What is/are the real need(s) of your customer? What do they really want?
This age-old question which has beguiled many has nevertheless taken an added urgency in today’s tech-driven digital economy.
Now in spite of all the advances made in the collection of data around the buying habits of the consumers, understanding the ‘true intent’ of the consumers, which is often consecrated as the “Holy Grail” of sales and marketing, still remains exceeding complicated for all enterprise and small businesses.
Nevertheless, in the era of data paranoia, AI is changing that. As a matter of fact, AI is already far surpassing time-honored and traditional analytics software platforms that are struggling to keep pace with the fast-shifting business growth technology landscapes today.
This is because as today’s consumers are constantly plugged-in across multiple devices, therefore for them deciding upon the right paths to purchase looks akin to a Gordian Knot, or like less well-behaved straight lines.
Hence in this scenario, traditional analytics software solutions like plain vanilla, easy to use CRM can take days, and even weeks to produce effective insights after the interaction of a customer with the company.
And this additional time costs brands and companies – in big ways.
Now, data analyzed from hundreds and thousands of hours of customer-to-business voice calls over the phone shows that businesses across a spectrum of industries lose billions of dollars every year since they do not have any insight to perceive what their modern customers want from them during every moment of the customer journey.
Nevertheless, these moment-to-moment interactions (especially those that occur via text messages or over the phone) are what make or break the customer’s experience with their preferred brands or company.
Hence businesses that in spite of using CRM platforms, cannot present their sales teams with actionable intelligence based on customer insights or provide the next best action to their sales reps will inevitably churn and burn through their customers. A vicious cycle that remains in motion forever.
But today these are things of the past because in this present age of customer engagement and this new era of data paranoia Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can nowadays easily process information and data at a rate that by far outpace traditional software solutions for data analytics and business growth, let alone the human brain.
Therefore here are proven three ways how:
1. Personalized Marketing and Selling
Artificial Intelligence, when integrated with easy to use CRM solutions, can power the existing business growth technology better to provide more personalized customer experiences. This happens because AI technology takes just a few seconds to discover and identify patterns and churn out predictive insights that are useful for both acquisition of customers and for boosting engagement.
This capability of AI enables one-on-one marketing strategies to achieve higher levels of customer acquisition by filtering and segregating prospective leads that match the ideal customer profiles in any business.
In fact, in a report published by Segment (a customer data platform that helps to collect, clean, and control data) in 2019 it has been found that more than even 72 percent of the consumers today only get them engaged with marketing messages that were customized to their respective individual needs.
In fact, here is where the beauty of Artificial Intelligence comes to play.
Using colossal datasets AI can tell businesses (that too in real-time) what should work for certain types of customers and what should not.
Now, this information not only help marketers to make their brand’s offerings and messages more relevant, but it also assists the sales reps to modify or adapt their selling tactics during conversations to drive in more positive outcomes, which in short helps to tailor-make a customer journey.
2. Perceiving the 5 Ws and the H
Nowadays, AI can draw-up predictive analytics for looking into customer insights by engaging Natural Language Understanding that helps in finding the five salient Ws (Who, What, Why, Where and When) and H (How), such as:
- Who is texting messages or calling you? Is the consumer a new prospect or a returning one?
- What products or services were discussed during the past conversions (if any)?
- Why are they getting in touch with your company? Is the consumer evaluating new offering(s) or is about to make a purchase decision?
- Where is the consumer located?
- When is the best time to get engaged or convert the consumer?
- How was the conversion conducted (did the consumers buy on their own or did the salesperson handle it well)?
Now as marketers and sales reps can drive rich and personalized actions by finding answers from these questions, without AI the chances of missing the intent of the consumers are much higher and the cost involved for getting mislaid is also significant.
Actually, using AI with CRM software we do not have to imagine as the data tells us how sales reps must personalize each new or existing consumer’s customer journey, since in the present times consumers expect brands to know them, and prospective customers are also quick to move on to other brands if they do not get what they want on their very first try.
3. Marketing and Sales Are Converging for Better Customer Engagement
Finally, as Artificial Intelligence when integrated with robust CRM solutions helps in better understanding of the consumer intent and how to personalize the customer journey, sales, and marketing functions can be converged more seamlessly than ever to boost buying experiences.
In a report published by SiriusDecisions, it has been noted that any salesperson on average uses more than 17 pieces of relevant content to drive their selling process, and these contents are mostly designed by people working in the departments like marketing, hence AI can help to make these contents act relevant and meaningful for sales and make them precisely timed to wherever the buyer is located in their buyer’s journey.
Hence paradoxically, the present AI-powered world where we live makes human connections even more valuable, since using AI to create the simplest of gestures (like prompting welcome-back greetings to a returning customer) can make the gesture made to the customer feel more human.
Apart from it, leveraging the potential of AI to handle routine tasks related to engagement with the customers frees up businesses to spend more time dealing with complex customer-facing interactions that need empathy to understand the intent of the customers- which we named at the very onset as the “Holy Grail”.