While small and medium-size businesses are searching for CRM software and customer service software, it’s important to have a detailed comparison of these two enterprise technology. This can help customers in making informed choices based on detailed analysis. Companies looking for a customer service software have two choices – Either they can opt for a dedicated customer service platform or a broader CRM suite with CSS among other applications.
If a customer is opting for a dedicated customer service software, these are the important features to consider.
- Live Chat: The live chat feature allows customer service agents (CSRs) to interact with customers online and capture key content from the conversation record. As mobile-friendly customers prefer to interact with CSRs by chat, the live chat feature is gaining popularity.
- Knowledge Management: A database of previously resolved concerns and queries is created, and customers get quick, automated replies to their queries. This way, the knowledge management feature of customer service software helps companies in creating a self-service portal where customers can find solution to most of their concerns. The portal needs to have searchable FAQs and how-to content to help customers find an answer on their own.
- Analytics and Reporting: This feature enables managers to generate custom reports to review the performance of a customer service team. The report can provide detailed insight on the performance of a team, time to query resolution, customer satisfaction, and other key responsibility areas.
- Multi-Channel Management: These days, customers reach out to a brand via multiple channels, such as, phone, email, web, live chat, social media platforms, mobile app and others. For storing queries received from multiple channels and to route them towards appropriate agents, support agents can rely on customer service software.
However, if you opt for a CRM suite, which includes CSS application, your business can benefit from a range of important applications. CRM software provides these important features to ensure efficient handling of customer data, and improvement in different aspects of sales and marketing.
- Marketing Integration: This feature of CRM software helps in lead generation along with managing marketing campaigns. Event marketing and campaign management can also be performed efficiently with market integration.
- Sales Force Automation: For workflow automation and sales pipeline management, the sales force automation feature is quite important. It helps in better analysis and reporting of all contact details.
- Channel Management: When it’s about managing customer contacts and prospects efficiently, the channel management feature works wonders. It helps in managing customer portals and the relationship with customers.
- Call Center Automation: From call list management to call routing, recording and monitoring, all such tasks can be performed seamlessly with the help of a CRM software. Load balancing, auto dialing, scripting, and interactive voice response (IVR) are other important benefits of call center automation.
- Customer Service & Support: A CRM software with customer service support can help support agents in managing self-service platforms, and tracking and routing data via live chat, email and other important channels.
CRM or CSS: Which One to Buy
Once you consider fundamental features for both these enterprise technology, you can easily decide on the type of platform you need to invest in. The basic rule of selecting between these two important business software is to analyze which all departments are using the customer information in your organization.
If customer information is used primarily by customer service agents, then customer service software is a better option. However, in the case of customer information being circulated across sales, marketing and customer service departments, CRM software serves the purpose well.
However, never purchase a business software with more functionality than needed. It may introduce unnecessary hurdles to the smooth workflow and affect the productivity of employees. It’s important to choose a software which supports existing workflows, so that there isn’t any complexity during support and implementation.