Lately we have been working with a number of customers who have been interested in one of the following:
- Implementing a service CRM system to track customer support activities alongside their existing marketing automation tool.
- Implementing marketing automation to both acquire new customers and nurture current customer relationships.
- Connecting existing service CRM and marketing automation tools.
Bringing the data in these tools together can help your business to:
- Target customer offers more specifically.
- Get a 360-degree view of the customer.
- Provide differentiated service to customers based on value.
An integration between service CRM and marketing automation tools will allow your business to offer more targeted offers to your customers.
It is often the case that the first interaction you may have with a particular individual within a customer organization is in service. These are often a strong influencer of your business' perception within the customer. It may make sense to market to these contacts to nurture the relationship. You may also wish to target offers to customers who have recently been very satisfied with their customer service experience.
There may also be an opportunity to have your service department participate in marketing. Mature customer service organizations can be involved in up-sell and cross-sell activities based on the value, purchasing history and web browsing behavior of the contact to which they are providing service.
360-Degree View of Customer
A true 360-degree view of the customer would include every interaction with the customer by any department in your business. This would include any orders, offers, service incidents, customer satisfaction survey responses, sales calls, any web traffic, and potentially much more. Your service CRM should be able to provide the service incident history and customer satisfaction survey results. Your marketing automation tool should be able to provide both web analytics and offer history. Your sales CRM should be able to provide any sales call information. Your order management system should provide order history.
In cases where your marketing automation tool contains valuable information regarding the value of a particular customer, it may be valuable to pull some of that data from your marketing automation system into your service CRM tool. This can be used to provide preferred routing to your more experienced agents, to provide quicker access through your IVR system or other differentiated service offerings.
How to Build the Connection
There are a number of variables to consider to determine how you want to connect your service CRM to your marketing automation tool.
- Customer Master - what system is your customer/contact master? In some cases, the best source of contact information is your service CRM. In other cases, sales has the most complete list of contacts in the organization. No matter what the case, you will likely want to get contact information flowing into your marketing automation tool so that marketing has access to them. Depending on the size of your organization, it might also make sense to bring all contacts into your service CRM from wherever those contacts are mastered so that the customer service organization already "knows" them when they reach out for service.
- Integration Capabilities - our team has had the opportunity to explore connections between a variety of systems including Oracle RightNow Service Cloud, Eloqua, Salesforce.com Sales Cloud and Salesforce.com Service Cloud. These system offer a number of integration points. Both Oracle RightNow and Salesforce.com have mechanisms which support real-time integrations when customer/contact records are updated. Either REST or SOAP-based web service calls can be initiated to keep everything synchronized. All mature CRM and marketing automation suites have built in APIs which can be used to push or pull information.
- Direction - in a perfect world every integration would flow perfectly between each system and keep every record in every database synchronized. In the real world, data integrations must be built carefully. Your organization should analyze the use cases above and determine whether their service organization would be able to use marketing automation data. Similarly, you would need to decide whether your marketing department has any use for service data. With this information you will be able to make a determination as to whether you need a one or two-way integration.