CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software has become the largest software market in the world. At the current growth rate, the CRM industry is expected to be worth more than $80 billion by 2025.
You may be wondering what’s fueling this kind of growth.
Well, the simple answer is that CRM software is a game-changing technology, and companies need it to manage data in real-time. And now, these systems are fully integrated with artificial intelligence, which is skyrocketing their capabilities.
AI has been part of our lives for a while now, and whether you notice it or not, its impact is huge.
Think about it, social media, web searches, and email all have AI features. When you use YouTube or streaming services like Netflix, it’s AI that recommends content based on your preferences.
Basically, the point of artificial intelligence is to make your life easier. Now, imagine integrating AI into an already invaluable system like a CRM.
Let’s talk about how an AI-powered CRM program can help you run your business.
The Importance of a CRM System for Your Business
Here’s why CRM software is vital for companies in today’s competitive business environment:
The Store and Manage Data
Data is a valuable asset for any business as it provides insight into customer trends that can be used to make more informed decisions. CRMs allow you to automate and store vast amounts of data, taking much of the administrative work off your hands.
However, CRMS don’t just house data — they also help you manage it by prioritizing what’s important and keeping you in the loop the whole time.
They Improve Productivity via Automation
Integrating a powerful CRM system into your business can improve overall productivity by replacing various manual processes with automation.
Automation can reduce employee workload, cutting down on costs and freeing up time for them to put more effort into other areas of the business.
CRMs are able to replace manual processes by offering integration with other business channels like social media and email marketing.
They Provide a Central Business Point
CRM systems come with smart dashboards that you can set up for various employees in your company.
You’re also able to configure the dashboard to showcase specific metrics to each individual on the project. This allows everyone to track their productivity.
In addition, a single real-time dashboard gathers multiple areas of a business to one central point, easing collaborations and improving performance.
The Manage Customer Lifecycles
Customers are the backbone of a business. Everything you do revolves around attracting prospects, converting them into customers, and retaining them.
With a CRM, you are able to track the development of your customer relationships in real-time. This gives a clear picture of the customer lifecycle to help you make decisions and design new strategies.
They Improve Customer Experience
Another key benefit of a customer relationship management tool is that it improves customer experience, resulting in higher satisfaction and retention rates.
CRMs ensure customer satisfaction by tracking every process and interaction, then making that information available to your team whenever they need it to offer assistance.
Why Businesses Need to Integrate AI Into Their CRMs
Artificial intelligence is capable of transforming the way CRMs work for the better. Here are the top five reasons you should integrate AI into your CRM tool immediately:
1. Personalized Customer Support
One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is providing personalized support to each customer.
Let’s say you called a company for assistance and made some progress, but when you call back the next day, the person you talk to has no idea what you’re talking about.
Sometimes, you may receive the assistance that seems like a one-size-fits-all solution.
Unfortunately, such scenarios are pretty common. The reality is that a handful of service agents can’t manage vast amounts of customer data without help — it’s unrealistic.
However, an AI-integrated CRM can help businesses narrow down personalized behaviour and come up with customer patterns based on previous interactions. While it’s impossible for a human being to do, an AI-powered CRM can easily analyze and organize vast amounts of data in real-time.
2. Efficient Data Management
The current competitive business environment depends on technology to efficiently serve market demand. This also means there’s a need for enormous and detailed amounts of data for analysis.
However, most of this data is raw and unorganized, even with the use of CRMs. Usually, this task falls on the shoulders of service agents, who are required to structure and organize this data, deriving relevant and actionable information from what is basically a pit of incomplete CRM data.
Granted, CRMs simplify the data-gathering process, collecting and showcasing everything in one place, but it’s also upon your team to manage these tasks, which can take a lot of time.
Now, with the integration of artificial intelligence into CRMs, businesses can expect an increased level of accuracy when sorting out data. And while humans are able to offer high-quality data, they are not quite as effective as AI.
You see, once implemented, AI is capable of following preset configurations, endlessly detecting errors and irregularities present in raw CRM data. This, in turn, improves the customer relationship process.
3. Service Automation
Getting customers to buy your product or service is not what makes them stay. You can close deals easily with good marketing, but customer retention requires a quality product and good customer service.
In fact, as high as 70 per cent of consumers would rather pay extra money to a company that offers good customer service and leaves them satisfied.
The question is, how can integrating AI with your CRM improve the customer experience?
Well, by offering simple AI-powered services before and after-sales.
Take a look at the chatbot feature that has swept through today’s business atmosphere. Companies are using AI to engage with prospects, answering queries, and following up with post-sale services.
Most of these services are automated, reducing workload while still optimizing the customer experience.
Some of the routine tasks an AI-powered CRM can take over may include answering routine queries, sending out automated check-up emails, booking specific personnel for client phone calls, and so on.
The idea is that an AI-powered CRM will make it easier for customers to receive fast responses at all times, which can help companies close more leads and improve retention rates.
4. Efficient Lead Management
Another big challenge businesses are facing today is figuring out which leads require more attention. This is common, especially in large companies generating tons of leads.
Sales agents may have a hard time differentiating hot leads from cold. Or, they may forget to properly follow up on prospects because they are bogged down by other tasks.
The truth is that it becomes more challenging to manually comb through and categorize a large volume of leads.
Now, these challenges directly affect the efficiency of the lead management process, meaning quality leads start to slip through the cracks. You also end up putting more effort into low-priority leads.
By integrating artificial intelligence into your CRM, the result is an enhanced lead management resource that improves the quality of interaction to qualify leads and nurture them into prospects.
AI has the capacity to engage with hundreds of leads as the first point of contact, categorizing them based on interest and transferring them to a human representative when necessary.
5. Efficient Customer Analysis
In business, the understanding customer is a huge thing. It builds trust and loyalty, two things every business aims for when it comes to customer relationships.
A study by Salesforce reveals that 79 per cent of consumers value interactions with trusted sales reps.
However, most business-customer interactions happen through virtual channels, such as social media and voice calls. These channels have little to offer in the way of analyzing customer sentiment, which makes it a challenge for sales reps to build a strong connection with customers.
This is where artificial intelligence comes in — to help with customer analysis.
An AI-integrated CRM will be able to assess these interactions and use preset cues to determine customers’ emotional states. This is valuable information for sales reps, as it can help them to understand their customers’ needs and respond accordingly.
Thanks to technology, the business scene is always changing, and the transformations are pretty fast-paced, too.
As it stands, CRMs are very relevant for businesses right now. You absolutely need one if you want to keep up with customer demands.
However, with customers forever searching for faster, more efficient, and personalized business interactions, AI-powered CRMs appear to have become the answer.
Caitlin Sinclair is the property manager at Mirella at Foxboro, a new apartment community in North Salt Lake, UT.
I am a passionate blogger sharing business tips. I write primarily on SEO, Email Marketing, CRM, Marketing Automation and covers the entire gamut of marketing.