Why Chat ?
Chat is popular. Conversation is the new UI.
People are choosing the chat based user experience. Conversation through chat is the fastest growing method of communication. Globally, people are thronging chat applications. A closer look at chat applications reveals that they are popular for a reason. Communication via a chat application occurs in real-time, is short and fit for purpose. It is clean and does not overwhelm users with options.
The MAU (Monthly Active Users) of chat applications highlight their popularity. Chat Application and their Monthly Active Users (in Millions): WhatsApp – 1500, Messenger – 1300, WeChat – 1058, QQ Mobile – 803, Skype – 300, Snapchat – 291, Viber – 260, LINE – 203, Telegram – 200. (Source: Statista)
As cited in the Chatbot Magazine, “Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services” shares Peter Rojas, Entrepreneur in Residence at Betaworks.
Enterprise chat applications, such as Slack, are popular with millions of users and are growing rapidly. Chat precedes chatbots. Bots on the Slack eco-system, which are growing at a furious pace are a testament to the fact that this is the next wave of interaction with enterprise systems.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella said, “Chatbots will fundamentally revolutionize how computing is experienced by everybody.”
Connected to a CRM in the backend, the chatbot engages in conversations with sales representatives, guided by NLP and rules-driven engines. It provides answers to FAQs, fetches data and content in real-time, and generates reports using query, search, and NLP capabilities. The CRM chatbots can respond to voice commands as well.
The heavy use of chat has altered our expectations about receiving answers and accessing information both in consumer and enterprise applications. This trend will drive the adoption of CRM chatbots. Technology trends are also favoring the explosion of CRM Chatbots. Firstly, mobile apps and mobile OS have given way to messaging as a new runtime. Secondly, the rapid growth in AI is driving a strong tide in favor of the conversational UI, a new interface to access enterprise applications. These two trends are changing the way we communicate with enterprise systems like CRMs.
CRM systems are complex with many functions and large amounts of data. Conversational Interfaces now offer a fresh approach to access and input data into such systems and turn them into easy-to-use self-service systems. Sales teams are always on the move. A Conversational Interface on mobile that is integrated with the CRM offers a messaging experience and helps teams be more productive.
First Order Benefits
Conversation is natural: It is simply human to ask. Simple conversational UI of the CRM chatbot makes it easy to access information and input data.
Dependency on colleagues for accessing information is reduced: The chatbot can answer specific questions for a sales representative and gives him the right information at the right time. Consequently, the user does not need to rely on emails, phones, and other follow-up measures.
Fast and accurate information capture using simple, intuitive, and guided workflows: Guided workflows of the chatbot help sales teams to capture data rather than wade through complex screens and navigations in the CRM systems. The chat interface scales well in this respect. It eliminates data leakage and data corruption and ensures that all the required data is captured.
Automation of routine activities: According to research quoted by HubSpot, sales teams spend more than 20% of the time on CRM/Admin/Reporting, 31% of time searching for or creating content, and only 1/3rd of the time in selling.
- Chatbots make it easier to fetch the right content for sales teams.
- Chatbots make reporting tasks easy through a pre-defined workflow.
Since chatbots can help sales teams with routine data input and retrieval, the sales teams can devote more time to solve issues that require creativity and teamwork. The chatbots can learn how to respond to sales representatives appropriately and become better with time.
Schedule management: Salespersons need reminders about follow-ups, meetings of the day, tasks to be completed on the same day, and so on. However, sales representatives are always busy with several demands on their time. The bot assists them to prioritize, collaborate, and follow their schedules.
Content consumption: Querying the CRM becomes easy with the CRM chatbot. It is a superior experience compared to querying or searching the system manually or writing to a colleague for content. With a chatbot, the content is available on demand and increases the use of marketing content and the RoI on money spent building the content.
Dissolving deal barriers: Answering customer questions is critical to deal closure. The CRM chatbot is very good at fetching the answers instantly.
Zero downtime: Chatbots are available 24/7 with near zero response time. The availability reduces the friction (stops, gaps, or hurdles) immensely smoothening the work lives of sales representatives.
Second Order Benefits
Pave the way for voice chat: When integrated with the popular personal assistants such as Alexa or Google, the CRM chatbot provides information in a hands-off mode and on a device of your choice.
Reduce training costs: The natural way of asking questions reduces the cost of training sales staff in using the CRM as CRM with a chatbot behaves like a self-service CRM.
Discovering gaps in content availability: Gaps in sales enablement can surface through the CRM chatbot analytics. The business can plug in the gaps to experience shorter sales cycles and higher closure rates.
Outwork AI CRM Bot
Outwork AI is a Sales CRM with SFA and has an AI-based conversational interface, the Outwork AI CRM Bot. In addition to the bot, Outwork provides web and app interfaces.
The Outwork AI CRM Bot multiplies sales teams’ productivity by making the interaction with the CRM easy and natural:
- Allows intuitive data-recording and querying when in the field to: Create Daily Activity Reports; Record and track opportunities; Record contacts and organizations
- Automates creation of tasks based on unfinished tasks, meeting invitations, follow-up forms, and other signals.
- Creates alerts to help the sales teams to be on top of things such as an approaching deal expiry date.
- Gets information, content, or answers from the CRM.
- Automates report creation.
Works with AI powered voice assistants like Amazon Alexa
In a nutshell, the Outwork Bot drives sales enablement freeing sales teams’ time from routine work and scaling up as a personal assistant that does not miss anything while letting the enterprise systems function optimally.
Next Steps for CRM Chatbots
Some proponents of enterprise chatbots say that the chatbots will replace apps. However, it is more likely that both will co-exist for a while. Today’s most successful bot experiences take a hybrid approach, incorporating chat into a broader strategy that encompasses traditional elements of interaction, such as an app and the web, with the CRMs.
CRMs are business systems with a large percentage of fixed functions and while eventually we will reach the ability to have human like conversational experience with a CRM Chatbot, it is not necessary to get started. A rules based Bot with a hybrid approach of menus and conversations is the first step. For CRM chatbots, the new paradigms such as ML, reinforced learning, voice, etc are already knocking on the doors. We have just started the journey of chatbot technology; we’re in the first minute of its creation.
Outwork Bot provides seamless interaction with the CRM. It takes the employee and customer satisfaction to the next level. Also, being a chatbot built with a definite scope for interacting with select CRMs, the Outwork AI CRM Bot is customizable to the unique workflow and needs of enterprise users. It leaves the employees free to bring home higher revenues with less fatigue and higher productivity.