The Impact of AI on CRM and Digital Transformation

The Impact of AI on CRM and Digital Transformation

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By John Chan

Artificial Intelligence (AI), defined as the intelligence demonstrated by machines is a key element of a Digital Transformation that will impact all aspects of businesses worldwide. At present, AI is providing a major influence in the marketplace as the Gartner Group stated that by the end of 2018, 20% of business content was created by machines. AI applications are currently having a huge impact on the CRM and Digital Transformation marketplace. There are two forces in today’s marketplace that are causing an enormous increase in demand for AI applications: The Cloud and Big Data.

The Cloud & CRM

The development and the market standard acceptance of the Cloud enable CRM systems to integrate with data from different digital sources (e.g., Social Media Websites, on-line public records, etc.). As the use of applications available on the Cloud grows, CRM systems will need to capture and categorize an upsurge of data concerning customers, prospects, organizations and the marketplace. For example, a CRM user will be able to access not just the basic information on a contact, but also his/her Social Media profiles, job history and details on all dealings he/she has had with his/her organization.

A CRM solution integrated with AI applications can provide users with functionality pertaining to:

  • Predictive Lead Scoring
  • Forecasting
  • Recommendations

The main objective of a CRM system – AI application integration is for the AI applications to conduct the pertinent data analysis and make more accurate forecasts or recommendations concerning the organization’s customers or prospects from all the data collected in the CRM system. With CRM – AI integration, AI technologies can serve to automate the organization’s sales, marketing, and customer service processes. The AI automation of an organization’s processes will enhance immensely the organizational management of crucial sales, marketing, and customer service operations.

AI – CRM Consumer Goods Company Case Study

A major consumer goods company is using AI technologies with its CRM system for its marketing efforts. This company has 26 data centers around the world where its staff is utilizing AI solutions to determine significant market insights from a variety of resources such as Social Media Websites, mobile activity data, and conventional market research. A key goal of their AI utilization is to switch from mass research channels to personalized communications that are more cost-effective for marketing towards their consumer base. This consumer goods company had been previously able to use AI and machine learning to organize and classify structured data, but not unstructured data (e.g., text, Social Media, mobile activity data). The company’s current AI solutions can analyze information from the content posted from multiple sources and other peoples’ responses to these postings.

From their AI initiative, the company’s staff discovered that there was a market for offering ice cream products for breakfast. Its ice cream subsidiary released a new variety of cereal – flavored ice cream products. The success of these cereal – flavored ice cream products created a new profitable market niche.

Big Data & Digital Transformation

The availability of Big Data applications in the marketplace has created an opportunity among organizations for the processing and analysis of the enormous amount of data generated by an organization’s operations. AI systems can assist with the organizations’ Digital Transformation efforts via the automation of critical processes. These processes will provide for the appropriate and immediate actions upon the discovery of an important insight. AI applications can be additionally integrated with Big Data applications for deeper insight into customer and prospect behavior. The resulting benefit of this integration will be more accurate predictions and new insights concerning an organization’s treatment of its products and services. These new insights can be utilized for the process of creating better experiences for its customers. AI applications can thus assist in achieving the organization’s key objectives more cost-effectively than its own staff can.

Key AI Impact on Digital Experiences

  • Personalization – AI can create recognition of specific persons and afterward offer each person a personalized digital experience.
  • Advertising – AI can provide programmatic advertising (AI algorithms make the ad buying, placement and optimization process of ads more efficient so that advertisers only pay for ads delivered to the right people at the right time.).
  • Analytics – AI analytics can be set to find every relevant data point that is critical and afterward recommends certain actions to solve problems.

AI – Digital Transformation Company Case Studies

As part of their Digital Transformation effort, a major delivery firm has developed a Chatbot. This Chatbot can imitate human conversation and provide AI responses to customer queries such as a company location, along with tracking shipments and providing shipping rates. Customers can ask the Chatbot questions by text or voice commands via mobile devices, Social Media Websites and virtual assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant. The Chatbot is programmed in a way that it will automatically learn from its past experiences to better serve the customer.

In addition, this delivery firm is beginning its implementation of a new Network Planning Tools (NPT) initiative to improve the flow of packages from the loading areas to sorting and to the final destination. With real-time data, AI functionality and analytics, the NPT enables the company staff to make decisions to improve efficiencies. Company management is expecting to save between $100 – $200 million with the intelligence that the NPT will provide.

Likewise, a major beverage company is investing heavily in AI technologies for its Digital Transformation efforts to obtain deeper insights from the data it collects. It is currently developing a virtual assistant AI bot similar to that of Alexa and Siri. This AI bot will be placed in vending machines (that can mix drinks) to provide for improved data collection of purchases and greater personalization of the customer’s mixed drinks. Customers will thus be able to purchase their favorite blend of soda mixtures from the vending machine via the personalization effort. The drink choices offered by the vending machine can additionally be personalized from the machine’s location (e.g., hospital, shopping mall, etc.).

This beverage company has also utilized AI-driven image recognition technology to recognize when a photograph of a specific product is put on an Internet Website (e.g., a Social Media channel). AI algorithms are used to target the Internet photo placement user with specific advertisements that are relevant to his/her needs. These advertisements have a four times probability of being clicked upon by such users compared against other targeted advertisement methods.

Current Status of AI

At present, AI has not created extraordinary change for most organizations. AI-powered change has been delicate with increasingly potential algorithms learning from big data sets and making judgments from actual practice. However, as AI application implementations grow, Accenture foresees that AI will have the capability of increasing profitability rates for many organizations by an average of 38% through 2035.

 

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