Artificial intelligence (AI) has undoubtedly come a long way from where it began. From robots programmed to play chess in the 1950s to AI designed to allow cars to run on autopilot, the technology has improved by leaps and bounds. Pattern recognition capabilities for AI have become so much more intricate and complex, especially with the advent of technologies like cognitive computing and natural language recognition. Now more than ever, artificial intelligence is able to receive extremely intricate inputs and make sense of the data collected. Where the technology sits today is a far cry from the artificial intelligence we knew just a decade ago; every day, more advancements are made. It is little wonder, then, that artificial intelligence is being looked at as a way to improve Customer Relationship Management software.
In theory, CRM software is wonderful. It collects input from all sorts of sources – phone calls, email correspondences, and the like – and neatly and accurately places all of that information into databases where it’s easily accessible for marketing and customer service purposes. It’s a dream come true for many companies – the ability of automated systems to accurately collect and utilize information has the potential to help cut back on large, difficult-to-control expenses like payroll.
Outsourcing to a computer should be more economically beneficial than outsourcing to a call center, after all. The efficiency of CRM allows sales reps to focus more on achieving sales goals and less on data input. It allows companies to generate marketing campaigns based on a customer’s geographic location, and it even knows when to send automated customer service and marketing calls. Customers never deal with blunders like duplicate sales calls, and companies get a much better return on their investment by making sure their marketing campaigns are as true to the target audience as possible. Great, right?
Data Leakage and Data Missing
Again, this technology is great in theory. The hope is that CRM is capable of doing all of this and more, but the reality is that some CRM tools just aren’t up to snuff. While it sounds crazy for a business to not jump on the CRM software bandwagon, many companies are still leery of the technology – and with good reason: it could be a huge investment for a system full of inconsistencies. At this time, many companies don’t want to even try to utilize the technology because some part of the CRM software on the market is plagued with potentially horrible problems like data leakage, inaccurate information, and sometimes even missing data altogether. The prevailing attitude among businesses these days seems to be that outsourcing to call centers is still more efficient and better for the bottom line than using the call centers’ automated counterparts – after all, a human can reason and logically deduce where to place that information as it is collected, leading to greater accuracy. Lots of businesses are using CRM, but many, many more are not. CRM technology needs to be improved – and AI has the answer for all of its troubles.
Having More Effective CRM for More Benefits
It’s a daunting task, but it can be done. The type of AI used today is what’s known as Artificial Narrow Intelligence, or ANI. This technology is everywhere – from your cell phone to your car’s fuel injection system. This kind of AI is designed to recognize a specific set of parameters and trigger a reaction to them. The chess-playing robots of the 1950s were incredible at chess, but don’t ask them to organize any files on your computer- they simply can’t do it.
ANI can be fine-tuned to recognize speech patterns and figure an according response; and this kind of technology is exactly what CRM needs in order to improve hyper-compartmentalized ANI components that excel at recognizing data and accurately inputting said data into the correct spot to be utilized later. Again, it’s more complicated than it sounds, but here’s where startup companies could swoop in to save the day.
Lots of startup companies may be focused on fine-tuning this technology to be successfully implemented in CRM software in the future, ultimately making it even more effective. Doing this has great advantages for all parties involved – by increasing CRM efficiency, the technology becomes more attractive to potential business customers – after all, higher accuracy means a better return on investment, and ultimately an even better bottom line. And startups can benefit by selling the improved software.
Let it be said that this technology has a long way to go. The task is daunting and there are many pitfalls. However, with startup companies beginning to hone AI technology and implement it effectively in the future, the dream of even more effective CRM software may be closer to a reality than many of us realize.