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Why should I integrate Avaya with my CRM system?

Legacy technology or lack of integration is stalling good customer service in some organisations, and in today’s connected age where expectations are at their peak, there’s no longer anywhere to hide. If you’re operating with siloed systems in place for customer relations, the fact of the matter is your customers will be able to tell. It’s time to embrace modern technologies and push forward, or risk being left behind. If you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly using an Avaya and CRM (customer relationship management) system separately, a good place to start is to integrate them. In this blog, we’ll walk you through all the reasons why.


The technical bits

When we talk about integrating Avaya with the CRM system, it’s what’s known as an application of CTI (computer telephony integration). There are some core functions that are the product of CTI that work really nicely when they’re connected with and delivered from the CRMS directly.

Screen-Popping – A screen-pop is a feature of a CTI that automatically displays all of the relevant caller and account information on a call centre agent’s screen during a call. It works by collecting information like the caller’s phone number and or details acquired by the IVR and connected with the CRMS; it can match this information to a record and help agents to shave as much as 15-20 seconds off call handling times by providing all relevant information in one place. Other benefits include:

Personalisation: Comments can be added to the CRMS record and read back easily so that the agent is up to speed quickly with every new call. This boosts the satisfaction of not only the customer who receives a more streamlined, personal service but also of the agent who feels more comfortable having full context.

Productivity: Without integration or screen-pop agents would spend a lot of time searching the CRM system for notes which isn’t the best use of time. Agents will be more productive and get through more calls if the information is readily available.

Click-to-Dial – Click to dial does what it says on the tin. Agents can enable calls to be made by simply clicking on any phone number in the CRMS. The benefits include:

Saving time: Eradicating the need for manual dialling and or copy and pasting numbers from the CRMS to the phone service will save agents a lot of time. Calls can be made directly from the phone field of a contact, lead, activity, account or directory of the CRMS.

Improving efficiencies: Where a click-to-dial system exists connected with a CRMS, it will automatically log every outbound call, so that your vital prospect data never slips through the cracks.

Call Routing – Call routing is the process of transferring the customer to the right place or person. You might have an Intelligent Voice Response (IVR) system or skills-based routing system that you use with Avaya, and if this is integrated with the CRMS, it’s all the more powerful. Benefits include:

Maximise profits – Combining data like options selected from the IVR along with information like what pages of the site the user has visited paints a more complete picture for the agent. In a sales environment, this can give an advantage in terms of up-sale opportunities. Take a situation where an agent from a telecommunications and internet provider organisation is on a call with a member of the public that they’re trying to upsell to. If they know that person recently visited a page about making long distance calls, the agent might suggest an upgrade to a worldwide cover package or similar.

Customer satisfaction – combining the call routing element of CTI with the CRMS means that callers can be routed to the agent that they last spoke to if available. When you work within an industry where calls can be complicated, your customer support model is likely to support consistent service to reduce customer frustration and having a feature which allows callers to talk with the same person they last spoke to can be really helpful.


Other useful features of CRMS/Avaya Integration.

We’ve walked through the core functionality of a CRMS/Avaya integration and its benefits, and that’s reason enough to consider taking the plunge but there are yet more surprises to uncover.

Call recording – If you have a call recording system like Virent Verba, you can play back recordings directly from the CRMS record. This makes it much easier to find and retrieve information about calls in a timely manner.

Callback – Some integration solutions may offer extra features like Callback. Callback is particularly useful in today’s ever-demanding world where customers have short attention spans. In fact, a recent survey concluded that the average human attention span had fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds. So giving customers choice and convenience in how they get in contact helps to maintain a competitive edge.


Let’s summarise the benefits of this technology as a whole.

Every different feature of this type of technology will save agents time in one way or another and as we all know, time is money in the contact centre, so it’s a great return on investment. Not only that but it makes the agents’ job easier which in turn will help with retention rates and productivity. Finally, and some would say the most importantly, CRMS/Avaya integration helps boost customer satisfaction as customers receive a quicker and more personalised service.

Call centre performance: communicating metrics that matter.

Peter Drucker said, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

When you’re a call centre manager, you’ve got a lot of metrics to choose from as your key performance indicators (KPIs) and should refine their use to act as valid performance measurement indicators for senior managers within the strategic business intelligence process. It’s really a balancing act, and the only way to do it effectively is to measure call centre agent productivity with solid, reliable metrics that are easy for employees to understand. In this blog, we’ll walk you through a few of them to give helping hand on your way to communicating the metrics that matter. First though, let’s talk a little about the importance of educating staff on the impact of KPIs.

To get the most out of setting KPIs, agents need to know what they are and importantly, what they mean. Understanding how improving performance will not only enhance the customer experience but also boost the confidence and skills of agents is vital. If agents know that KPIs are set not only for the good of the company but also for their own benefit they’ll be more inclined to work towards them. And the final piece of the puzzle. Remember to provide them with the training and resources they need to succeed!


What metrics should you measure?

In short, you need to measure what your agents are doing, how fast they’re doing it, and how well they satisfy your customers. The best way to choose the right KPIs is to start with the objectives you want to achieve. The results come when ‘measuring everything that moves’ becomes ‘measuring what matters most’.

Here are a few of the main KPIs that are generally measured and used to mark success around, of course, many more exist but finding the right ones for you depends on your goals and strategy.

Time to answer

This is a measurement, usually expressed in seconds, of the time from when a call is received until it is answered by an agent. It’s a measure of the call centre performance rather than of the agent performance. It does, however, depend on call centre agents being available to answer calls when they are scheduled to do so.

Call duration

Call duration is the amount of time spent speaking to customers on the telephone. The cost of the call will help to curb long conversations. Calls may be longer initially as agents are still new to the product and systems. Encourage slightly longer first calls to reach a resolution as this is more efficient than repeat calls. The global metric is 4 minutes per call.

Service level

Service level is a metric used to measure call centre agent productivity in real-time as the agents take calls. It’s a percentage of calls answered within a specific time in seconds. Measure this metric to determine if agents are moving quickly enough from one call to the next. Encourage your agents to keep this KPI within your expected range.

Abandon rate

Abandon rate is the number of calls that hang up before connecting to an agent. This number does not include those calls that receive a busy signal. Typically, abandon rates are linked to how fast call centre agents answer calls. The faster a call is answered, the lower the abandon rate. High abandon rates can result in lost sales opportunities and poor customer service and have the potential to artificially inflate future call volume as the initial customers who couldn’t get through on the first call continue to call back until they reach an agent.

Call back messaging

The call back messaging metric indicates the total number of messages that have been left with a number to call back. Managers need to monitor the number of customers who have left messages requesting a call back to ensure that all messages are addressed in a timely manner.

After call work time (ACW)

Post-call work should be measured to determine how much time should be allocated for this part of the agent’s job. Ideally, post-call work should be kept to a minimum to ensure the agent is spending as much time as possible handling customer calls instead of tending to post-call tasks.


Let’s wrap up…

Bill Bounds said that “Metrics only tell you where to look for the story, they don’t tell you the story itself.” By picking the right KPIs and communicating them effectively so that agents understand them, you will ensure that your company keeps customer satisfaction and loyalty high while enabling your call centre to be an efficient, high-performing, critical business entity.

If you liked this blog you might also find these interesting:

Boost performance in the contact centre with digital signage

How to make customer experience consistent across every channel

5 compelling reasons your contact centre needs real-time data