Connection is the foundation of faster, better support. Whether that’s relationship-building between brands and their customers, or unifying your tech stack into a single support ecosystem — connectivity is key. And a powerfully integrated automation solution is the best way to build deeper connections.
The most forward-thinking brands are investing in better CX. Why? Because they know it pays dividends. Today, almost 90% of customers say the experience a company provides matters as much as the products or services they sell. Integrations create the connections that allow CS teams to deliver the best experiences for their customers — and for companies to maximize the value of their tools and tech.
But before we get into the business benefits integrations will bring, let’s go a little deeper into the different types of integrations and how they work.
What are the most important integrations for CS automation?
When it comes to choosing an automation solution, there are two integrations you absolutely want your provider to offer: CRM and backend integrations.
1. CRM integrations
CRM or helpdesk software is what connects your CS team to your customers. It’s a treasure trove of historical support data — giving insights into how customers communicate with your brand, the channels they use, and the burning questions they want answered.
Pro tip: to get the most out of automating your support, find a provider that can leverage AI to analyze this data — to determine which intents (or customer questions) to automate first, in order to deliver the highest ROI. Many automation platforms offer native integrations with leading CRMs like Zendesk, Freshworks, Salesforce, and others.
What most providers can’t offer is a custom-built integration with any CRM. But Ultimate isn’t most providers. Using our public API, you can pair the power of our automation platform with any CRM system. No siloed data, no disruption to your existing tech stack.
2. Backend integrations
Backend integrations are what connect your automation platform to your back office systems. This might be stock management software for digital retailers, a payment processor for fintechs, or a delivery tracking solution.
Some automation providers offer out-of-the-box integrations with various back office systems. But the most advanced solutions (like Ultimate) can build custom integrations with any backend software via an Application Programming Interface (API).
“Imagine an API as a door to an external system. Opening that door helps receive data from that system.”
- Mats Kipper, Senior Product Manager, Ultimate
Still can’t tell your APIs from your CRMs? Check out the module on Customer Service Tech for Automation Success in our interactive learning hub.
More benefits of integrations
Why are integrations important?
Does it really matter if your CS automation platform works within your existing tech stack? The short answer is yes. By choosing an automation partner that seamlessly integrates into your current support tech ecosystem, you’ll get the most out of all your existing tools. This allows you to:
- Provide more personalized CX
- Deliver faster resolutions
- Empower customers to self-serve
- Drive efficiency and increase productivity
And all of these will save (or even earn) you money. Here’s how your business will flourish when you harness integrations to sow the seeds of automation success.
Drive loyalty through more personalized CX
76% of customers expect personalization — so providing an experience tailored to each individual is no longer just a nice-to-have. Companies that offer greater personalization will drive loyalty. And when acquiring new customers costs businesses five times more than retaining existing ones, your bottom line will thank you too.
It’s hard to imagine how an AI-powered bot could provide the same level of personalization as your favorite coffee shop, where the barista knows what you’re having before you even order. But automation doesn’t have to mean standardized, impersonal interactions. CRM integrations make it easy to offer the personalized experiences customers crave.
Using an automation platform that integrates with your CRM allows your virtual agent to seamlessly pull data from this system. This might be greeting a customer in their preferred language, based on their location; skipping security questions if a customer is already logged in; or offering bespoke product recommendations based on past purchase history. This personal touch creates loyal fans of your brand who keep coming back for more.
If you choose a less sophisticated solution that doesn’t provide CRM integrations, your automation software won’t have access to these customer details. This means your bot won’t be able to tailor each conversation to each individual customer.
Want to hear a real ROI win with CRM integrations? Leading igaming company Superbet chose Ultimate because they wanted an automation solution that natively integrated with their CRM, Zendesk. This allowed their CS team keep all of the configurations and customizations available within Zendesk — as well as benefitting from Ultimate's powerful conversational AI platform. Not only does this mean Superbet can provide customers with the joyful experiences they expect, but it ensures they get the most value from their tools.
Improve customer satisfaction through faster resolutions
90% of customers say an instant response is important to them when reaching out to brands with a support question. That’s why another key measure of support success is speedy resolutions. An integrated automation solution allows you to give immediate answers to customers, 24/7 — regardless of whether your human agents are available. This will improve CSAT and increase retention by giving customers the help they want, whenever they need it.
But don’t just take it from us:
“We’re resolving customer issues faster than ever before and over 35% of requests are automated completely. Our customer experience has never been better!”
- Elena Husar, Customer Service Lead, Superbet
Faster resolutions lead to happier customers. And happy customers are repeat customers. Not only that, but automation allows you to provide 24/7 support, without the cost of hiring and training a team to work around the clock. Did somebody say: Jackpot?
Increase efficiency and empower customers to self-serve
You’ve already invested in the best inventory management software, payment processor, and delivery partner on the market. But what good are these back office systems if they don’t speak to each other?
A simple chatbot that doesn’t integrate with your back office systems will only be able to provide general information and FAQ answers. This might be passing on standard shipping times or directing customers to your returns policy. Unlike sophisticated automation solutions that offer backend integrations, these bots can’t provide customers with detailed updates on individual cases in real-time.
But by choosing a virtual agent platform that can integrate with your back office systems, you’ll be able to bring together data from all of these programs to automate complex interactions end to end: like updating a password, creating a returns label, authenticating users, and more. This allows customers to fully self-serve, while freeing up agents’ time to work on high-value tasks.
Papier, a stationery company we work with, used an API integration to connect their virtual agent with their delivery management software, Sorted. This means their bot can automatically retrieve shipment statuses and other delivery information from this system. Papier’s virtual agent then shares this information with customers 24/7 via their chat widget — all without any need for human involvement.
Not only does this no-touch support provide a better experience for customers. Every support request your bot can fully resolve on its own is money in your pocket.
Enhance productivity and support your team in their roles
Employees spend on average an entire hour each day searching between tools for the information they need to do their jobs — and it’s no different for support teams. Even for a simple “where is my order” inquiry, an agent has to look up the customer in their CRM, find the order number, cross-check this in the delivery management software, and go back to the customer conversation to send them an answer.
This context switching doesn’t only hurt productivity, but it’s frustrating for your team. On top of this, agents end up responding to the same few repetitive requests again and again each day. This keeps your team from engaging in more meaningful work.
While a basic chatbot can take care of some common FAQs, it won’t have access to the data it needs to support agents by enriching tickets. But with a well-integrated virtual agent you can tackle both of these issues with one smart solution. Integrations allow your virtual agent to draw information from other tools in your tech stack to give customers fast, contextual responses to their specific case (instead of repeating standardized knowledge base answers). And even if the bot can’t fully resolve a request, it can update, route, fill, and merge tickets — saving your agents from searching for this data.
“Even if the virtual agent isn't resolving queries, it frees up agent time to work on the more complex issues. It will collect order IDs, ask for a picture upload if something is faulty, and it’ll do all of that legwork upfront.”
- Suzanne Duffy, Head of Customer Service, Papier
Saving your CS team time, means saving your company money. When agents have the tools and support to do their jobs effectively, instead of wasting hours searching for data they’ll be able to work on resolving complex requests and connecting with customers.
A final word on integrations
Automating your support and harnessing the power of integrations will help your company to maximize the ROI of all your existing tools and tech. As well as providing a better experience for both customers and agents, an integrated automation solution will help your business to cut costs, drive efficiency, and create loyal customers who stick with your brand through thick and thin.