People walking up and down the stairs

AI: doing the unseen work in customer relations

Ger Perdisatt

Ger Perdisatt

Enterprise Director

Read Time, 3 min.

AI: doing the unseen work in customer relations

 

Pick a study – any study – on the subject of AI in the workplace and you will find consensus from employers that 1) AI will fundamentally change how businesses operate and 2) they have little idea how to implement it. It’s perfectly understandable. When you have businesses still struggling with how to leverage one transformative technology in cloud computing, the prospect of integrating another can be overwhelming.

Part of the problem is figuring out where AI can deliver productivity gains and cost reductions. That isn’t code for ‘how a machine will do away with your job’ more, how AI can help small businesses deliver like bigger ones.

In Ireland we have a real opportunity to become leaders in AI adoption thanks largely to the fact that the retail sector has yet to make the most of e-commerce. According to the IEDR – the company responsible for the .ie domain name – about 40% of domestic companies cannot process sales through their website. This is a sobering state of affairs but it does mean that when these companies do embrace e-commerce, they will be moving straight to AI-powered customer relationship management (CRM) systems. That puts us in an exciting position as technology evangelists to talk about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Bot Framework treat AI as both a tool for sales professionals and a customer touchpoint.

Thanks to the popularity of digital personal assistants, like Cortana, conversational interfaces are becoming less intimidating, more accurate, and cheaper to produce. With Bot Framework we’re finding that businesses want to develop their own conversational interfaces in the shape of chatbots. The technology is still only scratching the surface of the potential but it shows how easy it is to automate simple customer queries and free staff up for tasks with longer term benefits.

Chatbots are one way customers will expect to interact with businesses but there is plenty of scope for AI to be used as an aid to sales teams. Sentiment analysis is a great example of how technology can be used to gauge the likelihood of a lead becoming a sale on the basis not just on past outcomes but the nature of previous interactions. Is the client likely to respond to emails in a timely manner? When they do respond what is their tenor? Is there another member of staff you can connect with who has experience of dealing with the client firsthand? If you have 10 clients contact you in a day what order should you manage their correspondence? Do you prefer to start your day with news of a successful close or do you prefer to get bad news out of the way first? These are just some of the insights we can gather by mining as much data as possible from a CRM system through the use of automated data capture and machine learning. If we can cut down on the amount of time spent inputting data into CRM systems, all the better.

User touchpoints and new interfaces are changing the way we conduct sales and help customers from the meeting room to the shop floor. AI will not only help us gather better data, it can help interpret it, as well.

 

Ger Perdisatt

Enterprise Director

 

Research: AI is a Priority for Irish Customer Service organisations

Download the research highlights now

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

    Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

    Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education All teachers in the region now being equipped with Surface Pro laptops Transforming how education is provided in Northern Ireland over the next decade is a crucial goal for the region’s Education Authority.  To meet digital skills needs over that period and beyond, the authority is implementing a versatile […]

  • a person sitting at a desk in front of a computer

    Reimagining Uninterrupted Learning at Sacred Heart School in Tullamore

    As students and teachers found themselves away from the classroom environment and learning from home, schools were again adapting to different ways of learning to ensure quality education continues. For the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore, Co Offaly, the staff and student body were well prepared to deal with this upheaval and continued to deliver […]

Finance & Insurance

Government

  • Two people inside using Surface Go in office

    How technology is transforming the work of governments

    Governments have the ultimate responsibility to their citizens. People depend on the services they provide like no other institution. Whether in healthcare, education, business, roads, railways, water – it’s essential that government institutions are always at the forefront of social and digital trends. Cloud-powered technologies are playing a critical role in helping government agencies to […]

  • a plane sitting on top of a grass covered field

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps  When the Covid-19 pandemic closed offices globally and truly changed how every organisation functions, it created additional unanticipated challenges for many. Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, was one such organisation which had migrated much of its work to the cloud. The tourism body, which employs 450 people, identified that […]

Healthcare

Manufacturing

  • Eneco Customer Case

    Powering a new digital future: Eneco moves to the cloud to deliver sustainable energy across Europe

    Harnessing the power of the wind and sun to create green energy solutions is all in a day’s work at Eneco, a sustainable energy company based in the Netherlands. But as the company grew, it faced a big challenge—it wanted to develop sustainable energy solutions in the most efficient way possible, yet its own legacy […]

  • a man holding a paint spray

    What we can learn from AkzoNobel’s digital transformation

    Savvy businesses are always on the lookout for ways to improve what they do and differentiate themselves from the competition. From organisational restructure to the development of entirely new business models, the quest for continuous improvement takes many forms. But one common factor in almost all modern business leaders’ plans is an emphasis on technological […]

Retail

  • Big data boosts business for beverage company

    Big data boosts business for beverage company

    Contemplate, if you will, the multiple choices available every time you want something to drink. Water? Juice? Soft drink? Do you want a single-serve can or a six-pack? Or maybe you just grab a liter bottle. The fact is, we as consumers expect a lot of options and the global non-alcoholic beverage industry delivers. Arca […]

  • Store staff llooking and pointing at screen

    Helping store staff rise to the challenge of creating world-class experiences

    Consumers have more information and choice than ever. That’s why shopping experiences provide an opportunity to differentiate and delight customers – rather than competing on cost alone. The digital shopping revolution has given us access to companies and information that was unimaginable two decades ago – and it has raised our expectations of bricks-and-mortar retailers […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Kinetic Reimagining in-store advertising with AI

    Kinetic Reimagining in-store advertising with AI

    With Intouch.com’s AI solution using Microsoft Azure, Kinetic has experienced 39% sales increases for some brands.   Outdoor advertising is one of the oldest forms of advertising in the world, and over the years it has evolved and embraced new technology, moving from traditional billboards to digital, and more recently to smart digital. Now, an […]

Digital Transformation

  • Microsoft data Center

    Why data is key to successful digital transformation

    Why data is key to successful digital transformation. The business-focused session at our upcoming Microsoft event – ‘Winning Trust – Enabling Transformation’ – will look at how organisations need to become data-driven to succeed New technology has given us the ability to access and interpret data in new ways. The trick is to identify strategic […]

Press

  • Image of a man and woman smiling

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc It’s an exciting time to be working in the technology sector in Northern Ireland. More than ever before we’re seeing increased numbers of entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and indeed multinationals setting up in the North. Working together and learning from each other encourages a strong technology ecosystem and ultimately yields […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]