Artificial intelligence key to high-definition customer experience

SugarCRM Australia

By Jason du Preez, senior vice president Asia Pacific
Monday, 20 September, 2021


Artificial intelligence key to high-definition customer experience

Given that the average business is projected to hold on average 181 zettabytes of data by 2025, making sense of this data is increasingly a huge struggle. Poor data quality is one of the biggest hurdles facing Australian companies aiming to deliver a customer experience (CX) that will enable them to stay ahead of their competitors, grow revenue and boost their bottom line.

Research from Gartner shows that poor data quality is costing businesses an average of $15 million a year and many businesses are falling behind their objectives to obtain value from the data they have. Mckinsey found only 7% of the Australian businesses have been effective at reaching objectives using data.

Throw in the fact that Forrester predicts that over the next 5 to 10 years, CX will become “crucial for brands to survive, for them to avoid disintermediation, irrelevancy, blandness, and/or cluelessness about customer sentiment”, and you have the recipe for a crisis.

Accurate data helps brands to extract valuable insights out of the customer’s journey and identify the right engagement methods across channels. The key to successfully extracting value from this data is artificial intelligence (AI).

Businesses can’t wait 5 to 10 years before delivering the necessary CX as they will lag so far behind, they might never be able to catch up to their competitors and they will see sales shrink.

But, with even limited or incomplete CRM or other internal data, AI has the ability to deliver exceptional predictions. It does this by leveraging and enriching the internal data with additional attributes from vast external data to consider factors that a business’s data doesn’t cover and insights that they may not have known existed.

Accurate predictions enable businesses to make better decisions, better manage risk, better respond to problems and be better placed to take advantage of opportunities. They enable businesses to make confident decisions and focus on the highest priority activities across their supply chains, marketing, sales and customer service.

A word of caution, however — not all AI-powered predictions are created equal. This means businesses need a proven platform with deep learning models that combine both the best quality external data and CRM data.

Our recent CRM and Sales Impact report found that 50% of Australian businesses cannot access aggregated data across marketing, sales and service systems and a massive 82% agree that a consolidated view of customer information across the whole business is critical in delivering optimal CX, but 52% report their current CRM system isn’t fit for purpose.

To deliver a next-generation CX, businesses need to replace their current unclear view of their customers with a sharply focused perspective that’s rich in breadth and depth. This next-generation experience is called high-definition customer experience (HD-CX).

HD-CX is all about drawing on accurate, up-to-date information from multiple sources and from across the business to achieve new levels of performance and predictability and increase customer lifetime value.

And, if they are going to get ahead of the competition and grow sales, businesses need this high-definition view of their customers — from formulating ideal customer profiles (ICP) and identifying those with intent to purchase through to customer lifetime loyalty — as soon as possible.

To predict future outcomes, businesses need a complete record of every change event in the customer journey and then augment this information with a rich repository of relevant information to ensure full situational and directional awareness of any customer. And then they need to extract value from this data.

Businesses that can create a time-aware, high-definition picture of their customers, utilising AI to provide exceptional real-time insights and predictions, will benefit from greater customer relationships and unparalleled oversight of their businesses.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Chaay_tee

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