AI Blog

CRM in 2018: How Will AI Transform Customer Experience?

AI Blog2018 is an exciting year for CRM development thanks to the emergence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing.


According to a report from IDC, 28% of the companies surveyed said that they have already implemented AI in their CRM, while 41% said they’re planning to adopt it in the next two years.


 ‘AI associated with CRM activities will boost global business revenue from the beginning of 2017 to the end of 2021 by $1.1 trillion.’


Whilst there is still a general concern about AI taking over jobs, the IDC reported that it will actually create 800,000 more jobs in the future.


Instead of eliminating the human workforce, this technology can be used to enhance your interactions with customers and provide insights into their behaviours.


AI integration goes beyond automating repetitive tasks and generating stock answers. It offers new insights to help generate leads and close sales quickly.


It can suggest relevant content for sales leads, find the best schedules for sending e-mails and find upsell or cross-sell opportunities.


This technology can also promote smarter lead scoring by analysing customer behaviour and prioritising leads with the highest conversion potential.


In terms of customer support, we can expect the growth of social CRM this year to meet the need for faster response times. Chatbots on social media save time in answering simple queries or requests, giving more time for your chat support department to focus on complex needs. In addition, they can also collect additional customer data and behaviours that can be used to address their needs efficiently.


Customer service AI tools can identify support ticket trends and predict which agent or team is best suited for dealing with certain issues. Some systems can even recommend standard responses or a template based on the type of ticket.


Just recently, Microsoft has also created an AI that can read a document and respond in a manner that sounds like a real person.


This technology can quickly ‘parse through information found in books and documents and provide people with the information they need most in an easily understandable way.’


Another way that AI will be used for CRM is summarising customer interactions. Using a method called natural language processing, the system can extract the most useful snippets of conversation from an hour-long phone call and distil it into a five-minute summary.


These summaries are done in real-time, so managers can get to the heart of any issue or opportunity without having to wade through masses of irrelevant transcript data.


Just like any type of business technology solution, your CRM must evolve to satisfy the growing needs of your company and customers.


By integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning, you can understand your customers better and improve the efficiency of your sales, marketing and customer service teams.


There are a lot of AI solutions already available that can be integrated with your CRM. However, it’s important that companies develop a concrete strategy that complements their business and CRM improvement goals.


Finally, artificial intelligence needs experts who will manage and ‘train’ it to produce the best results, just like a real employee.


Want to learn more innovative solutions for your business? Feel free to contact ECLEVA today. You can also check out our other blog posts here.



Another step forward for the Microsoft CRM Application!

The overarching view is that the much lauded performance improvements, while there, are still not QUITE there yet, BUT, and I do say BUT… for what it is it’s definitely another step in the right direction for Microsoft in a couple of ways and we’re very excited about the future!!


There has been a plethora of mobility solutions from Microsoft over the past year, and this one tries to find a niche to start with and tries to do one thing, and do one thing right… email tracking.


When you compare it with the ‘old’ CRM for Outlook add-in you can clearly see that there are a lot of ‘gives for the gets’ here. We FINALLY get OWA (Outlook Web Access) integration!, NO configuration on the user side, or heavy database/sign-ins! But we also lose (perhaps not permanently?) Offline mode, appointment tracking and a number of other things (See the screenshot below for more).


It also will work on more platforms and be less ‘Microsoft only’ focused, which helps those Mac users out there… and those ‘other’ ones as well.

CRM App for Outlook
Jumping in to it, the interface is very mobile friendly and offers up a number of things like getting an overview of the latest activity for the contact (appointments, cases, and opportunities). Then you can either do a quick search for something to tag it against (regarding) or you can take the opportunity to create a new record (for example a lead or case) that it relates to.


It allows you to add these in received emails, but also emails that you compose and also to contacts that aren’t in your CRM yet… again, that’s nice and handy. It feels nice and intuitive to do once you get started.

Mail Draft


So all in all, for what it sets out to do it pulls it off well … however… the touted performance benefits from the ARA release certainly haven’t showed up in our testing here in Australia. Yes, the outlook needs to cold load every time as it doesn’t allow for persistent data (pity), but this means that you wait at least a good 4-5 seconds every time… for today’s millennials they would already have clocked out by that time and headed to the beach. Seriously though… using the feature does require speed of use, and the vibe isn’t that great just yet about that. We hope this can be improved further going forward.


In OWA mode things are better, and maybe this is the best application for it and the expected future use case for most? You don’t have to worry about the Outlook data persistence issues here, so the caching works better. Still not perfect but better.


What we are excited about is the future!


It’s really like most Microsoft success stories like the Surface 4… not 1 to 3, They need a couple of versions to mature. While this update is not bad by any stretch of the imagination you can see where the room is for improvement and creative thinking. The great thing with Microsoft is that they play catch up better than most given time!


I am particularly excited about seeing what the relationship intelligence and Delve analytics will bring to the table and look forward to seeing this in the next releases (watch this space)!


In summary… We see this update for what it is… Update 1 on the road to update 4 and a tool that’s great for emails. As long as you are OK with waiting a couple of seconds every time you use the functionality it will not make you want to go back to the old Outlook add-in in a hurry.


Below are a couple of screens of the high level roadmap, hope you are excited too.


To have a closer look at the app I recommend watching at least the first 20 minutes of this video by Microsoft and Torsten Holthöfer.

Future Capabilities


Roadmap Future Release


Roadmap Distant Future


Campus Sepia

Social Engagement for Education – time to get on the train

What are prospective and current students saying about your Institute on social media? Do they like the enrolment process? How was the last open day? Can they find things online? Are you providing the right content? How do you find out about these things?


Your students make decisions based on user reviews and online discussions. Conversations that were once had in person now take place on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other social mediums. People are more informed, and they’re getting their information in new ways, from new sources.


The good news is that with Microsoft Social Engagement, you can now listen, analyse, and drive engagement all within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can jump in and engage with your customers, reaching them in ways never before possible. Doing this is not just a nice to have, but is a critical new process all education marketers need to harness or risk become obsolete.


How are your social vital signs – check it out!!  Social Engagement covers a broad range of sources—Twitter, Facebook, videos, blogs, and news syndication. Spot trends and receive alerts about how people are feeling about your courses or brand so that you can shape your messaging and enrolment conversations more effectively. You can even identify your key influencers.  Identify problems with perception, address them immediately via your own social media channels and manage each student individually via Student Services Case Management solutions.




The robust analytics of Microsoft Dynamics social CRM gives you more insightful and interactive analytics with richer data to gain a true understanding of your Institute on topics that matter most. Microsoft Social Engagement’s visual filter allows you segment your data by source, sentiment, location, or author.


You can add social data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM — on dashboards or on any forms, like Accounts or Campaigns. Integrate social interactions into an end-to-end customer journey, with the ability to create leads, opportunities, or cases from social posts, right within Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Help your front-line sales, marketing, and service teams deliver amazing customer experiences. Plus, social engagement doesn’t have to be limited to a few individuals in your marketing organisation.




Empower teams across admissions, marketing, and student service to collaborate with customisable streams from a combination of sources. Build deeper relationships with students by empowering them to engage with social communities on Facebook and Twitter.


How can we help you get there? Our EduRe CRM solution is a suite of tools designed and developed for the education sector on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform that will improve your student and commercial engagement outcomes. To learn more about Social Engagement please visit us at  or call to organise a demonstration.