To understand how Artificial Intelligence (AI) fits into a CRM, you need to first understand AI. Wikipedia describes AI as intelligence displayed by machines, as opposed to “natural intelligence” which is displayed by humans and other animals. For years AI has been the symbol of what the future will bring…whether it be robots in the workplace or smart appliances in your home. Well, the future is now.
AI in Technology
AI technologies are becoming more important to the world of business applications every year. And with more integration, data sets, and machine learning capabilities, the technology will continuously get more advanced. When you couple the massive data explosion that is currently happening with the “internet of things (IOT)”, there is a plethora of personal data we’re putting out there to be mined. The need for AI technologies is being required more and more to sort it all out. The plan by numerous technology vendors is to have AI evolve to include machine learning, reasoning, knowledge, planning, voice & speech recognition, text analysis, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects.
CRM is Evolving
CRM systems in the past were mostly on-premise and operated as Excel spreadsheet replacements or static contact management systems. There’s been a shift towards deploying more cloud-based CRM systems that act as digital assistants. Software as a service (SaaS), mobile and social are all becoming more prominent. Today, there is a ton of available information across many devices and platforms. Companies need a way to integrate this “big data” (aka Business Intelligence) into their cloud-based CRM that produces predictive results. AI for CRM, powered by machine-based learning, is optimized for these large data sets.
AI and machine learning is a growing trend in CRM. Combing these two technologies delivers more predictive and personalized customer information in all areas of your business. The benefits include accelerated sales cycles, improved lead generation, personalized marketing campaigns and lower costs of support calls. Specific details of these benefits are listed below.
AI-enabled CRM Software Benefits
- Determine buying trends from purchase history
- Provide better sentiment and intent analysis, product recommendations and up-selling
- Increase customer retention
- More accurate sales forecasting
- Increased productivity
Examples of AI and CRM in Sales
- Identify key decision makers faster with lead scoring algorithms
- Accurate forecasts and faster quotes – real-time pricing and discount history
- Notification alerts when opportunities are not processing at a regular pace
- Qualify accounts based on their conversion probability
- Automate your sales cycles from leads to closed deals
- Assist sales reps to focus on the most promising leads based on engagement data analysis & advanced lead scoring tools
Examples of AI and CRM in Marketing
- Create immediate next steps when a customer reacts to your marketing
- Detect which email type performs better by product and customer
- Analyze customers across social media channels for a deeper understanding of how they perceive your brand
- Predict the success of their marketing initiatives and campaigns and learn ways to refine them
- Analyze the momentum and emerging trends in your customers for a marketing campaign
- Real-time response when leads come from a website or social media
- Trigger email campaigns using machine learning algorithms and customer response history
- Connect all your marketing data and KPIs automatically to manage campaigns, trigger alerts and improve your marketing efficiency
Examples of AI and CRM in Customer Service
Leverage Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to do the following:
- Determine the intent of the customer’s service call and the frequency it occurs to improve customer satisfaction
- Automatically escalate calls from different types of customers
- Generate auto responses based on question or issue type
- Classify and route necessary calls to live agents to when need saving costs and increasing efficiency
- Track and analyze customer satisfaction on social media platforms to get out ahead of potential issues and automatically assign tickets to agents
- Use Chatbots/ Virtual assistants
- Can automatically reach out to anyone who has shown interest in the company, such as by downloading a whitepaper or requesting information from the website. The assistant processes replies from customers, determines feedback and potential questions and issues a response. The assistant passes off the lead to a human salesperson when the time is right.
- In conjunction with AI algorithms, companies can efficiently identify and resolve customer issues/problems through natural conversation. These assistants free up customer support rep time for more critical and complicated tasks.
- Automatically reach out to anyone who has shown interest in the company, such as by downloading a whitepaper or requesting information from the website. The virtual assistant processes replies from customers, determines feedback and potential questions and issues a response. The assistant passes off the lead to a human salesperson when the time is right.
- Listen in on agent calls suggesting solutions from knowledge base as well as up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
The Future of CRM & AI
We are entering the era of intelligent, integrated CRM and the future is looking great. Industry analysts predict the global CRM market to grow at a 13.7 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) through 2021. Part of the reason for that growth is the anticipation of greater built-in machine intelligence in CRM systems.
Marketing data, insights and customer-centric knowledge drives more effective decision-making, customer intelligence and more positive customer experiences. The next generation of APIs are expected to enable a new era of intelligent, integrated CRM systems and platforms. If your business has already begun with both CRM and AI trends, you are ahead of your competition. If not, give us a call at 972.304.7100 and we will make sure you aren’t left behind!
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