The Complete Guide to eCommerce Development 2024

CRM or Helpdesk: What to Connect to Your Online Store?

CRM or Helpdesk: What to Connect to Your Online Store to Handle Customer Communication?

It is quite often when processing non-voice contacts forces companies to choose between a CRM or a Helpdesk system. Digital entrepreneurs ask themselves “What system is better to connect to my site?”. Let’s figure it out.

Difference between CRM and Helpdesk

Initially, the two solutions have different purposes. CRM is first and foremost a customer relationship management system. The Helpdesk system is primarily designed to automate processing of customer requests. Each solution is designed to solve its own scope of tasks. And if you do not understand business needs and implement, for example, a CRM only to process customer requests, then soon you will realize it does not cover even the basic requirements. At the same time, CRM can seize other needs that are not covered by Helpdesk systems. But the business may not have these needs and you integrate it in vain. 

How to choose between CRM and Helpdesk

Collect requirements

Before choosing a solution, it is important to form business requirements. Not just for one segment, but for the entire business. And in no case do not delegate this task to an IT agency, which is a very common sin for digital entrepreneurs. IT professionals can be well versed in solutions, but often do not know how your business works, what KPIs a manager needs to measure, what kind of motivation system applies to employees. They may not know all the insights about measuring customer satisfaction, or how a request is processed in your company. But all these points are perfectly understood by the business owner and his/her team.

Assess from the user perspective

When requirements are formulated, it is important to look at them from the point of view of the solutions that such needs can close, and then prioritize them. For example, for a sales department that has few sales that are long in time and the work primarily involves employees – CRM is the best choice. Few people will be interested in how much a manager has contacted each specific client, more important is the result and communication convenience.

When the situation is different, and, for example, CRM begins to receive a huge number of requests from customers through different communication channels, the work of operators becomes simply unbearable, even with a good CRM. Yes, marketing is likely to benefit from having all the lead data in one place. But at the same time many people forget about the operators themselves. After all, they need to handle each request with a certain competence, process it quickly and efficiently. It is important for the quality control department to have a number of filters to search for the necessary requests and assess them. Detailed analytics is not so important here, but the processing speed and the quality matters. Helpdesk will bring more benefits here.

In other words, for the task of managing sales in small companies, an inexpensive CRM can be the most convenient tool that also helps with the processing of non-voice contacts. When it comes to the task of managing contacts, automating processing of customer requests and call center processes, one cannot do without a specialized Helpdesk.

In many cases, after collecting requirements, it may become obvious that a business needs both a CRM and a Helpdesk system. And it is important to consider the integration of such systems before they are implemented, so that such tools are convenient to use for each employee. After all, you can use the same Helpdesk system, with all its advantages, but the operator will be able to see the client profile, the entire history of communications, and all the necessary data about leads will be saved. A role-based  model with the access control will be required.

Test everything

Even if you have no doubt that you made the right choice, still take the time for another important point. Be sure to test the chosen solution. Most CRM and Helpdesk systems allow this. See how all the functionality that you need is implemented, whether it really covers your requirements. Of course, such a test should be done by the businesses themselves, the CEO and his/her team. Finally, the business requirement can be closed, but be inconvenient, or inappropriate. Test everything, ask the right questions to integrators. Use the demo to the maximum, allocate time for this, because a lot of money and the satisfaction factor of your customers are at stake.

Only three factors will help you make the right choice

  1. Direct involvement of the CEO in drawing up requirements, opting for a solution and decision-making. 
  2. Requirement collection and prioritization. Look at any solution not in terms of its capabilities or popularity, but at how such a solution can meet the needs of your business. 
  3. Testing the chosen solution.

Now, when the decision is taken let’s figure out what advantages can bring integration with a CRM system

Connecting CS-Cart to CRM by the example of Salesforce

Online stores and marketplaces may need their data synced with a CRM to improve data integrity, generate orders in real time, keep accurate stock inventories, and offer excellent customer service.

What can connection to Salesforce bring to a CS-Cart store:

  • Real-time order generation
  • Bulk synchronization
  • Service-first approach
  • Analysis of data of products and customers at the Salesforce end
  • Ability to add more stores
  • Synchronization for products, customers, categories, and orders
  • Functionality to update products and categories 
  • Targeted customer segments 
  • Synced order of the deleted or guest users
  • Functionality that generates contact as lead using the contact form that is at frontend
  • Order syncing also supports the promotion discount or coupon code.

Benefits of connecting a CRM:

  • Automatic retention marketing
  • Synced CS-Cart products, orders, and registrants in Salesforce as products, opportunities, and contacts
  • Access to purchase history
  • Bi-directional synchronization from-to CS-Cart
  • Manual synchronization of orders and products from Salesforce to CS-Cart
  • Real time order synchronization from Cs-cart to salesforce
  • Order synchronization is possible for guest and deleted users

Connecting Helpdesk by the example of ZenDesk

The easiest way to support your customers is to store all deals in Zendesk and CS-Cart systems. There is no need to log in to your ZenDesk account, the administrator can see all deals on a separate page in the CS-Cart administration panel.

Benefits of connecting a Helpdesk:

  • You have all clients automatically connected to the Helpdesk. Customers can log into the customer support system using their online store login and password. You do not need to import all customers, they will already be registered in the support system automatically
  • Detailed order information on the client ticket page
  • Email templates that customers receive when operators create and submit tickets
  • Adding multiple email addresses from which you want to collect messages. This is especially convenient if the store has multiple storefronts
  • Role-based model, the ability to create and assign them to specific departments
  • Customer support system for multiple stores at once


So, you have collected the requirements and decided which system to connect. At this stage, you can contact an IT company to develop a CRM and/or Helpdesk connection add-on. Our company has experience in integrating both systems, including the one our for our own needs. We will gladly make a similar development for you.

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