Artificial Intelligence – Changing the Face of CRM (Part 2)

Technology | 8 minutes to read

22nd Aug, 2018

Continuing from our previous blog on the promise that AI (Artificial Intelligence) holds for the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) landscape, we will take a step further here and look at the evolution in further detail.

Experts have been talking about some of the forthcoming interesting application of AI in CRM tools – some of which are in pilot stage and others in planning stage. The vision invariably, is to build micro-service-based business models.

Here are some predicted evolutions that CRM software will see as the leverage of AI becomes stronger.

Intelligent Automation
Intelligent CRM software will be able to streamline workflow and automate manual/ iterative tasks intelligently. These models will be used to predict customer behavior, analyze sales funnel, possibilities of deal and forecasting revenue with accuracy.

With this information at disposal, it is easy to deduce the next steps in digitally nurturing the leads and build interest landscape of the customers.

Data Mining Engine

Based on Snehashish’s interaction and responses the CRM platform can predict:

  • Potential areas of concern that a product can lead to with a particular profile of customers, thereby helping to pre-empt customer satisfaction issues and making customer support predictive and pre-emptive.
  • Pre-work on past purchase history linked to profile of the customer, the CRM platform can help prioritize which suspect could be a potential customer and there by pre-rank the order in which suspects should be contacted. This shall result in higher productivity from the CRM tool users/agents or sales executives on the ground.
  • CRM software can evolve into acting as a Personal assistant to the CRM stakeholder at any level – Agent/Sales exec, Program owner, Budget Owner or Decision maker by creating a “Day in the life” of the stakeholder. This would comprise pre-planning the day based on past trends, priorities identified based on actions taken / gaps in the present system or process based on data inputs which need to be acted on immediately. It can eventually replace the need for an intelligent Business manager to lead the stakeholders work schedule and priorities for taking effective decisions.

Ability to Train Greenhorns
Training platforms will be driven with minimal human interaction and on-the-job instead of post facto. AI-enabled CRM tools will replace the need for on-the-floor training managers and provide instant feedback on the job by observing deviation in a process or potential outcome based on the situation. AI can effectively replace the need for situational training through human interventions.

Rise of Bots
Bots are growing ‘species’ and with AI integration they are only going to become more intelligent and integrated. The application shall coadjute both historical and dynamic data of customers sourced from click-stream, online activities and variant inputs like similar audience etc to fine-tune customer behavior patterns.

Based on the intelligence, it will be able to provide real-time advice for sales pitches or for course correction as well.

The technology will be more humane and shall demonstrate common-sense understanding, reasoning and memories. The vision is to have AI assistants or chatbots to be able to predict customer’s needs even in the absence of exact phrase – like in a departmental store!

Death of Language barrier
This perhaps is going to be the most interesting change for CRM tools. Natural Language Processing or NLP, as it is called, is mainly speech recognition and shall become advance enough to help deliver an emotional analysis of the speech.

Imagine the possibilities when a customer service or sales request is automatically categorized and sorted, customer voice can be recognized both in the virtual and the real world helping sales assistant to zero down the requirement or sorting/filtering customer interactions to determine the tone (positive or negative) as well as its intent.

It would help zero down on brand evangelists and dissatisfied customer in no time. Briefly, the intelligent CRM tool shall quantify and analyse customer behavior and be able to predict their behavior. This would help marketing and sales teams to chart out tactics and strategies for desired results.

Manual entering of the data continues to be the biggest woe of maintaining the CRM software database. This has crucial repercussion on the quality of data and further hampers the customer transaction quality.

These processes could either be comprehensively automated to bring down errors and may also help in validating the entries.

Sum & Substance
CRM tools are directly linked to revenues of a company and it shall continue to be the industry focus. Probably that’s why Gartner predicted that it shall continue to outpace overall enterprise software growth.

Not only AI but other ecosystem technology changes are also likely to impact traditional CRM software systems and traditional interaction models (tele, face-to-face).

As new generation gets on enterprise band-wagon, it’s very likely that video calls and ‘Holoportation’ become order of the day for sales teams. New CRM SOFTWARE systems with these capabilities will emerge to provide much better experience to both sales agents as well as end customers.

The CRM ecosystem would also be affected by the convergence of different platforms and the streamlining of routine tasks will gain priority. Though the industry growth may be affected by data privacy and security concerns of organizations, the ongoing price trends, deployment ease, and business-critical applications of customer relations are anticipated to boost the adoption rate in the coming years.

We feel we are nearing the goal and yet we come across a loose thread all the time. The race is on to stitch together all the elements to render a comprehensive tool to manage customer relationships. Only time will tell if our efforts will be paid off.

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