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Artificial Intelligence - how it will impact CRM?

 By Alpesh Chauhan, CRM Lead Consultant, Oracle Practice, Manufacturing Unit, Infosys

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With advance algorithms, superior computing power and cost-effective data storage capabilities, time has arrived for Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is making applications and platforms smarter by self-learning, adapting and evolving their capabilities based on the insights from data and interactions. 

In simple term, AI is all about predicting next steps with high accuracy by applying intelligent data models on large volume of data. AI is everywhere and we are using it daily with features like Google's autocomplete search, Netflix program recommendations, and collision avoidance features in cars, etc.  

Internet of Things (IoT) is ubiquitous and CRM users are already enjoying benefits of IoT and AI through their electronic devices. Modern CRM users are expecting cutting edge IoT and AI capabilities from CRM platforms for seamless smart Customer Experience (CX). CRM is all about customer interactions and AI is expected to play key role in making these interactions smarter. CRM giants are betting big on AI. 

  • Salesforce Einstein is designed to discover insights, predict outcome and provide recommendations through their customer success platform. 
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 with advanced AI capabilities, brings together their ERP and CRM suites running on Azure cloud and Cortana intelligence services, enabling user to use power of world's fastest supercomputer
  • Oracle's adaptive intelligence apps expected to launch in spring'17 to add value in CX, ERP, SCM and HCM space.

Sales, Service and Marketing - All customer interactions will be influenced by AI in coming days. I would like to highlight few smart Service Interactions use cases, which will be new normal in the service industry in coming days, in fact  few use cases are already been implemented by service providers.

  • Automatically create service request based on customer's comments any online social platform and contact customer proactively for issue resolution. 
  • Collect machine/appliance data and predict failure in advance using IoT and AI and offer preventive maintenance services. For e.g. collect car health check data in real time and trigger preventive inspection request, informing customer about possible mechanical issue and offer preventive services in advance and also suggesting nearby service centers.
  • Notify customer in real time about order processing or shipment delays.  AI enabled CRM application can offer explanations and alternatives before customer raises any concern
  • Collating data from discrete data sources and provide call center agents with actionable insights to provide better service and also help them improve service metrics

With rapid technology shift, Artificial Intelligence will enhance CRM capabilities quickly. It will not only make CRM applications smarter but also help organizations to improve productivity. It will provide CRM personnel with predictive insights about the customers and also provide recommendation for cross/up selling products. AI will enable CRM applications to provide unified customer experience as per modern customer expectation. AI capabilities in CRM platforms will not only reduce failure points but also ensure minimal customer effort while resolving customer issues. 

It is surely exciting time ahead for CRM. Let me know your views on how Artificial Intelligence will impact CRM and which customer interactions are going to be impacted most. 

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