In today’s competitive environment where organizations are striving to provide great customer satisfaction, linkage between ECS and the business application or CRM is paramount. By integrating the CRM with ECS, many new doors are opened that enable customer satisfaction, such as:
- Intelligent / data-driven routing where customers are recognized and provided personalized routing or prompts.
- Agents can be presented with the key customer information they need to best serve that interaction (call, email, chat, etc.).
- An integrated contact history at the agent’s fingertips lets them see the customer’s interactions and associated results.
- “Last agent routing” allows organizations to build rapport with their customers by routing interactions to agents who the customer has previously worked with when possible.
ECS has the ability to read or write from applications such as your CRM or business application. This ability is empowered through the use of web services where ECS and that application communicate via a RESTful API. ECS natively includes REST API capabilities that can be incorporated into the customer experience at any time or used to send information back to your CRM or business application to track each interaction. The following sections outline the three most common types of integration with ECS.
Intelligent / data-driven routing has been a staple of sophisticated contact centers for many years. The basic philosophy of data-driven routing is to recognize the customer early in the interaction and provide a personalized experience. This personalized experience can intelligently route interactions based on the information available about that customer such as their transaction status, products purchased, or customer value. High-value customers can be provided high-touch service and preferential treatment that prioritizes them to the “front” of the queue. At the same time, lower value customers would be offered “self-service” options to answer their inquiry and if the voice automation fails, they are routed to the “back” of the queue. Moreover, instead of presenting every customer with the same exact menus or prompts, each caller is given only the prompts relevant to them based upon their history. If a customer is late on their payments or their transaction is in jeopardy, they can be instantly routed to the appropriate team without offering them any prompts. The outcome of a data-driven routing philosophy is an experience optimized for each customer with the goal of increasing their satisfaction.
To enable this capability, ECS will call the appropriate API method where appropriate in the interaction handling flow. Evolve IP’s clients provide detailed documentation on each API method such as the URL, required parameters, response attributes, authentication scheme, and sample requests/responses. Evolve IP will insert that exact method into the ECS programming. Once ECS has retrieved the customer’s information, the routing possibilities are endless. Any piece of data about that customer can be used to intelligently route that interaction and deliver a world-class experience. The same information can be presented to an agent when they receive that interaction and even made available in the standard ECS reports to provide richer leadership insights.
POSTING INTERACTION RESULTS TO AN EXTERNAL CRM OR BUSINESS APPLICATION
ECS offers the ability to store the results of each interaction in an external application at the conclusion of the interaction. For many organizations that leverage ECS, their CRM or business application is the “single source of truth” that houses all customer information. In this scenario, ECS will pass the details of every interaction to the CRM or business application. This offers agents the powerful ability to access all customer-related information in a single location. Moreover, this approach offers leadership a complete and holistic view of customers to perform advanced analysis such as revenue per interaction, speed to lead, marketing campaign effectiveness, etc. where ECS information is combined with other data to produce insightful business metrics.
To enable this capability, ECS will call the appropriate API method where appropriate in the interaction handling flow. Evolve IP’s clients provide detailed documentation on each API method such as the URL, required parameters, response attributes, authentication scheme, and sample requests/responses. Evolve IP will insert that exact method into the ECS programming. This capability can be selectively applied to a subset of interactions (typically per Business Process) or activated globally (via the ECS API Trigger feature) to pass this information about every interaction. The most common interaction information passed from ECS include: date/time, duration, customer contact information (such as phone number or email address), agent name, Business Process, Disposition Code, and agent remarks (e.g. free-form notes about the interaction).
ACTIONS INITIATED BY AN EXTERNAL CRM OR BUSINESS APPLICATION
In many contact centers, there are routine manual activities that consume the precious time of agents and supervisors. For those organizations with software development teams that want to streamline their contact center through system automation, ECS offers a robust set of API methods. These methods can be leveraged to automate routine manual activities or streamline the agent’s day. The result is a tight integration with ECS that can reduce labor costs and eliminate process inefficiencies.
For instance, organizations that need to place outbound calls based upon a customer’s status change in their CRM or business application can pass that customer’s contact information to ECS in real-time via the standard API methods. Agents can be offered those calls in a queue with advanced routing capabilities that deliver those calls to the “best” agent for each interaction. Moreover, those outbound calls can be delivered to the same queue that is handling inbound customer calls for further efficiency. Organizations that want to embed call control (answer, hold, transfer, conference, etc.) into their proprietary business application can easily add those features using standard API methods. Nearly every piece of functionality that can be performed inside the Agent or Supervisor clients, can be performed externally from any application that has the ability to interact with ECS via REST API.