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What is AI doing in customer management?

Does personal, individual customer service no longer count?

Sabine, Marketing Manager, describes in this article from her point of view why it is needed: AI in CRM.

Did I think or am I wrong? So far, I have always put aside the idea of artificial intelligence (AI for short) in CRM. It sounded more like future music than tried and tested processes. Bots had something so offensive.

But then I wanted to create a presentation on the topic of pioneering software. I first had to google what falls under artificial intelligence.

  • Speech recognition
  • Machine translation
  • Text recognition and text generation
  • Data Mining and Text Mining for Analytics & Forecasts
  • Optical character recognition (text is read aloud)
  • Bots
  • Handwriting
  • Image recognition (example: automatic tagging)
  • Expert system: Solutions for complex questions (example: Watson)
  • Voice control up to the digital voice assistant

Modern CRM software already uses some functions to do this. But the bandwidth for AI in CRM is still large. There is already a lot of research results and the first tests with comprehensive AI are already underway in CRM. Self-learning bots support website visitors. But there will still be functions with great computing power, which makes AI in CRM a groundbreaking tool in customer acquisition and retention.

This list also immediately made a film in front of my mind’s eye, which we could improve in our daily work with AI in CRM.

Free checklist: Your CRM requirements

What requirements does your CRM system have to meet? Select your desired functions, processes and interfaces. This gives you the perfect basis to successfully compare different adherens.

Companies need forecasts to stay competitive

Customers are now more diverse than they used to be, because they have much more and very different channels at their disposal for communicating and acting. However, more comparison possibilities and more touchpoints (touchpoints) between companies and customers also pose new challenges for companies when it comes to managing customer experiences.

If you do not meet customer expectations along the Customer Journey at one or more touchpoints, the customer will separate you. A change to the competition is very easy for the customer today. On the Internet he finds many comparison portals and product reviews. Virtually every contact with the customer must trigger enthusiasm in order for them to remain – keyword: Customer Experience. And of course also Customer Centricity.

Customers are increasingly using digital touchpoints (websites, social media, online shops, apps, etc.). Companies need to respond to this. What contact points does the customer expect? What is the underlying process? Every click on a website, every post on social media, every order in the shop generates a large amount of new data. Do we have any chance of meeting the requirements without AI in CRM?

IDC study sees 175 zetabytes of data in 2025

A new study by the IDC shows that the global data volume will grow to 175 zetabytes (that is a 175 with 21 zeros) by 2025. In particular, the volume of data in companies is growing rapidly: in 2025, the bytes stored there account for around 80 percent of the total.

Without analyses and forecasts, companies can’t make any progress. They help to identify revenue potential and create the perfect customer experience that eventually leads to customer loyalty.

How will all touchpoints and large amounts of data be managed in the future?

With the support of AI in CRM and your CRM system. According to McKinsey Global Institute, in theory, 40 of all traditional sales tasks could be taken over by artificial intelligence. Some “prophets” even claim that artificial intelligence in the CRM system – through data, sample matching, and individual testing – could recognize needs and recommendations for action even before companies and customers.

The modern CRM software thus develops into a holistic platform for interaction with customers. Necessary data from the ERP and other external services are integrated. Companies have a basis for their data collected in CRM that can be analyzed for specific patterns. For example, your company is losing customers? If the CRM system detects a pattern, you can take the next step, in this case taking appropriate action to prevent customers from moving away.

What is possible or will be possible with use of AI in CRM

A few simple examples and the benefits of AI in CRM

  • Text and image recognition: Helps understand customer communications, analyze emails and websites, and social media channels
  • Data Mining and Text Mining: Detects new cross-connections and trends as well as meaning structures by systematically applying statistical methods and algorithm-based analysis methods to large data sets
  • Analyses and forecasts: Recognize patterns. Insights into customer touchpoints from the growing mountains of data are pulling through
    a. Analysis of past deals
    b. Analysis of the Customer Journey
    How and through which channel is the customer to be addressed? At what points is the rate of emigration greatest? Identify problem points and find appropriate countermeasures, e.g. with personalized offers instead of annoying with unwanted offers
  • Expert systems: IBM works with Watson, an AI platform that develops chat bots and virtual agents that quickly and efficiently respond to customer questions and meet their needs. This is already used in medicine, among other things. It is only a matter of time before this AI will be successful in its customer management
  • Chat bots: They relieve the burden by having automatic dialogs via chats. In practice, there is a high acceptance of the chat function. It is available anytime, anywhere
  • Machine translation of texts: It supports in international business (e.g. by connecting the external service DeepL) – whether in marketing, sales or service

My conclusion: Without AI in CRM, optimal customer support is no longer possible.

The marketing department can appeal to customers much more specifically because promising contacts become visible, for example as a list or as a graphic. The sales manager gains time because, instead of having to take care of all contacts in person, he only has to dedicate himself to the promising deals. The service finally successfully binds these customers to the company.

Give me a voice assistant

By the way, my personal dream for everyday work would be the digital voice assistant. In the morning, a short stand-up meeting with colleagues to determine the tasks. After that, I hand over a large part of the task packages to the wizard, which initiates automated processes that I no longer have to worry about. In the time I have gained, I am creative, developing new marketing ideas, my absolute favourite activity. The workplace of the future promises to become so much more attractive with AI in CRM. Welcome Brave New Work.