Today AI is already a part of business reality, and in the coming years it is expected to have a significant affect on the competitiveness of companies. According to the Salesforce survey, “The AI Revolution 2017”, 37 % of companies already use artificial intelligence, thanks to the solutions available on the market, such as CRM. Another 22% plans to do it in the near future. As the Deloitte Digital experts point out, AI will reorganize business models from scratch – enabling companies to stay in touch with their customers by personalizing on yet unknown scale and engaging consumers in real time.
The breakthrough in cloud, social media and mobile technology has given consumers access to information and choice, as well as greater flexibility than ever before. As a result, according to Salesforce, more than half of consumers (58%) admit that technology has significantly changed their expectations of how businesses should communicate with them – 55% are counting on personalization of the offer. Every fifth customer expects that by 2020, companies will overtake their needs and accordingly suggest a suitable product. Moreover, more than half of customers declare that they will change the brand if it does not meet their needs. “Changes, resulting from artificial intelligence possibilities, such as personalized recommendations and automated order fulfillment, significantly increase the bar in customer service. Those who do not choose to implement them must be confident that for their new generations their services will not be sufficiently satisfied” – Jan Michalski, Salesforce Leader in Deloitte Digital.
Personalization is not possible without information on customer behaviors and choices. It is impossible to analyze all available data yourself and to draw conclusions from it – especially with a large number of customers. According to Salesforce research, only 12% of customer service departments and 18% sales departments assess their skills to accumulate knowledge about the customer’s life cycle, as excellent or outstanding. “Here comes artificial intelligence. There are systems on the market that, thanks to advanced analytical solutions, not only suggest specific solutions based on data analysis but also show the probability of success with the proposed solutions. An example is the Einstein system – it looks for patterns in the data and recommends the next steps we need to take” says Jan Michalski.
As the Deloitte report “Year to RODO. Data protection by the eyes of Polish consumers”, published in May this year points out that as much as 95% respondents declare that while shopping or deciding on the choice of a service, it is important to consider whether they are required to provide personal information. Almost 40% Internet users have a positive attitude towards sharing them when in return they are offered an advantage in the form of a prize, a voucher, a discount or a valuable content. – Customers are willing to share data, but in return they expect a significant improvement in service – there is no place for “eye blur” – adds Jan Michalski.
The weakest link
As the Deloitte Digital experts point out, AI’s popularity will continue to increase together with the awareness of management. Currently only 16% sales and marketing executives know how to use artificial intelligence to improve their business. In addition, only 23% managers are confident that, by implementing such solutions, they will significantly improve not only their products, but also their way of doing business, says the Salesforce report “AI Snapshot Survey”.
“What needs to be refined is the human factor – low awareness about the benefits from AI. Another significant problem in the implementation of artificial intelligence may be paradoxically lack of qualified people” says Maciej Dakowicz, expert in the Salesforce team, Deloitte Digital. As much as 82% IT teams claim that they do not have the competence to successfully implement AI initiatives in their companies. Therefore there is a growing interest in ready-made solutions that can be easily integrated into existing systems.
Benefits for consumers
Smart sales increase productivity and shorten the working time of sales and customer service teams. 80% department using AI-based methods, admits that it has a positive impact on the productivity of their sales representatives, and in 74% of them sees their sales increase. But even more importantly, artificial intelligence allows companies to build a lasting and deep relationships with consumers. This is possible because AI-based systems can gather real-time information about customers and communicate with them individually – on a massive scale. 83% salespeople who use smart sales have noted that it has allowed them to “keep customers” and 80% acknowledged that it lets them to cultivate relationships with clients (including potential once).
Press release from Deloitte Digital