AI: Taking Relationship Between Companies and Customers to the Next Level
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Placing the customer first by using a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) tool is key to the success of any business. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its subfields such as machine learning and deep learning are emerging as key technologies to power next-generation CRM platforms. AI can sift through volumes of data from the web, social media, mobile phones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Innovating customer experience is essential to a client-based and consumer-oriented business. Customer experience is the key competitive differentiator for 85% of senior executives, Salesforce reports. AI solutions are beginning to transform customer experiences in significant ways, paving way for widespread adoption of AI-based solutions. Global revenue is expected to grow by $1.1 trillion in 2021, thanks to AI-based efficiencies. By 2018, 40 percent of companies are likely to adopt AI in 2018. Enterprises are also looking to utilize AI in CRM functions such as lead generation, targeted marketing campaigns, and increasing sales cycles.
Smart, sustainable, and profitable customer service isn’t just about speed and seven-figure sales. Research supports that future-proof customer service is also consistent, personalized, real-time, and omnichannel. AI technologies can ensure all these qualities and more with its predictive capabilities, data volume capacities and analysis, as well as through its automation and recommendation engines.
Driving Smarter Customer Relationship Management
Every company requires constant customer retention and acquisition to increase its customer base and revenues. Businesses, big and small, are always on the lookout to capture new markets; this always begins with correctly understanding the consumer. AI can generate more specific leads in this aspect, going beyond basic information such as demographics, location, and buying power. An AI app could provide valuable details such as specific shopping patterns, a target market’s lifestyle habits, and family-specific data.
Amazon was among the first in using technology-driven data, with 35% of sales coming from data-generated recommendations given to consumers. Salesforce Einstein—the built-in AI in the Salesforce platform—is taking data gathering a notch higher as it analyzes information from emails, social media, sales, IoT-generated statistics, and e-commerce. Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher of MIT Technology Review predicts that Einstein will help executives predict business performance way in advance, almost acting like a new management team member.
Kate Leggett of Forrester stresses the importance of predictive decisioning in customer-facing organizations. She opines that in spite of using analytics to personalize offers to customers, companies fail to leverage the true power of analytics for customer intelligence. Leggett further says that AI-powered analytics will soon prescribe the right action for customer-facing employees for CRM applications.
CRM applications’ data can lead to an informed sales profile, generated through the AI’s analysis of client patterns. Apart from demographics, the customer relationship technology can sift through volumes of transactions. It can then analyze how to develop products for specific customers. A smart sales team can utilize the data to help them sustain their current market and engaging new prospects. The team has a higher chance of closing sales thanks to AI-based CRM’s data analysis.
Enabling Operational Efficiency
Companies can also enable higher skill growth among employees by transferring automated tasks and direct customer engagement to AI chatbots. Customer support can spend more time on complex issues and serve more customers while chatbots deal with answering simple questions. The Amelia chatbot has a 55 percent success rate and addresses this need by providing answers based on previous interactions. If the bot is unable to answer or identifies a hostile customer, it immediately transfers the concern to an individual.
Even Taco Bell and Sephora have improved their services using chatbots. The TacoBot provides more organized orders for customers using Slack Chat, while Kik’s computer-driven bot responds to makeup inquiries.
AI is also improving small-but-important details that enhance a customer’s experience. Mya Systems’ AI is streamlining recruitment processes such as resume approval, interview scheduling, and gathering candidate information. This technology isn’t replacing HR employees but improving the hiring process. Using AI, recruitment companies can provide better-selected candidates without going through the time-consuming processes.
A Customer-Centric Future
AI is expected to make an impact on all kinds of industries and businesses. Twenty percent of companies are expected to employ workers in 2020 for the monitoring of neural networks. CIOs are recommended to look into departments that require large data sets yet don’t have the proper platforms for analytics.
Contrary to popular belief, AI will further personalize customer service and even customer relationships. “AI is becoming the new user interface, underpinning the way we transact and interact with systems,” according to Accenture’s 2017 Technology Vision Report. With AI becoming part of the user experience, its capabilities and purposes will go beyond the intelligent interface. Each customer interaction will eventually become more personalized and natural as it deals with more data and executing specific services.
Business leaders continue to agree that AI’s biggest potential is still in connecting with customers.
Leveraging AI capabilities, companies are looking forward to taking customer relationship and customer service to a different level altogether. Artificial intelligence and its constituent technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, and NLP are making a powerful impact; they are disrupting businesses to increase brand loyalty, revenue, and duly improve customer service.
Even service delivery can expect better efficiencies, as technologies strive to limit waiting times and increase human agent availability. All these innovations won’t be replacing primary human roles but will augment their capabilities. With AI to aid, sales teams, marketing managers, and other customer relation related employees can provide targeted and strategic services. Top managers can focus on building strategy based on most current and relevant data.
Going further, businesses are going to be even bigger, more complex, and more competitive. And AI is unleashing capabilities to help companies build a robust, agile, intelligent CRM and customer service platforms to power ahead of the competition.
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