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How to Use Technology to Communicate More Effectively with Your Customers and Co-workers
[May 19, 2009]

How to Use Technology to Communicate More Effectively with Your Customers and Co-workers

How to Use Technology to Communicate More Effectively with Your Customers and Co-workers by Gavin Stevens, CTO CRM Integration Systems 05/18/09 Communication plays an important role in everyday business. The way in which you communicate can mean the difference between happy or disgruntled customers or co-workers. How you communicate can also be the key to the success or failure of your business, regardless if you work for a large company or a small business.

Here are some tips on how to use technology to more effectively communicate with people at work, be they customers, co-workers, suppliers or superiors.

1. Use a CRM software package like ACT! Contact Manager to track your communications with each contact. Managing all of your communications with Microsoft (News - Alert) Outlook or Post-it Notes doesn’t let you quickly find information when you need it most. If a customer or your boss calls you on the phone, how long will you sift through e-mails trying to locate what you promised you’d deliver last time you spoke to that person? ACT! Contact Manager records the history of your interaction with each contact right in your contact’s record. In addition, it quickly sorts to a “Last Result” which gets you up to speed on where you left off, or where the last team member that spoke to this customer left things.

2. Use an instant messenger application like Windows Live Messenger, Skype (News - Alert) or Google Chat that supports the use of presence information. Presence allows you to set your current status -- Available, Busy, Away, On the Phone, etc. You can also view the presence status of your other team members or co-workers all in real-time. When co-workers can see your actual status and you see theirs, the entire office can communicate more effectively.

Case in point: How many times has a customer called and asked you for something that you need to talk to someone else in the office about in order to resolve the issue? Putting the customer on hold, or transferring her to another person doesn’t make the customer very happy when she has to explain what she wants to every person she speaks with. With access to your co-workers real-time presence information, you can quickly scan your list of team members and see who is available, right now, to help you with the customer’s issue. Without that information made available, you end up leaving the customer on hold longer while you try to track down someone to help with a customer’s problem. This is where having access to your co-workers real-time presence information can really come in handy.

3. Use a professional VoIP phone system that integrates with your ACT! contact management application. When you get a business call that you need to transfer to another team member, not only do you know if they are on or off the phone, but if they are available, in their office and ready to assist. This is what presence is all about, making business communications more efficient by gaining knowledge about your teams’ availability in real time. It doesn’t matter if a team member is working from home, at the coffee shop down the street or sitting in his office; with a few clicks, you’ll know if he can take the call, or help you with it, right now.

4. Get an ACT!/Phone/Presence integration product like Call On CRM to integrate your business phone system, your instant messenger with presence and your contact management application. Using Call On CRM takes the confusion out of jumping back and forth between windows applications and fumbling with your phone at the same time. Call On CRM plugs into your ACT! contact management application enhancing it with control over your phone and information about your teams’ presence right at your fingertips.

5. Get everyone on board with how to use these new technologies. Remember the adage: “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” If only a portion of the people in your office know how to use an integration product like Call On CRM, it makes it much more difficult for the people who want to use it to communicate and limits the effectiveness of having such a powerful communication system. That’s why CRM Integration Systems encourages and provides training, in addition to its software.

Call On CRM is a new, award-winning product developed by CRM Integration Systems. It takes existing technologies many businesses are already using and combines them into an easier, and more effective, communication system. It leverages the power of new VoIP phone system technologies offered by communication companies like Telesphere (News - Alert) and Skype by integrating phone and data service with the ACT! Contact Manager system. The overall result is competitive edge.

CRM Integration Systems is a software engineering company based in Scottsdale, AZ that integrates CRM applications with the next generation of VoIP telephone systems. The company has formed strategic alliances with Skype, Sage Software and BroadSoft (News - Alert) to facilitate product development. Call On CRM recently received the 2008 Product of the Year Award from Customer Interaction Solutions magazine.

Sherry Brown, Media Relations (480) 295-3393 or (888) 902-7647 ###

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