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Kiran BajpaiKiran BajpaiGuest Contributor

Enhancing Customer Relationships With AI and CRM

AI and CRM

Businesses are finding it hard to keep up with the shift in consumer demand. With the advancement of technology, customers have irrevocably increased their expectations for personalization, service, responsiveness, and delivery. For your business to be successful, you need to build a strong rapport with your customers. But how do you do that? The obvious answer is by using a customer relationship management (CRM) system. 

However, very often, we see that companies spend a large chunk of their marketing budget in reaching out to prospects and generate more leads. Yet, the results aren't always that effective. Why? Companies are finding it hard to effectively manage data that are oriented to meet customer's need. 

Nowadays, a vast amount of information is generated every hour by interactions with consumers. This data can be used to gain insights into predicting buyer's behavior and formulate your business strategies accordingly. 

Traditional CRM was used as a database to achieve goals more straightforwardly. Initially, it was only used for gathering, storing, and structuring data for easy access. It didn’t play any role in the process of analysis and interpretation of data to provide meaningful insight. 

That's why it has become more than necessary to integrate CRM with artificial intelligence (AI) to adapt to the era of digital transformation. With the support of Artificial Intelligence, CRM software has revolutionized the way we enhance our customer relationships. 

The Effect of Artificial Intelligence on Customer Experience

Artificial intelligence, or AI, refers to the ability of machines to think and understand like humans. We have now provided machines with some capabilities that can do much more than just collecting and storing of data. With the help of AI, a system can process a huge chunk of data, analyze it and detect patterns to predict behavior, and also use the same insight to calculate risk. 

Earlier, CRM software would perform the basic function of pulling data from emails, purchases, address books, and form submission. It organized and stored final sales and accurate information about consumers and sales, which were used to make informed decisions and actively address customer issues. 

However, CRM software, with the support of AI, can give you a complete 360-degree view of the customer interactions gathered in real-time. 

The Scope of Artificial Intelligence

  • Efficient Management of Data

Artificial intelligence is a useful resource when it comes to collecting and processing a massive amount of data. AI can help centralize all data from different social channels and digital interfaces into a single platform — CRM. It can then easily interpret and analyze them and provide value to the company’s objective. 

In essence, it will help effortlessly manage the marketing department by enabling them to respond to customers more quickly and efficiently. 

  • Advanced Customer Service Capabilities with NLP

Natural language processing (NLP) in AI is an essential speech recognition capability that can read, decipher, and make sense of the human languages. It can help the CRM platform to meaningfully analyze the textual context of customer emails and send them a precise response. 

At the same time, it can also provide real-time advice for sales pitches and course correction. NLP, combined with CRM tools, can help businesses to reveal their brand sentiments accurately, which will ultimately affect their marketing efforts. 

  • Intelligent Automation of Workflow

As mentioned previously, AI can help predict customers’ behavior based on past interactions. It uses the same insights to evaluate the sales funnels and forecast market dynamics with maximum accuracy. 

It allows businesses to take relevant actions that will have a positive impact. Besides, it entirely results in restructuring and automating the workflow, depending on the insights. For instance, it can help with lead scoring and assist in lead segmentation based on demographics, sales records, and more. 

The Benefits Of Integrating AI and CRM Software Together 

AI has the potential to boost the output of CRM software. It brings about a positive change in the efficiency of the CRM tool. For starters, it can deliver predictive behavior results that can help build targeted offers for your customers.  Similarly, it can provide a holistic view of the customer's entire journey from prospect until retention and help create better business strategies. 

Let's look at some of the ways how AI can help accomplish customer relationship goals.

AI in CRM

1. Understanding How a Customer Feels

Sales and customer service are the foundation of a successful organization. That's why companies spend the most on a CRM that can help them optimize their sales strategy. 

CRM, along with artificial intelligence, can interpret data and help identify customers that are more likely to make another purchase. By predicting customer behavior, they can take more personalized actions to increase the chance of conversions. This also helps in creating a positive image for the brands and generates more leads.  

Besides, AI is now used to analyze customer's emotions as well. It will help you convert a dissatisfied customer into a happy one and increase their retention rate. 

2. Providing Your Consumers With Instant Response 

The best way to increase customer satisfaction is by providing them with quality customer service. An immediate reply from the company is very important for customers when they have a sales or marketing query.

Long before we had CRM and AI, it wasn't very easy to deliver a quick response to the customer query. But now, it's a thing of the past. Things are fast evolving, and with the help of AI, companies can automate common questions that free up extra time for customer reps to focus on more critical issues. 

Businesses are now also focusing on implementing chatbots within the CRM system. Very soon, it will be able to provide real-time advice for sales reps as well. Needless to say, it will help achieve better customer satisfaction and engagement.

3. Improving Application Development

Another important aspect of AI and CRM software combination is that it will be able to create or integrate applications that will help in increasing conversion rates. 

For instance, by integrating customer feedback software with CRM, AI will be able to analyze this data automatically. Using the insights, companies can improve their quality of service and deliver the best in class customer experience to them. 

4. Facilitating Lead Management

As a human, your sales rep may forget to follow up on a lead, or they may have a lot on their plate. Either way, you can’t afford to lose a lead, especially the qualified ones. 

But when AI and CRM come together, it helps simplify lead management. AI can acts as the sales reps, without actually involving any salesperson, and send out relevant messages to a lead via emails or text messenger.

And once the lead is marked at MQL, a sales rep can take over to nurture it further. Thus, the sales team can focus more on qualified lead, and the AI takes care of the rest. 

In short, artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way we engage and nurture our leads, and make follow-up too easy. 

5. Closing in More Leads

Artificial intelligence and customer relationship management software together can provide comprehensive details on parameters like lead scoring, price optimization, forecasting, cross-selling, and more. 

Besides, AI can analyze past sales scenarios, including the accepted and rejected deals, customers buying behavior, and more, and provide useful insights into it. It accordingly makes recommendations, which are quite helpful for sales reps at each stage of the sales pipeline. 

Not only that, but it can also help you identify which strategy is working and which needs improvement. It’s a complete package for your marketing and sales team, leading to an increased number of closes.

In short, these two together can help boost your revenue. 

6. Reaching Out to Global Audience

The internet has brought the entire world closer. But with it came the biggest challenge of serving to customers overseas. 

Language installation has always been costly and a barrier for businesses, especially for small startups. However, now there are AI-powered tools that can translate listing titles and searches for users to easily find and communicate with your business. 

Many companies like Google and Microsoft offer AI-aided translation tools that can be combined with your CRM tools. This enables every business to communicate with its customers all across the globe. 

Conclusion

A CRM is considered as the backbone of any business organization. In the end, you will see a vast improvement in the company’s bottom line. Investing in AI will help you optimize various processes - improved customer service, compelling sales pitches, increased retention rates, improved customer engagement, and more. Artificial intelligence will help create a better experience for both customers and sales representatives. 

The combination of AI and customer relationship management is a gateway to a more profitable business. 

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Thank you to Kiran Bajpai for contributing this article. Kiran Bajpai works as a Marketing Associate at SoftwareSuggest. Her expertise lies in Documents Management Software.  Reading books is something that she can never get bored of, especially those related to politics and history.

Kiran BajpaiKiran BajpaiGuest Contributor