‘To deliver a seamless customer experience, businesses need a conversational CRM’


In conversation with CRN India, Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP India & SAARC, Zendesk, talks about how the company is helping businesses embrace the new generation of conversational customer relationship management and turn customer service into an engine for growth. 

How can conversational CRM offer convenience to the customers and brands in more ways than one?

Customers today expect to communicate with the brands the same way they do with their family and friends – conversational, personalized and fast. Delivering such conversational experiences means using modern messaging channels – and not treating each conversation like a one-off interaction. For companies, this means using the right tools to capture the entire customer experience.

The conversational floodgates opened with the rising popularity of social messaging channels like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram as customer service channels. Customers expect brands to switch platforms seamlessly based on their preference but more importantly, they want interactions with brands to feel authentic and personal. Conversational CRM can deliver on all of these.

Why does investing in conversational CRM allow companies to cater to global enterprises and the nuanced Indian startups and businesses?

Conversational CRM relies on a unified, fully integrated platform that goes far beyond support tickets, opportunities and leads. Customer conversations have become a part of lifelong relationships – resulting in increased engagement, higher customer satisfaction, and better experiences for agents. It enables brands to create personalized experiences for their customers on every channel – with the help of automation and Artificial Intelligence to aid sales reps and support agents and scale up. Besides achieving seamless customer experiences, conversational CRM tools track, manage, and report on their conversations for the benefit of the entire organization. This is why investing in conversational CRM solutions is good for the bottom line of any company, big or small.

How is Zendesk helping businesses embrace this new generation of conversational customer relationship management and turn customer service into an engine for growth?

Customers expect a complete relationship with the businesses they interact with. They want rich, fluid conversations without having to repeat themselves. To deliver a seamless customer experience, businesses need a conversational CRM that makes it easy to connect their systems, ensuring data and work automatically flow across them. But most often, companies have to choose between plug-and-play solutions that don’t fit their business and custom solutions that are far too expensive and time-consuming to integrate.

Zendesk enables businesses to create custom connections between our software and external systems, applying business logic to instantly respond to customer activity with dynamic workflow automation. Our platform is powered by Zendesk Integration Services, a set of prebuilt middleware for developers, giving businesses a unified customer view to deliver richer customer experiences. Zendesk’s Conversational CRM is a single source of truth for intuitive chatbots, omnichannel routing, data orchestration, analytics and collaboration with sales teams.

How has Zendesk catered its Conversational CRM to suit businesses’ needs and what does it offer?

Indian businesses are facing a reality where consumers want the flexibility in communication. In fact, a recent Zendesk survey found that 100% of Indian customers surveyed say they are willing to spend money on businesses that offer them the freedom to communicate over whatever channel they choose and don’t want to waste valuable time getting agents up to speed on their order or issue.

Zendesk’s approach to Conversational CRM is one that connects and integrates both front and back offices, providing an extensive range of intelligent, real-time data and services to enable customer engagement.

Sophisticated bots enable a greater degree of conversational automation, enabling businesses to extend automation to messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, build and train bots to address common issues and find the right answers informed with third-party data. Conversational data orchestration enables businesses to quickly access data in real-time, allowing them to converse with customers effectively at scale by connecting processes, event data and custom logic.

Accessible real-time data on customer demand is also the backbone of omnichannel routing, which helps support teams adapt to changing conditions. Customer reporting capabilities help turn conversations into revenue with data-driven insights, allowing teams to manage high volumes and analyze historical trends to inform future staffing strategies. When a single solution can integrate insights to understand trends and emerging issues, it is able to continuously improve both customer and employee experiences.

These technologies help businesses that work with Zendesk automate their conversational approach, allowing them to scale up by staying on trend with the latest customer expectations.


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