AI and Big DataCRM and CX

Can GenAI have an impact on CRM?

Forrester's answer to that question is yes, but there may be a few challenges

According to a recent Forrester report (How Generative AI Will Transform CRM), GenAI may have significant and beneficial impacts on Customer Relationship Management systems and practices. The real question is, however, how effective GenAI could be when it comes to handling various customer-facing tasks? And how easily could it adapt to specific CX applications? Forrester’s analysts surmise that using massive bodies of data and large language models (LLMs), one could achieve better interactions with customers, therefore elevating customer experiences, and contributing to growth. That is to say, as long as certain conditions are met. Besides, when mentioning GenAI and CRM, the analyst group warns that ChatGPT might not be the ideal solution. 

GenAI Could Enhance CRM… Under Certain Conditions

GenAI and CRM: What could be the impact of GenAI on CRM?
Forrester’s analysts think that GenAI may have significant impacts on CRM systems and practices. But there are a few provisos—image by Midjourney describing customer journeys and CRM processes automated with IT and GenAI.

Providing Better and Quicker Responses to Customer Inquiries

In this report entitled How Generative AI Will Transform CRM, a group of Forrester analysts discusses how CRM could use GenAI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to provide quicker responses to customer inquiries. Therefore improving response time and overall CX. By analyzing data from customer interactions, including emails, meeting transcripts, and phone conversations, GenAI could apply its ability to surface, summarize, and interpret key consumer insights. This would enhance CRM’s strategic importance by providing more complete data sets and streamlining  processes.

Implementing GenAI could possibly change the way CRM agents and sellers engage with customers through CRM systems, the analysts contend. In this manner, CRM agents would have more time on their hands for the more creative and strategic parts of their tasks. Thus, increasing CRM’s strategic footprint could make marketers more innovative. In addition, sellers would also be able to address buyers’ requests for information more accurately. The bottom line is that all that would lead to more customer satisfaction and better Customer Relationship Management, Forrester’s analysts assert. In other words, GenAI would not threaten CX, it could well enhance it.

GenAI Will Revolutionize CRM, Not Erode It

Common GenAI features in Customer Relationship Management platforms according to TechTarget

The Role of GenAI and its effect on CX and CRM

According to the analyst group, Generative AI’s role is to reshape and elevate customer experiences. Extracting crucial information from Customer Relationship Management records. Providing real-time news feeds, assisting users to prepare for meetings and making effective decisions increasing customers’ trust. By understanding customers’ preferences, companies could therefore create unique experiences across different touch points, from website interactions to targeted marketing campaigns, leading to a more positive customer journey. 

AI algorithms can assess leads based on different criteria, making the sales process easier. They can analyze past customer actions to predict future movements. Helping businesses be ready for customer needs and desires. One key application is in chatbots and virtual assistants, the analysts describe, where generative AI can understand and respond to a wide range of user inputs, providing more humanlike interactions and creating a more engaging and satisfying experience for customers.

That being said, Forrester provides a useful comparison table of various LLM models and deliver recommendations accordingly. Thus, while advocating GenAI inclusion within CRM systems and processes, the analyst group also draws our attention to the fact that GenAI isn’t limited to ChatGPT.

GenAI and CRM: What could be the impact of GenAI on CRM?
Forrester described the differences amongst various generative AI models—image by Forrester Research, Inc.

Evaluating the Risks of using GenAI within CRM processes and systems

As a matter of fact, one should take notice of the risks associated with the use of GenAI and take Forrester’s recommendations into consideration.

A significant concern is the potential for bias in the content, as it may unintentionally learn and replicate biases present in the training data. This could lead to a negative impact on customer perception and ruin a company’s reputation. As a result, one should address biases in training data and potential copyright violations.

The best way to do that is for businesses to assess AI foundations, prepare data, and adopt a human-in-the-loop approach to ensure accuracy, completeness, and ethical considerations in the content produced by Generative AI, the analysts advise.

Organizations looking to implement Generative AI need to make sure they have a data center of excellence. In essence this is no different from any other information system implementation. One could even add that AI, rather than obliterating data quality issues, is making data integrity even more pivotal. 

Training LLMS on Proper CRM data

LLMs need to be prepared on CRM data properly to improve the accuracy of analysis and responses to customers. The data needs to comply with privacy regulations. And its history has to be auditable so that it can be tracked in case of issues. The tracking and monitoring of the content automatically generated is a must-have, the analyst group suggests in their report. Ongoing monitoring and regular updates are therefore needed to evolve customer preferences and ensure the system’s accuracy. 

We suspect that this will have a substantial impact on the amount of effort put in place in these processes and systems implementation. What will be the outcome on actual productivity gains remain to be seen. Such productivity gains may also depend on the level of knowledge of the CRM agents or sellers concerned. Whereas a beginner might find a copilot to be helpful when it comes to providing faster and more accurate responses, a seasoned CRM agent may be able to deliver better and faster information to her clients due to her field experience that makes cross and double-checking redundant.

In conclusion, GenAI could indeed help organizations navigate the complexities of customer relations in a world where customers are ever more demanding and impatient. Yet, many doubts and risks are paving this way and businesses should tread this new ground carefully while taking into account all ethical, privacy, and communication challenges.

Businesses that want to successfully integrate GenAI within CRM should mitigate such risks deftly and promptly.

About the study 

This report “How Generative AI Will Transform CRM” was written by Forrester‘s analysts Kate Leggett and Rowan Curran with contributions from Linda Ivy-Rosser, Zeid Khater, Seth Marrs, Christina McAllister, Katie Linford, Hannah Murphy. 

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Dennis Rios Gramajo
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Dennis Rios Gramajo

I am a Global Management major at Arizona State University and I worked as a junior content writer for ------------- Je suis étudiant en management international à Arizona State University et ai travaillé comme rédacteur de contenu junior pour More »


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