For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Brave New World? On AI and the Management of Customer Relationships"

by Libai, Barak; Bart, Yakov; Gensler, Sonja; Hofacker, Charles F; Kaplan, Andreas; Kötterheinrich, Kim; Kroll, Eike Benjamin (2020)


In light of the emerging discourse on AI systems' effect on society, whose perception swings widely between utopian and dystopian, we conduct herein a critical analysis of how artificial intelligence (AI) affects the essential nature of customer relationship management (CRM). To do so, we survey the AI capabilities that will transform CRM into AI-CRM and examine how the transformation will influence customer acquisition, development, and retention. We highlight in particular how AI-CRM's improving ability to predict customer lifetime value will generate an inexorable rise in implementing adapted treatment of customers, leading to greater customer prioritization and service discrimination in markets. We further consider the consequences for firms and the challenges to regulators.

Key Passage

AI-CRM [Artificially Intelligent, Customer Relationship Management] capabilities do not need to achieve full human empathy to complement or even replace human CRM judgment. Consider employees of advertising agencies as an illustration. Whether these are the mass-market advertising specialists who come up with ad execution, high-performance sales personnel who close the deal, or direct marketing copywriters whose words jump off the screen, the ability to tell a brand's story or write compelling copy has thus far been restricted to humans. There is reason to believe that this human monopoly on creative marketing capabilities has ended or will shortly end. (p.4)


Artificial Intelligence, Customer Service, Machine Learning, Worker Replacement, Technology


AI in Service Industries

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