Gone are the days of using a filing cabinet — or even worse, your memory — to keep track of customers and get them the help they need. In our digital-first world, every single customer touchpoint generates data. Customer relationship management (or CRM) software brings all that information together, giving you a complete, in-depth picture of every customer’s journey. Integrations are an important way to bring even more data into your CRM, and make it even more valuable.
Today, we’re going to explain why CRM integrations matter and which ones you need.
What is CRM software?
CRM software stores information about your customers in one centralized place. Typically, CRM systems will store information like purchase history, interactions with customer support, website activity (like cart abandonment and products viewed), and details about the customer themselves.
Every time customers interact with your brand, whether on social media, by interacting with customer support, or by making a purchase, it generates data. Collecting that data together means it’s easily monitored, organized, and analyzed.
Think of your CRM platform as a holistic, integrated virtual space where you can oversee your customers’ entire journey, and better understand their unique relationship with your brand.
What are CRM integrations?
CRM platforms are only as useful as the data they contain. In the examples above, like purchase history and website activity, the information isn’t generated within the CRM system itself — it comes from somewhere else on the web, and needs to be brought into your CRM system via an integration.
That’s what CRM integrations do. They pull customer information into your system from outside sources, so that it can be analyzed as part of their customer journey.
Most CRM systems offer some degree of native integration — for example, they might have the ability to collect data from your email marketing tool, or customer support portal. But additional integrations help you bring even more information into your CRM system, giving you a more complete picture of your story with every customer.
Integrations also mean your CRM can work seamlessly with the other software tools you rely on. You won’t need to open other tools while you’re working and search for the information you need, because it’s already right where you need it, integrated into the CRM that tracks your relationships
Essential CRM integrations
The customer journey spans many phases, from first contact with potential customers through marketing to nurturing leads, to supporting customers once they’ve decided to buy your product.
Which kinds of CRM integrations you need will depend heavily on your individual product, target audience, and business model. But here are the 5 general types of data that you’ll want to integrate into your CRM.
Your customer relationships are defined by which of your products they shop for and buy. That means bringing e-commerce data into your CRM is critical to getting an accurate picture of each customer’s journey.
By integrating with e-commerce systems like BigCommerce, Shopify, Stripe, Square, and Shift4Shop, you can keep track of what your customers browse for, add to their carts, and decide to purchase.
Marketing CRM integrations
Your customer relationships don’t start when they click ‘buy now.’ To get the most value from your CRM, you need to understand how you first connected with customers, and how you nurtured that relationship through marketing.
By integrating with marketing tools like Mailchimp, Hootsuite, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can bring marketing data into the picture. What emails have your prospects and customers opened? What social ad first introduced them to you?
Customer support CRM integrations
Since becoming a customer, what direct interactions have buyers had with your company? Keeping track of these experiences — positive or negative — is crucial to understanding the relationship you’ve built with each customer, and how they’ve experienced your product.
You can integrate customer support tools like Zendesk, Freshdesk, and HubSpot Service Hub into your CRM. With this capability, you’ll be able to track customer issues and complaints, view support tickets, and understand how and if they were resolved.
The process of getting customers — sales, prospecting, and lead generation — is an important part of your eventual relationship with them. That’s why storing data from your sales process is so useful.
With the right integrations, you can store sales information like website lead generation forms, data from prospecting tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, or signed documents from tools like DocuSign right within your CRM system.
Communication CRM integrations
You can’t get work done without other people. Integrating your communication processes into your CRM, whether with customers themselves or your colleagues, is a powerful way to make work more efficient and keep everything you need in one place.
Try integrating Slack into your CRM, for easy team communication where and when it matters. You can also integrate your calendar tool into your CRM to immediately see when coworkers, customers, and leads are available for meetings. Finally, try integrating phone or video conferencing software, like Zoom, so you can get connected without leaving your platform.
Business is all about relationships. To give your customers a great experience that builds brand trust and loyalty, you need to know where you stand with them, from the sales funnel to their last support ticket.
CRM systems give you the information you need to deliver that great experience — and integrations help you create an even more complete picture.
With some of the CRM integrations from this article, you’ll be ready to answer customer questions, solve their problems, and know exactly what they need, every single time.
Find out why Unito has the best integrations for your CRM software of choice.