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2019

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a topic of fascination of science fiction fans for many years, and it’s been typified in classic entertainment such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and even the Jetsons. As AI advances and as we explore its practical applications, fear of an impending “Matrix-like” future occupies the minds of many. People understand that AI has moved from an outlandish topic for nerds and science fiction enthusiasts to an approach employed by the few rich and powerful companies who can afford their own team of researchers and scientists. However, what many people fail to realize how accessible AI has become for companies. A small, or mid-sized growing business just looking for competitive advantage that will allow them to offer an improved customer experience, reduce costs, or even improve employee morale can take advantage of Ai today. Take a closer look and you may find that in reality, an intuitive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system enhanced with AI will give your employees just what they need and - you don’t need to be Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk to achieve it!

Before the age of AI, many companies viewed CRMs as a technology used to store their data. But a modern CRM system can offer so much more, especially to businesses with high levels of customer engagement. Leveraging AI, a CRM can:

  • Help to inform prospective customers and direct them to the right team so they are quickly engaged and connected to the solution they seek
  • Optimize the user experience to cater to place the most frequently needed information at their fingertips during a live customer interaction
  • Help your people to determine the next best action for each customer "touch", based on intelligence gathered from thousands of past communications

AI through machine learning is capable of pulling data from traditional sources such as customer profiles, sales data etc. and non-traditional sources i.e. social media posts, emails, call center recordings. Based on data gathered by the system during each customer interaction, the system may be able to accurately anticipate the most relevant information and make it accessible in real-time. What would take a human hours to accomplish, AI makes possible in a few seconds. Your employees stay engaged with clients, focused on their needs and informed by the sum of all the intelligence gathered during the entirety of your organization’s interactions with them. It isn’t creepy. In fact, it brings refreshing continuity to the customer relationship historically crippled by impersonal communication and inefficiency.

AI in CRM continues to grow, with some looking to add voice technology to the software following the popularity of similar systems like Siri and Alexa. AI is also evolving to pull from more data points coming straight from the customer’s device, which will give your employees even more information.

However, AI is only as good as the data it can acquire. AI works by studying the patterns and behaviors that arise from data in order to cut down on manual processing time. As a result, if you don’t set it up with the best data, the AI can’t do its most efficient work. When your CRM’s AI has robust data sources, it can drive valuable insights and learning. You'll be able to process large amounts of this data quickly, becoming increasingly more sophisticated in your customer management. 

We are seeing different approaches to AI by different CRM providers; SugarCRM offers smart solutions such as Sugar Hint. Hint, using just the name and email address of a business or individual enriches your lead, contact, or account record with the latest news insights, address, phone, and a wealth of other helpful information. This insight eliminates the need for both research and data entry reducing several hours of work to just seconds. Instead, your employees can use that saved time to create productive relationships with customers and leads using the data provided.

Sugar doesn’t stop with Hint though. Built on robust cloud infrastructure, Sugar plays very nicely with “ready to run” AI-based web services everywhere.

Cool Ways We Are Using AI at MasterSolve

  • Sentiment Analysis - Sugar is able to interpret messages and notes and determine with amazing accuracy the sentiment of a communication. This allows us to run analytics and monitor customer satisfaction not just through surveys and customer loyalty, but now through the measurement of sentiment. This allows us to be much more responsive and in tune with customer needs.
  • Chat Bot - Customers and prospects can interact intelligently over webchat and gain helpful direction and get transferred to a live agent as needed. This improves responsiveness, reduces wait times, and improves employee morale by replacing eliminating redundant and repetitive interactions with more meaningful conversations handled by someone with the correct skillset.

AI in CRM is revolutionizing the way businesses make decisions and improving customer experience. It provides insights that enhance the way employees interact with customers. At MasterSolve, we believe that AI has made its move from C3PO to CRM. We suggest that when exploring your next CRM solution, consider how it might leverage AI to help your team focus on what they do best.

Customer feedback. A strong foundation of any successful business. But one of the major mistakes most businesses make is that they do not pay much attention to the customer feedback implementation process.

