AI has arrived and it’s making its presence known, from innovation to productivity, businesses are finding new and exciting ways to integrate Artificial Intelligence into their operations. Spurred on by the promise of an increase in productivity, around 64% of businesses expect to see AI improve their output levels. But how can AI improve CRM?
CRM systems are already designed to improve lead management and make customer relationships easier to cultivate. Approximately 91% of organisations with more than 11 employees already use a CRM system.
According to data analysis conducted by CRM experts partners, Pragmatiq, full AI integration with CRM software could change how organisations perceive the management tool. From an improved return on investment to exemplary customer retention rates, cultivated customer relationships could see profits boom.
How Does CRM Work Without AI?
CRM systems are designed to nurture customers and possible leads. They’re excellent for storing data, tracking interactions, and sharing information. Although customer relationships have always been important for businesses, the invention of the Rolodex in the 1950s was arguably the first tool put in place to support customer data management.
Since then, CRM has come a long way and is deemed vital for the overall customer experience when dealing with a business. Current systems enable businesses to predict certain customer behaviours and produce targeted marketing that directly meets their needs or solves their problems.
AI only stands to enhance this and meet the growing demand for full customer personalisation without the immense price tag it currently carries. With 89% of businesses investing in personalisation, it relies on good decisions around behavioural targeting and the stages customers are at on their purchase journey. Done right, around 76% of consumers have expressed a sense of loyalty to brands that offer personalisation. That’s why AI and CRM combined could be of huge benefit to businesses.
How Successful Are CRM Systems for Businesses?
By now, many companies have already invested in CRM software that revolutionises their customer relationship management process. In fact, many organisations and customers have reported a positive trend in sales and customer retention when using a CRM system.
- Customer retention rates have improved by as much as 27%
- Three out of four customers ended up spending more money with a company after receiving a positive experience
- Around 75% of sales managers have confirmed an increase in sales as well as a drive amongst their sales force
The business case for a CRM system is already well-evidenced with it appearing to holistically affect all individuals within the sales process.
Having a management tool in place for staff, especially the sales force, also sees a drive to exceed targets. With the right approach, this is nothing but beneficial to a company. CRM systems remove the hurdles for sales staff and successfully integrate with other tools, such as email, to better help them track leads and nurture potential customers.
What is AI Doing for CRM?
With CRM already such a useful tool for many, introducing AI into CRM systems is likely to make day-to-day tasks quicker to carry out, giving employees space and time to focus on the more demanding tasks.
Some of the features AI offers CRM include:
- Customer data analysis across a wide range of criteria
- Customer contact privacy and consent management
- Predictive analytics that forecast customer behaviour
- Lead scoring and lead prioritisation for targeted marketing
- More personalised customer interactions through email and social media
- Chatbots or virtual assistants that offer more availability for customers
- Sentiment and impression analysis to determine positive or negative reactions
- Automation with workflow and automatic processing of certain tasks
- Sales forecasting measuring relevant factors and criteria
- Voice-activated CRM that is hands-free
CRM users say these features are more than welcome across the workforce. It’s often the case that businesses will switch to new CRM platforms when their current system lacks the right features. With 94% of users requiring a contact management feature and 88% of users needing interaction tracking tools, the switchover to more advanced AI-integrated software will be a worthwhile investment.
Personalised interactions are considered a fundamental part of the CRM process. That’s why CRM software is adopted by companies who want to foster loyalty amongst their customers and achieve a higher return on investment.
Customers are now looking for more than an email addressed to them. They want solutions to their exact problems, and they want them served straight to their doorstep. Simplifying the customer journey could mean a more complex strategy for marketers. However, with AI this could automatically be resolved. Through more focused buyer personas, established through data, AI will be able to offer marketing strategists real-time insights into valuable customer segments. Inevitably, this will lead to more concentrated campaigns that target the most loyal and biggest spenders, whilst also starting the nurturing programme for new customers.