For customers who are used to Netflix suggestions on programs to watch and Amazon’s hyper-customized shopping deals, customer relationship is all about meeting – if not exceeding – expectations seamlessly, and without making much noise. The customer experience a company provides is as important as the products it offers.
Understandably, it’s not easy for enterprises to cater to new-age customers and stay ahead of the competition without the right customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
To prioritize customer care, loyalty and satisfaction, enterprises need to invest in artificial intelligence (AI)-driven CRMs, with machine-based learning that can optimize the wealth of data available today. AI has immense potential to improve customer engagement, personalize customer service, as well as provide predictive insights to boost sales. The future of CRM is already here. In the next few years, we’ll see an increasing number of businesses embrace AI in order to put the customer at the center-stage.
International Data Corporation (IDC), in collaboration with Salesforce, had released an interesting report last year on the economic impact of using AI for CRM. From sales and marketing to customer support and retention, the report found that 28 per cent of companies (of the 1,028 global companies analyzed) were already using AI, while 41 per cent planned to do so in the next two years.
The biggest surprise, especially for those waiting for the AI bubble to burst, was that a whopping 43 per cent of respondents considered customer support to be a key function to benefit the most from AI. Although the buzz around smart technologies in CRM has been there for a while, it’s only now that enterprises are seeing the value in complementing human efforts with hi-tech advances to keep customers delighted. According to IDC, AI in CRM activities will boost global business revenue by $1.1 trillion between 2017 and 2021.
At your service, virtually!
Today, companies have chatbots that can engage, follow-up, and cross-sell to customers. Integrating AI into CRM helps automate simple tasks, such as registering new clients and resolving routine queries, thereby making the process faster and smarter for customers. It’s so much easier when service requests are automatically created based on the customer’s comments on a social media platform and the issue is resolved proactively.
It’s a win-win situation, as AI assistants not only excel at offering connected customer service experiences, but also provide value by analyzing customer profile and providing predictive analysis in guiding sales and marketing agents to make data-based decisions. That apart, AI improves the CRM workflow by suggesting activities that drive the best outcomes, while also making the system easier to navigate and maintain. Not to forget, the boost in productivity and cost savings for businesses.
That personal touch
Did you know that AI tools can perform in-call voice analysis? In other words, speaking patterns, word choice, etc. can help enterprises determine their customer’s emotional state and offer real-time guidance to human agents (for instance, to empathize more with the caller, or give the caller opportunity to talk more) to help close the deal as well as augment the customer experience.
AI-powered CRM assists organizations in tailoring personalized experiences and creating customized interactions that resonate best with each customer. The strategy is to analyze the vast customer data, such as socio-economic demographics, buying behavior, etc., which is available across social channels in real time, and gain a deeper understanding of each customer and how they perceive the brand. This not only arms enterprises with a unified customer view, enhancing marketing strategies, but also leads to higher customer satisfaction and retention. Customer loyalty is priceless, especially in today’s increasingly competitive landscape.
The bottom line
Earlier this year, Salesforce announced the next generation of Service Cloud Einstein. While the Einstein Bots for Service automate routine service requests and enable frictionless agent handoffs, Lightning Flow for Service empowers businesses with tools to quickly design and automate customer engagement processes. Einstein Next Best Action, the third feature, provides intelligent recommendations and offers for customers.
Salesforce is not alone. Major players like Microsoft, SAP and Oracle are also betting big on smart AI in CRM. As new-age customers get accustomed to hyper-personalized experiences in a world full of choices, businesses will need to step up their CRM game to stay relevant. From automating time-consuming tasks to delivering predictive and tailored customer experiences, AI capabilities in CRM platforms hold the promise of being the true game changers. Above all else, it empowers businesses to treat the customer as king.
Are you ready to give your customers what they want? If you need help, talk to our experts.