With the help of right SugarCRM Survey Modules, you can implement a proper automated feedback process. Based on the completion of CRM events, your tailor-made surveys can be sent to those customers. While creating a survey, make sure they are not too long and are on point for a higher response rate.

If you are scratching your head how to decide how to make a short and interactive survey, a single NPS survey question can be your savior. Because it works on numbers, it gives you a clear picture of how many of your customers are detractors, passives or promoters.

Numbers from Temkin research says that promoters are 4.2 times more likely to buy again, 5.6 times likely to let go of the company's mistake, and 7.2 times likely to try new offerings.  However, it is equally important to put your efforts towards detractors and passives.

Here’s how.

First, Calculate your NPS Score

Subtract the percentage of detractors from the promoters. For instance, an NPS survey shows 50% of your customers are promoters, and 20% are detractors. Your NPS score is 30 (50%-20% = 30).

What is a good Net Promoter Score?

NPS scores range between -100 and +100. A score above 0 is a good NPS score; meaning the majority of your customers are loyal. Additionally, 50+ is an excellent score, and 70+is the “world-class” score. If your score is below 0, the majority of your customers are your critics. It’s time to improve customer service. You need to understand their pain points and improve their overall experience.

Here are some NPS average scores, industry-wise:

  • Healthcare: 62

  • Professional Services: 58

  • Retail: 54

  • Hospitality, Travel, Restaurants: 53

  • Manufacturing: 51

  • Automotive & Transportation: 49

  • Financial Services: 46

  • Construction & Engineering: 45

  •  Consumer Services: 42

  • Insurance: 42

  • IT & Software: 41

  • Banking: 37

  • Media: 34

  • IT Services: 33

  • Telecommunications: 24

Drive Business with NPS Score

Follow up with Detractors:

If you don’t have critics, you’ll likely have no success” - Malcolm X

Create a list. Send them a personalized email addressing their customer experience. Offer them a gift or a coupon code as a gesture of appreciation. To track your progress, make changes per their suggestions. Once you complete a sprint on that, send them a new NPS survey. Compare new results to filter out the new promoters.

Leverage Promoters to Generate More Sales:

According to statistics, referral programs are more effective to generate new business. You have a customer base who are happy to recommend your brand to others. Once you identify your promoters, make a referral plan.

As they are already happy with your products/services, they will be more than happy to refer you when encouraged for referrals. Plus, it’s a good opportunity for you to ask them to review your product/services. You may also ask if they’ll be okay with you writing their case study.

Activate the Passives:

They are not detractors; they are right here but didn’t receive services in the way they wanted. Reach out to them again. Ask for more specific information. Maybe they haven’t given you enough information, as they thought nobody would care. Reaching out again to such customers will show that you have interest in serving them. You are there for help.

If they reply to you, take it seriously and make the necessary changes. Educate them on how to use your products and notify them about future plans. If you approach them with a follow-up email, it encourages them to stay in touch with you. They might become your new promoters.

Write Pointed Emails

For Detractors: While following up with detractors, state your point with subtle language to get a reply.

Here's an example:

Thanks for responding to our survey. We’re sorry to hear that you wouldn’t recommend us, but would love to learn more about what we can do to improve. Your reply is important to us.

For Passives: Appreciation is important. Ask for suggestions to improve your services and products even further.

Example: Hi Amy! Thank you for your response - we take feedback seriously, and your suggestions will help us improve our services. If you have a minute, we’d love to hear more from you.

For Promoters: They are your advocates. They would love to hear from you! It is the best opportunity to educate them on how they can refer your services to friends and family and be rewarded in return.

For example:

You could earn money by referring your friends and family. Every time someone buys by using your invite, you’ll earn $X!

Here's how you can send them emails to write reviews for you:

We’re so happy to hear that you’d recommend us to others. We’d love a public review on our profile to help other customers - we're giving away a month of free services to the first 15 customers who review us this month. Act soon!

Final Thoughts

NPS alone cannot help you grow to billions in revenue. It’s a consistent process which helps you identify your pain points and gives you a chance to improve. There are SugarCRM survey plugins available on the store with  NPS survey feature. With such a module, you can provide the best user experience to grow your business in numbers, customers, and loyalty.