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November 5, 2020

Do You Have A CRM or a System of Record…And What’s the Difference?

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Details about your customers are imperative for establishing and maintaining a relationship with them. CRM software takes what was once a contact card with a few bits of information scrawled in the margin to a cohesive portrait of customers based on data. A CRM puts information about your customers into a well-organized data warehouse right at your fingertips. You can then use this prized information to better your business processes, streamline workflows, and much more. 

Comparatively, systems of record really only serve the function of storing information, where CRMs let you action it and serve as a tool for customer engagement.  

What is CRM?

Customer relationship management. A concept that has been important since there were customers to have. But what is CRM software? Simply put it is software for managing customer data. It was designed to be a digital replacement for one of the staples on an agent’s desk. No, not the phone. The rolodex. 

Isn’t a CRM just an SOR? 

Yes and no. 

A system of record (SOR) is a decided place where your data lives. A CRM takes that further by storing customer data while simultaneously helping maximize its usability. CRM’s help you to make hyper-informed decisions about how to approach and interact with your customers. 

Why is a CRM system important for your business?

Bolstering your customer-focused strategy with technology is like supercharging a battery. CRM systems give you access to a clear overview of your customers all in one place. You can streamline sales processes and develop more informed marketing campaigns. Agents have a complete view of customers in real time. This allows them to provide a better customer experience, generate sales, and increase efficiency. A CRM system ensures customer needs are at the forefront of your business process.

In fact, a recent survey revealed that for companies that use a CRM, the average return on their technology investment is $8.71 for each dollar spent. That ROI is possible because an integrated CRM streamlines and automates manual processes so your agents can spend less effort on time-consuming manual processes like data entry and direct more attention toward interacting with customers. 

Basic functionality of a CRM

Data Centralization

All users can have the ability to access all customer data. At a glance, agents understand each customer’s preferences for communication, their past interactions, the service history, etc. The customer no longer has to remind different agents at different times of their different interactions. Every agent gets an identical portrait of each customer. 

Continuous Information Analysis

Data is constantly being input and organized within the CRM system. The portrait of your customer is constantly being revised to better match their preferences. Customer’s preferences and requirements are constantly changing. CRM systems help you stay up to date with these changes. 

CRM’s are not one size fits all

A lot of CRM’s are, in effect, beefed up accounting and financial systems. Many lack the ability to make workflow changes as well as configurability. CRM features are useful tools. But, these tools are useless if it is difficult for agents to interact with them. 

CRM software that works with a configurable agent desktop gives agents access to 

  • Account information
  • Multichannel interaction history
  • Service ticket status

A configurable agent desktop gives agents access to the right information at the right time. Without the need to toggle through windows or look up necessary information, agents can make the most out of their conversations with customers. 

CRM software can use  configurable agent desktops by providing data fields and layouts that best serve each customer’s needs. Bringing in 3rd party information allows agents to provide informed customer service.

CRM and the agent experience

Unified CRM’s allow agents to have a unified view of customer interaction history. Agents that can identify customers, their needs and their conversational preferences are empowered to provide great customer experience. Unified CRM’s give agents the right tools to do just that. 

CRM software in should

  • Provide relevant information across channels. 
  • Use data to provide and informed communication path
  • Provide a holistic view of the customer through conversations

CRM software allows agents to make sure that every step of the customer service journey is smooth and efficient. Quality customer service depends on this.When the relevant information is provided across channels, agents can use this big picture to make informed decisions about how to interact with customers. The more informed an agent is, the smoother the interaction. 

Holistic Approach

A unified CRM takes the whole customer experience into account when presenting a customer portrait. Feedback data drawn from past customer interactions allows you to pinpoint places in the customer journey that can be improved. Points of friction are easily seen and resolved. 

When your customer data is integrated into your workflows, agents can develop a plan of action that best suits each individual customer based on history or campaign treatment automatically. They are tuned into the customer as much as possible going into every conversion. 

And, because the use of an integrated  CRM greatly improves data accessibility, contact centers using a CRM are able to shorten their customer interactions by 8 to 14%. With 360° views of the  customer agents have deep insights readily available to their fingertips before and during any touchpoint. 

Interaction optimization

Data piped straight into the workflow allows agents to be more efficient with their time. This enables them to deliver excellent performance in the call center.  Marketing automation gives agents the tools for how to best approach each customer. Customer’s social media can even be drawn upon to paint a cohesive preference portrait. Agents can give customers answers they need quickly by anticipating their needs. 

Omnichannel Communication 

Data collected is even more powerful when it can be shared across channels. Data from phone calls is more powerful when it can be integrated with data from digital messaging or email. Omnichannel communication is an important tool for providing optimal customer service.

Everyday you have to make decisions about running  your business efficiently and effectively. The more informed in your decision you can be the better. Using a wide set of data that is organized in a unified manner can be a great boon when it comes to understanding your customers. CRM software helps you take the guesswork out of excellent customer service. 

About LiveVox 

LiveVox is a leading provider of enterprise cloud contact center solutions, managing more than 14+ billion interactions a year across a multichannel environment. With over 15 years of pure cloud expertise, we empower contact center leaders to drive effective engagement strategies on the consumer’s channel of choice. Our leading-edge risk mitigation and security capabilities help clients quickly adapt to a changing business environment. With new features released quarterly, LiveVox remains at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. Supported by over 450 employees and rapidly growing, we are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Atlanta, Denver, Bangalore, and Colombia. To learn more, schedule a demo today.

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About LiveVox

LiveVox (Nasdaq: LVOX) is a next generation contact center platform that powers more than 14 billion omnichannel interactions a year. By seamlessly unifying blended omnichannel communications, CRM, AI, and WEM capabilities, the Company’s technology delivers exceptional agent and customer experiences, while helping to mitigate compliance risk. With 20 years of cloud experience and expertise, LiveVox’s CCaaS 2.0 platform is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. The Company has more than 700 global employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Atlanta; Columbus; Denver; New York City; St. Louis; Medellin, Colombia; and Bangalore, India. To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox or visit

To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox, visit or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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