Know Your Customer: Magento CRM Essentials
Integrating Magento with a CRM helps you to know your customer better driving upselling and cross-selling.
The modern eсommerce landscape is extraordinarily diverse and vibrant, with hundreds of millions of people being connected to the internet at all times. All this connectivity and new technologies used in ecommerce development shape the way people communicate with online stores. People enjoy responsive brands that deliver timely and personalized communications through any channel.
That’s only possible if a company maintains comprehensive customer profiles, complete with relevant information. But the journey starts even sooner when people just ‘drop by’ your site. They may fill out an inquiry form or comment on your product. Converting these prospects is paramount for online businesses.
Any data that you might have on them will drive marketing activities, automation, and analytics. Many of the modern customer data analysis techniques, like predictive modeling with machine learning, rely on consistency and comprehensiveness of that data.
There are many good ways of storing data. But that’s just half the battle. How can you make the data accessible to your employees? How will your sales, marketing, and operations teams use it on a daily basis?
The answer is: use a customer relationship management system (CRM). CRMs are vital for practically any ecommerce business, as they’re used for storing, extracting, and processing customer data in a myriad of meaningful ways.
They also allow your employees to efficiently provide customer support, fulfill orders, and drive better sales through a deeper understanding of customer needs and knowledge of their current location in the sales funnel. A good CRM usually provides an intuitive UI and several connectivity options.
Magento is special in this regard, as its backend requires quite a bit of knowledge to operate. That’s why a CRM often serves as an intermediary between the backend, frontend, and employees. Trust us: you don’t want your customer-facing support representatives snooping around the delicate Magento backend.
But which Magento CRM options are worth test-driving? Let’s take a look.
Magento CRM: the Multitude of Options
Before you even consider a CRM, you have to understand the goals for the integration. Do you want your customer data to be easily accessible by anyone? Do you need a robust system that supports a multitude of marketing and sales features? Are you okay with clunky interfaces or are you looking for something slick and easy to use? Finally, if you’ve already picked a system, how can it be integrated with Magento?
So let’s take a look at key features of some of the leading CRM systems.
- Open source code. Given that both Magento and OROCRM are open-source, you're almost unlimited in the types of features that you can develop internally and tailor to your specific customer relationship management model.
Robust sales funnel management. ORO has a wide variety of sales and marketing management tools that will satisfy most of Magento store owners. It logs any customer interactions, like products views, email responses, submitted support tickets, and allows your team to act on almost any of them.
This CRM is easy to integrate with Magento 1. In fact, this capability is enabled within OROCRM out of the box, with the help of SOAP API and a specific extension. However, the situation becomes trickier when you’re using Magento 2. There are concerns that this integration is not even on the roadmap at ORO for reasons unknown. However, a professional Magento 2 development team can create a custom connection between the two platforms.
While it’s classified as a customer support platform, Zendesk has the right to be called a CRM, given its robust ecosystem of apps and APIs that allows any business to build a CRM.
- Embeddables. This is the software enablement framework in Zendesk that allows you to port Zendesk experience to any platform and communicate with your customers at ease.
- The marketplace. Zendesk is one of the most popular platforms of its kind. That’s why there are hundreds of apps available in its integrated marketplace. Anything from automated backups to integrations with Slack and other productivity tools.
Magento is not an exception in this case. There are some decent connectors for Magento and Magento 2 that install directly into your Zendesk account and sync with Magento’s backend.
It’s another full-cycle platform that is a good candidate to be your Magento CRM of choice. It has a rich selection of functions that cover the whole CRM pipeline - from customer onboarding to supply chain management.
- Zia suite. Although they’re only available within the Enterprise package, these features can significantly complement your customer relationship management initiatives. Some of them include trend analytics and customer outreach forecasting, which identify behavioral patterns as well as the best times to reach out to your customers, respectively. Zia is a collective name for Zoho’s AI-powered tools. They also include a conversational chatbot and a voice bot.
Automation. Zoho has a variety of automation features, from marketing to operational management. For example, you can schedule mass mailings and task reminders for your customer management team.
There are integrations available for Magento and Magento 2, but they do come with a price tag (over $200), like those developed by Magenest.
It is one of the biggest and most popular CRM systems, and it’s perfect for companies that pay a lot of attention to nurturing leads and driving sales pipeline performance.
- ABM powerhouse. If you’re a B2B company, then customer relationship management is often centered around account-based marketing (ABM), where all the information about each company, contacts within the organization, and activities around these contacts are logged and monitored. Salesforce is perfect for that as it already has a ton of built-in features to drive ABM, as well as a flexible framework for customized feature development.
It’s natural that Magento can be easily connected to Salesforce - many B2B companies choose Magento, and Salesforce is the natural element for people in those enterprises. Of course, given the enterprise nature of Salesforce, enablement products (connectors/extensions) will be expensive.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Think of Dynamics 365 as a Lego that you can use to build a functioning CRM out of the applications available within the platform. It includes online and field sales, customer service, finance, talent management, and other types of apps that you can use separately and add later on, with the promise of seamless integration between the apps.
- Complete integration. While other CRM systems offer full-cycle customer management, Dynamics 365 delivers full-cycle ‘everything’ management by offering accounting and financial applications within its ecosystem.
- ERP. All of the additional features effectively make Dynamics 365 an ERP platform with integrated CRM functions. You’re getting the best of both worlds, along with world-class scalability potential, as all of it is enabled through the cloud.
All this feature galore comes at a price. Prepare to potentially fork out thousands of dollars for integration between Dynamics 365 and Magento 2. As a cheaper alternative, you can pay for an SSIS integration toolkit, but it does require comprehensive development experience.
Other CRM integration options
Obviously, those were not all CRM options for Magento. We wanted to highlight some of the more prominent solutions on the spectrum, without making the article a CRM Wiki. Tools like Pipedrive or Oracle Sales Cloud might be better for your specific business needs, but it all comes down to the types of CRM applications that your business wants to use.
Your development team should be able to pinpoint the right product, once those usability goals are set. It also makes sense to hire a development partner or a consulting firm to help you make a choice - they’ve probably dealt with dozens or hundreds of businesses similar to yours and might have ‘a blueprint’ ready.
Custom Integration is an option
As Magento is an open-source product, your development team could probably pull off a custom integration that won’t make you reliant on 3rd party tools.
Given that most of these platforms already have ways to interface with Magento (SOAP APIs, Connectors, etc.), the initial setup for the custom integration shouldn’t take long. And you get to have a more flexible solution because you control its behavior and performance.
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