Article

Helen Cartwright
Helen Cartwright 10 December 2020

How to Extend The Capabilities of CRM Using IoT and AI

Are you planning to embrace AI or IoT-enabled CRM tools for nurturing long-term relationships with your customers? The factors highlighted in this post will help you understand how these novelties can help your CRM boost sales.

Forming long-lasting customer relationships is the key aspect of all businesses. That's why it is essential to implement an integrated customer relationship management system into your operations. A feature-packed customer relationship management software (CRM software) helps you flourish in the industry, thus, doing wonders to your business.

However, CRM solutions are currently going through a significant transformation driven by the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). That's why organizations across the globe are embracing CRM software with AI and IoT capabilities for accumulating, storing, and centralizing interactions in a better way. 

1. Role of AI in CRM

To understand how innovative technologies are empowering organizations to redefine their CRM strategy, we would first dive into AI and its significance in CRM. 

So what is the role of AI in CRM? The answer is quite simple-

  • To streamline routine CRM tasks and save time on repetitive tasks;
  • Deliver predictive responses to your clients via AI chat bots so that your clients won't have to wait too long;
  • Provide actionable insights to further business growth; and
  • Offer cross-channel customer experience.

1.1. Advantages of AI-powered CRM

  • AI-enabled CRM, helps you make use of deep data analytics with ease. It also helps you segment your customers based on their demographics and purchasing habits.
  • AI also helps your brand harness the power of natural language processing (NLP) for decoding spoken/written words to comprehend your customers' sentiment and the meaning of their message. 

1.2. Does AI help overcome sales challenges? 

AI-powered CRM helps sales teams understand customer requirements and sell more efficiently. It also helps you meet various sales challenges that prevent you from achieving your business goals. For instance, 

  • Many CRM solutions fail to gather adequate sales data;
  • Often sales professionals fail to locate real-time data in their CRM tools. 
  • Owing to the lack of analytical capabilities of sourcing data, sometimes sales professionals struggle to analyse data to meet the ever-changing demand of modern customers.

Through the strategic use of data generated by AI-enabled CRM tools, you can easily combat these sales challenges and take your business to new levels of success.

1.3. Drawbacks of AI in CRM

Every technology has its drawbacks, and AI is no exception. The drawbacks of AI-enabled CRM are cited below:

  • Data quality: Since CRMs often generate erroneous data, how can you expect to convert the data into useful insights? Even though AI is capable of generating accurate recommendations, how would you know the recommendations are accurate as they are not grounded on valid data? 
  • Not all customers prefer chatting with CRM chat bots: The idea of chatting with robots leaves many customers feeling neglected. However, that shouldn't stop you from using chatbots altogether, but you should also consider having a human support team as back up.

1.4. Does your company need AI-enabled CRM?

The answer to this question depends on your company's requirements and situation. Companies that are leveraging the power of AI in their CRM software are, no doubt, reaping a lot of business benefits. However, businesses that are already struggling to adopt CRM software may find it superfluous.

Nevertheless, many forward-thinking companies are investing in AI-driven CRMs to derive a competitive advantage; therefore, you too should consider jumping on the bandwagon without further ado.

2. The Internet-of-Things (IoT) Enabled CRM

Now that you have a fair idea of AI-powered CRM solutions, let's move on to the role of Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT integration is increasingly gaining momentum across the globe. But how is IoT revolutionizing CRM and boosting your sales performance and driving better customer service? Below, we elucidate the role played by IoT-enabled CRM for propelling business improvement.

With the IoT-enabled CRM, you can connect devices to the internet, thus driving actionable insights across sales/marketing and customer service departments. 

2.1. How can IoT help you improve your CRM?

  • Generates valuable data: IoT generates huge volumes of sales data from connected devices to provide necessary information about a prospective customer's purchasing habits, location, likes/dislikes, etc. in real-time.
  • Optimize your business offerings: Data collected by the IoT helps you optimize your business offerings and understand your products' performance. It also helps you identify potential issues and enhance the overall value of your products/services.
  • Offers a personalized CRM service: The impatient Millennial customers want regular updates about the status of their purchases. To help them follow their purchases and to provide them with clearer visibility of deliveries, you need to offer a consistent service across channels. For example, if your client comments on Facebook/twitter that he/she is struggling to locate a product, real-time CRM will use IoT technology to intuit and notify your customer support team whenever your customers need assistance. 

2.2. Challenges:

The IoT-enabled CRM also faces certain challenges that it will need to overcome.

  • Businesses should make sure that customer data is stored securely and transmitted safely.
  • Also, IoT marketing channels must be shielded against hackers. 
  • The fear among sceptic customers to share sensitive data also acts as a major obstacle. Businesses should educate customers about the benefits of sharing personal data without feeling uncomfortable doing so.  
  • The cost of incorporating the IoT calls for a major investment, something many SMEs cannot afford to do.

Though the IoT presents several challenges, its adopters should take stringent measures to address the challenges. Only when you are aware of and prepared for the problems associated with IoT adoption can you surpass your competitors.

Wrapping Up

The IoT is considered the future of CRM as the latter greatly relies on this technology. Devices with internet connectivity, such as wearables, smartwatches, internet-connected kiosks, etc., are making headway in the IoT market, which can be a great source of deriving constant information. Therefore, it is a prudent decision to leverage this trend into your CRM to reap its benefits to the fullest.

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