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CX Research From Zoho, SAP Emarsys, and Verint

Topics Cover Small Businesses and CRM, US Shoppers and AI, and AI for the Modern Contact Center

CX Research From Zoho, SAP Emarsys, and Verint

Zoho: CRMs Benefit Small Businesses and Bring Satisfaction

A new CX study and research shows that although many small businesses hesitate to deploy a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, the same companies also believe that customer operations run more smoothly when CRMs sit at the center of their technology suite.

Commissioned by business tools creator Zoho, the study, which surveyed more than 1,500 companies, also reveals the high levels of satisfaction among respondents who use a CRM solution. At least 58% claim to be “very satisfied” with how they conduct business when using a CRM, compared with 30% of non-CRM users. But even among non-users who believe their companies are too small to require a CRM, nearly two-thirds see the benefits that can be obtained from deploying a system to power customer operations.

“In the world of small business, success is about wearing many hats,” says Laurie McCabe, co-founder of the SMB Group, which conducted the survey on behalf of Zoho, “A comprehensive CRM puts all of the necessary sales, marketing, and service tools and information in one place, helping them improve operations and cater to customer requirements. Our study shows that CRM is a game-changer for small businesses striving to attract new customers, boost revenues, and enhance customer experiences.”

CRM users are also more satisfied with their customer operations, according to the findings. Among respondents, 47% describe them to be “very efficient,” compared with 30% of non-users. Furthermore, 95% of CRM users rate their CX as excellent or good, while non-CRM users hold a generally lower opinion of their customer service. Overall, 42% of respondents say they save 5-10 hours a week thanks to their CRM.

Zoho is a software maker and creator of business tools founded in Chennai, India, in 1996. The company is best known for its Zoho Office Suite, a collection of word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, project management, and CRM applications. Zoho is currently based In Del Valle, Texas, southeast of Austin.

SAP Emarsys: US Shoppers Want AI Benefits in Retail, but Concerns Remain

More than three-quarters of US consumers desire personalized recommendations and other similar AI-driven retail offerings, but only half believe that AI has a positive impact on their shopping experiences, according to a new CX study and research by customer engagement platform provider SAP Emarsys.

Following a survey of more than 4,000 US shoppers, the research shows a clear conflict: Consumers want to enjoy the real-world benefits, convenience, and value bestowed by AI, but shoppers continue to have concerns. For instance, 24% of consumers are worried that AI will negatively impact their shopping experiences. Moreover, 86% prefer to interact with humans, even though 27%—less than 3 in 10—could tell the difference between a human and an online AI chatbot.

Related Article: CX Customer Wins for Vonage, SAP Emarsys, Twilio, Concentrix Brazil, and Genesys

These discrepancies highlight an opportunity for retailers to educate customers because research indicates that consumers do not realize that AI is behind many of the advancements they enjoy in retail shopping, such as personalized content, custom recommendations, and speedy checkouts. Retailers should also educate customers on the value of their data to elevate the shopping experience across websites, apps, and even mobile wallets.

“It’s clear that, at present, shoppers aren’t entirely convinced on AI’s value. But when used responsibly, AI can truly enhance user experience in everything from receiving the right recommendations to easy purchasing processes,” says Kelsey Jones, global head of product marketing at SAP Emarsys. “The personalized experiences that drive business growth and establish long-term customer loyalty aren’t realistic without data, so it’s essential that retailers educate shoppers, and strike a mutually beneficial balance for data sharing.”

Jones adds that brands need to explain how data is being used because transparency is critical, and that education will be essential for the widespread adoption of AI and the consumer benefits it brings. With the relevant use of AI, retailers will then be able to meet—and even anticipate—customer expectations.

That perspective is echoed by Ritu Bhargava, president and chief product officer of industry and customer experience at SAP, who says the right data together with AI can help brands create personalized experiences to drive business growth, provide value to customers, and build customer loyalty.

Verint and Five9: AI for the Modern Contact Center

New CX research on the challenges facing the modern contact center reveals that unifying customer data is imperative and that contact centers can evolve with the use of AI and analytics. The research findings are from a survey co-sponsored by Verint, the New York-based provider of a customer engagement platform, and Five9, the California-based maker of contact center solutions.

The findings show that larger contact centers—those with 2,500 or more employees—are nearly three times more likely to store engagement data in multiple silos. Larger companies also engage with customers on at least four channels, which makes bringing together the data from customer interactions more difficult.

Related Article: New Research from Five9, West Monroe, Equisoft, TechSee, and UJET

This siloed reality makes a unified hub a must, the research says. The increased volume of customer interaction along with the proliferation of channels has resulted in a massive amount of customer engagement data, according to Celia Fleischaker, CMO at Verint, who adds that organizational leaders must find ways to unify and harness data to deliver a more personalized and connected CX.

But unifying data is only one piece of the puzzle, the research states. The next step is to make intelligent use of the engagement data through AI and analytics.

For instance, leveraging conversational AI with the use of chatbots can help manage the increased volume of customer interactions and handle many queries without escalation to a human agent. And by implementing purpose-built bots across workforce management (WFM), performance management, and knowledge management solutions, contact center executives can deploy AI to increase efficiency without sacrificing quality.

“Enterprises cannot afford to delay integrating modern applications,” says Dan Burkland, president of Five9. “Integrating AI and automation offers agents a relief from the volume of incoming calls, providing them with the information they need to offer a joyful experience. Effective management and visibility of engagement data can transform your contact center customer experience and make a big impact across the entire customer journey.”

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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