Integration 101: How Businesses are Using Integrations to Grow

businesses using integration

Integration 101: How Businesses are Using Integrations to Grow

If you’ve been hearing about a push for integrated systems in recent years, you’re not alone. In an age where data rules all, businesses in every industry are taking a closer look at how they can use integration to improve operations, streamline processes, and gather the statistical insights for steady growth and profitability.

So how are these various industries using integration? Real-world use cases may reveal some trends.

Banks Getting Social

When the financial crisis happened a few years ago, banks took an enormous hit. The loss of customer trust and loyalty was palpable. Regaining that trust takes time, but banks that are connecting with customers via social media are accelerating the repairs. Many banks have opted to integrate their CRM and social media systems to be more responsive to customer needs.  Wells Fargo, a “Big Four” bank, is one example of a financial institution that’s done this well. They use their CRM to track social mentions across various platforms, allowing them to respond quickly to customer questions and complaints.

The challenge banks face with a social media and CRM integration is compliance. International laws and regulations have scared many banks away from even attempting to integrate their social media with CRM for fear of legal repercussions. However, updated regulations put forth by the U.S. Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRA) are helping overcome these barriers.

The SEC and FINRA categorized social media content into either static content or interactive content. Static content (ex: an advertisement) must be pre-approved for compliance on social media. However, the interactive content (ex: social posts and discussions) does not need pre-approval. Interactive content must be archived and post-reviewed later. More and more banks aware of these regulations are following Well Fargo’s lead and incorporating social media into their customer engagement.

Car Companies Using Cross-Channel

When Volvo decided it needed a new strategy for nurturing and converting leads, it turned to integration to execute cross-channel marketing. By combining the power of CRM, social media, and email, Volvo create a cross-channel approach to personalize the users’ experiences and boost engagement.

Targeted social media ads drew individuals to the Volvo website and encouraged them to opt-in to the monthly newsletter. Based on the Web pages each prospect visited, Volvo was able to decipher which products a customer was most likely interested in. Then, using personalized emails, Volvo micro-targeted those leads with newsletter messaging that resonated with them.

Personalized messages grew Volvo’s email open rates by 15% to 20% within 18 months, resulted in a 30% reduction in cost per lead (CPL), and garnered thousands of new email subscriptions and app downloads. The emails and social interactions documented in the CRM — along with historical data on previous purchases and requested information — painted the most dynamic and up-to-date picture of each prospect. This gave Volvo insights for future personalized messages and helped it continue its cross-channel success.

Real Estate Brokers Go Mobile with Integration

When a real estate broker in Wisconsin started his own brokerage, he immediately saw the need for integrated software. Connected systems meant he could monitor his agents’ performance, automate tasks for faster growth, reduce duplicate data entry, and perhaps most importantly: enjoy mobile data access.

The brokerage adopted a Cloud-based accounting system, which integrated with its real-estate specific CRM to customize forms and speed up transactions. The accounting system also automated trust fund compliance, which is a major liability concern for brokers.

Mobile access to the systems was crucial, as brokers wanted the ability to sign documents in the field. Integration helped the brokerage go fully mobile and eliminated the need to enter data in both the CRM and the accounting system. Information entered in one system was automatically transferred to the other, so when the time came from quotes and contracts, the information pulled was accurate. Digital archiving made paper filing obsolete while mobile flexibility kept the documents easily accessible in the field.

By fully utilizing its software capabilities, the firm was able to capture 15% of its area’s market share in a short amount of time. The integration fueled data transparencies and automation to help put the real estate broker on the path to success.

The Bottom Line

Integrated systems can unlock the automation, cross-channel marketing, and other helpful functions to get your business running smoother and more cost-effectively. The key to finding integrations that work best for you starts with understanding how your teams use their systems. Are sales people constantly pulling from the ERP to create quotes and invoices? An integration between CRM and ERP could streamline those processes. Is the support team struggling to keep up with open tickets? A CRM and telephony integration could help with documentation and record keeping.

Whether you’re B2B, B2C, a startup, or a huge corporation, connected systems are an opportunity to take control of the data that drives your business to do more, and do it faster.

Talk to an integration expert at StarfishETL to get started with your next project.