Looking towards the future of commercial enterprises and everything they involve, customer relationship management especially, it is difficult to ignore the huge impact that chatbots and other pieces of artificial intelligence (AI) will have. The truth is that they have the capacity to truly transform the very nature of the way we conduct business, from sales and marketing to customer service.

There is no denying that using chatbots as part of your customer relationship management efforts is highly beneficial. By doing so and opening up your CRM data by using innovative tools such as chatbots, you can provide heightened customer experiences, speed up your sales cycle and grow your bottom-line.

What is a Chatbot?

The AI evolution is now in full swing; chatbots are a mere drop in the bucket of progress that AI has made in recent years. Today, the number of people who regularly use messaging apps—think Skype, WhatsApp, and Messenger, among others—is skyrocketing. The number is easily in the billions and it is constantly growing.

With the growing use of messaging services, virtual chatbots that imitate real human-to-human conversations have sprung up seemingly out of nowhere.

Chatbots are not just for a general natter, though. When deployed properly, they can be used for several tasks. Whether it is problem-solving, scheduling, or simply asking questions, chatbots can potentially be used as an automated solution within your organization.

One of the biggest areas where chatbots have raw value is customer support.

By automating customer support, chatbots can save organizations, particularly large ones with a big customer support network, millions in costs. Organizations are starting to figure this out, too—it is estimated that by 2020, over 80 percent of customer interactions will be handled by a bot.

The utility of chatbots extends further than answering basic-level customer support queries, though; there is a whole lot of commercial value that can be extracted from them.  Collecting information, providing customer support, and scheduling meetings and tasks are but three of hundreds of examples.

They are, without a doubt, the future.

3 Reasons Why Chatbots are the Future of Customer Relationship Management

Here are 5 reasons why chatbots are great for customer relationship management.

1. They help to promote “self-service” CRM

The central goal of any customer relationship management solution or tool used internally is to make customer information, both current and prospective, easily accessible to employees who need it. In addition to this, you need to ensure that access requires the bare minimum in terms of human or IT intervention.

As a part of the front-end user experience, a chatbot that is interactive in nature enables end-users of all skill levels to access key customer data and information. Think about it, what’s easier—asking a bot natural language questions or manually searching through files?

2. Automate customer support

Lots of customer relationship management tools and systems are difficult to use. Unfortunately, this can slow down support time by delaying responses to customers, amongst other things.

To fix these problems, many parts of your customer support services can be automated by deploying a chatbot. This chatbot can then ask questions on behalf of customer service operators. The benefit here is 1) it frees up your support agents’ time and 2) customers get answers to basic-level queries much faster.

3. You can use bot-to-bot scheduling between teams

Chatbots aren’t reserved solely for customer service use. In fact, they can be used to the extent that they become automated scheduling agents. Imagine being able to have schedules made for staff from across all your teams and departments automatically and seamlessly—this can be done with a chatbot.

By communicating with another bot, a messaging stream is initiated and this, with calendar access, can schedule appointments, meetings, and projects while avoiding clashes and other problems at the same time.

Chatbots Are Improving by the Day

With each passing day, usage of chatbots grows and, as a result, they become smarter because of machine learning.

It is highly likely that you have already had a conversation with a chatbot, particularly if you have messaged a company through social media recently.

Why not go back through your messages and have a look?.

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