp are also becoming increasingly important in calculating value.

These have the potential to offer faster and more efficient solutions to customer problems than the traditional phone call – and thus lower the AHT. For this to work with the often very high number of customer inquiries, however, appropriately automated processes are required, which are integrated into a well-configured CRM system. This way, many inquiries can be answered significantly faster and more efficiently, for example, through template-based text creation assistants like Bettertext.

3. More Efficiency for Customers and Service Teams

CRM platforms have the potential to cause massive efficiency gains in customer service and sales and create new freedoms for employees through automation. But only if the associated CRM strategy is well thought out and implemented. However, if the above-mentioned complications occur instead, the idea of CRM-supported customer service fails to achieve its effect. If a negative atmosphere spreads in the customer service center despite the CRM platform, companies should quickly take countermeasures, as internal problems in customer service always mean problems for the customers, who may then prefer to try another provider next time.

Planning and Fully Exploiting the Potential of CRM in Customer Service

In increasingly competitive and saturated market environments, a proactive CRM strategy can make the crucial difference between success and failure for companies. After all, it's the customer experience that decides whether a customer stays or switches to the competition. Customer service is one of the business areas that benefits most from CRM solutions, as they relieve employees and increase efficiency on many levels.

The basis for this is the seamless integration with other tools, ensuring that customer data converges centrally on the CRM platform. This, in turn, creates a centralized customer database, laying the foundation for modern customer service. If additional tools not included in the functionality of the CRM solution are needed, they can be connected to the system via API, for example. Last but not least, companies must also ensure that their employees are motivated and trained for the use of the technology.

Feel free to contact our experts if you have any questions about the topic of CRM.

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