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CRM An AI

It’s been said that artificial intelligence is the future, but I’d argue that AI is very much a thing of the here and now. It’s playing an increasingly significant role in marketing efforts, and is taking marketing automation to the next level. And during an era when customers are demanding fast and hyper-personalized service, AI-based technologies couldn’t be more critical. AI-based technologies bolster marketing automation efforts through personalized interactions. Your business can benefit on a multitude of fronts by embracing these game-changing advancements.


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Email marketing

It’s easy for emails to get lost in the shuffle of a busy day. After all, inboxes are overflowing with meeting reminders, work correspondence and plenty of promotions. Enticing a customer to simply open a marketing-related email can be challenging. But with the right tools, you can consider that challenge conquered. 


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AI-based technologies are helping marketers win the attention of potential customers in numerous ways. For instance, they’re allowing small- and medium sized businesses to improve their email marketing automation strategies by knowing who to target, when and how frequently.

Know your target:AI helps businesses understand – and foresee – customer behavior patterns, and detect which strategies email subscribers best respond to. It can also help businesses more effectively automate emails to ensure customers are receiving personalized correspondence and promotions relevant to their needs.


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Adding a personalized touch to emails pays off. A Statisa study shows that personalized emails had an open rate of 18.1 percent, compared to a 13.1 open rate for non-personalized emails. 

Engage thy customer:Of course, AI-generated emails should do more than attract customers – they should also engage them. Email subject lines can be tailored for each customer, for example, while the emails themselves might contain personalized offers. 


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Lead nurturing 

When it comes to gathering and analyzing customer information, we mortals are no match for the pace and efficiency of computers. AI-based programs are capable of processing user data at lightning speed, and can be hyper-responsive to customer needs.

Automating the data collection process can help simplify the lead-nurturing process for businesses, while AI can set the course for future marketing strategies.

Capturing information:AI provides marketers with the valuable information they need to close a sale. It tells us when someone has visited their site, which pages they visited and how much time they spent perusing products. 

Marketing teams are using this data to drive sales, and if statistics are any indication, it’s working. AI could lead to an economic boost of $14 trillion in additional gross value added (GVA) by 2035, according to Accenture research.

Automated actions:As I mentioned earlier, AI-based software doesn’t just benefit businesses in the long term — it can also be of tremendous value in the present. Through AI, valuable customer information is being captured in real time, and can be instantly used to tempt shoppers with personalized offers and targeted advertisements. Forrester has predicted that 20 percent of enterprises will begin using AI to make decisions and provide real-time marketing instructions.

Cross-selling

Successful businesses strive to equip customers with the tools and services they need. The trouble is, it can be a bit tricky to determine what those needs are.

AI aid:While automation can help track previous purchases and user experiences, AI can take that information and make predictions on the potential for additional sales. It can determine whether a customer is a good candidate for additional products or services and establish which products a customer might be in the market for next. 

Once your sales and marketing teams are made aware of your business’s cross-selling potential, they can make customers aware of those additional offerings.

Retention

A happy customer is a loyal customer. AI can help you retain your existing customer base by providing you with a better understanding of client needs. You might think you already have a handle on that front with your CRM platform, but AI can provide a more complete, more actionable picture of your current customers.

Meantime, customers will appreciate the personalized service AI-based software offers, and are more likely to become repeat customers.

Reengaging past customers

Customers come and go – and they’ll come again with the right approach. Whatever the reason for losing a customer, it’s never too late to win them back – especially with some artificial assistance.

Helpful insights:AI can provide insight into how and why a customer left, and help determine the best way to reconnect. For example, it can be used to send an email with product recommendations based on a customer’s purchase history, or inform them of any relevant price drops.

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking into customer engagement and sales/marketing success strategy, you’re undoubtedly already familiar with the ways in which automation can help your business. Now, it’s time to build on those benefits by incorporating AI-based technologies into your marketing strategy. 

Businesses are becoming increasingly competitive and to remain relevant, AI-based technologies must be embraced.

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Rest Your Weary Fingers—Voice Activation Is Coming To A CRM Near You

We spend a lot of time talking to our gadgets these days. Whether we’re seeking directions from Siri or weather updates from Alexa, speech is quickly becoming a preferred means of communicating with technology. A future once at our fingertips now rests at the tips of our tongues.

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Voice activated technology doesn’t just afford us fun tools for our private lives – this technology is playing an increasingly pivotal role in the professional world, too. And that extends to the small and midsized business space. Voice activation is now helping small and midsized businesses use customer relationship management (CRM) software with more speed and efficiency. This burgeoning feature becoming a game changer in a world where the tech-savviest players win.

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Here’s how your business can, and should, use voice activation for CRM to its advantage.

Alexa, help save me time

Voice-activated CRMs have become significant time-saving tools for professionals across the board.

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They help users interact with data in more targeted ways, meaning they can bypass irrelevant information and skip directly to the data they’re seeking. A time-crunched salesman can simply say: “Alexa, open Act! and retrieve John Smith’s email” rather than opening a CRM program on a computer and manually retrieving the information.

Speech-to-text software can be a real timesaver for data entry, too. Rather than the costly and monotonous task of manually imputing data, users can rely on software to submit information via speech. This saves hours. The average worker types 50-70 words per minute. Meanwhile, speech recognition programs can accommodate 120-140 words per minute with near-perfect accuracy. And if you’re serious about saving time, forget texting. A Stanford study found speech recognition to be three-times faster than typing on a phone.

Alexa, help me adapt

As I mentioned, many people are already using voice activation in their day-to-day lives. According to a recent study, nearly 40 percent of smartphone owners use voice recognition software.

Naturally, small and midsized business owners and employees will want to use voice activation in their professional lives, too. And smaller organizations are often better positioned to test and integrate new technologies on the fly than enterprise-level companies that come with much longer approval, research and implementation processes.

Early stage voice-activated CRMs will consist of a basic integration with well-established virtual assistants such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod. Users can ease into this advancing technology by mastering the basic skills, and continuing to learn as voice activation becomes more sophisticated.

As businesses begin relying more heavily on voice activation, they’ll find there’s no longer a need to bring up a full-blown CRM. Instead, they’ll rely on spoken words to complete a task.

Alexa, what’s next?

The greatest advantages of voice-activated CRM technology are still to come. Though base level interaction tools will continue to pop up over the next 12 to 15 months, this technology is expected to become much more sophisticated within the next year-and-a-half.

It’s mind blowing to think about how sophisticated CRM-related artificial intelligence will become. In July, an Israeli startup called Gong received $20 million in funding to develop a tool that uses “natural language processing and machine learning to help train and suggest information to sales people and customer service reps.” How incredible is that?

Mainstreaming of such technology will allow small and midsized businesses to take advantage of the processing power that industry behemoths such as Amazon and IBM are investing into. If you can believe it, the speech recognition market is expected to reach nearly $10 billion by 2022.

It all translates into tremendous value for small and midsized businesses. Taking advantage of technological advances as they become available allows smaller organizations to adapt faster within their CRM plans, benefit from huge productivity gains, and experiment with less risk.

Soon, CRM users will be able to interact with email, set up activities, and even receive recommendations on the next best customer interaction to initiate. They’ll accomplish all this by simply verbalizing a sentence or two.

Keyboards aren’t going anywhere…yet. But CRM voice activation is coming fast and finding ways to have your small business take advantage of this new technology to drive better, more meaningful customer interactions can have a real impact on your bottom line and organizational growth. So, drink a nice cup of tea with honey because you may need those pipes at the office tomorrow!

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