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Trust in AI: The future of successful CRM strategies

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By Indranil Mukherjee, sr. VP and service offering head- Enterprise cloud applications services, Infosys

In today’s digital world, a plethora of choices has ironically led to increased customer discontent and
turnover rates. With products and services becoming increasingly commoditised, customer loyalty is
dwindling. For modern customers, experience matters as much as the products and services themselves.
Many believe they get better service only when threatening to switch allegiance, pushing the industry to
continually enhance experiences.

Consider telecommunications, the annual launch of a new iPhone is a major event. Yet, the real
challenge lies in delivering flawless, swift transactions. If an in-store transaction exceeds five minutes or
an online one takes more than three, patience wanes. Similarly, in B2B industries like manufacturing, healthcare, and telecoms, indirect sales rely heavily on distributors, brokers, and partners. Their diverse and disjointed technology and process infrastructure pose challenges in pricing, sales productivity, and order fulfillment, risking revenue loss and customer churn.

In the utilities sector, electric utilities must adapt to changing customer profiles, where customers are now
electricity producers. Offering suitable plans and real-time consumption data is crucial to prevent dissatisfaction.

Businesses must promptly adapt by leveraging AI for data-driven, real-time experiences that meet changing customer needs. Customer experience (CX) is now the core offering, not just a part of it.

Seamless customer experiences remain elusive
Disjointed customer experiences often stem from a siloed delivery approach and underutilisation of customer data. Many large companies claim a customer-centric model but struggle with internal silos hindering progress. Accelerating digital transformation is seen as the solution to break down barriers and enhance customer satisfaction.

However, challenges arise as many lack a clear value-based approach, organisational structure, and data
strategy. Digital transformations often focus on operational efficiency without addressing the need for a
comprehensive data strategy. A robust data strategy is vital for real-time decision-making and customer satisfaction. It enables a holistic view of the customer journey, fostering a truly customer-centric approach.

Building a successful CRM strategy
Successful customer relationship management (CRM) hinges on engaging swiftly, accurately, and
profoundly with customers. Companies need to refine their customer experience strategies in two
keyways. Firstly, by actively assisting customers throughout their buying journey, understanding their
needs through deep data analysis. Secondly, empowering employees to provide superior experiences
through access to integrated, up-to-date data. Post-pandemic, there is a surge in digital transformation,
focusing on a digital core and AI-first approaches.

Organisations often need to rethink their customer experience journey, focusing on aspects that provide a
competitive edge or align them with top competitors. This is crucial in both B2B and B2C contexts, where
hyper-personalisation and human-centric experiences are becoming standard. B2B customers now
expect experiences similar to B2C engagements, requiring an outside-in operating model view. This shift
helps create a connected and agile customer-centric enterprise.

Many enterprises succeed with a design thinking approach, co-creating journeys with customers and
partners. This method ensures seamless cross-channel experiences, enhancing brand value at critical
touchpoints.

Organisations must also accelerate the concept-to-value cycle, launching new products or services faster
than competitors. They must provide seamless cross channel experiences to enhance the brand value in
each of the ‘moments that matter’ touchpoints in the customer experience journey. Cross-selling,
upselling, and empowering employees with real-time decision-making capabilities bring this reimagined
journey to life.

Paving the path for superior customer experience with cloud and AI
Organisations with a cloud-first approach, have achieved scalability, performance, and cost-effectiveness,
but it is just the beginning of a true transformation. Modern CX SaaS products offer native AI and advanced
analytics capabilities that act as a force multiplier to deliver significantly superior customer experience.
In sales journeys, these AI-enabled platforms increase productivity by prioritising opportunities and providing real-time insights based on organisation-wide contextual data which help create hyper personalisation, leading to faster opportunity and contract closures.

When it comes to service experience, an AI-powered CX platform can offer agents real-time customer
history, sentiment analysis, and next-best actions, improving resolution rates and customer satisfaction.
Even better, intelligent self-service chatbots can deliver hyper-personalised responses across customer touchpoints. AI is essential in today’s AI-first digital transformations. Enterprises must align cross-functional talent to manage both experiential and operational customer KPIs, focusing on building trust and loyalty. As customers become more sophisticated and demand more value, the speed of innovation must increase. A dynamic, client-centric operating model that focuses on proactive, predictive, and personalised interactions will be key to preempting and resolving CX issues before they impact the customer.

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