Skip to content

Harmonizing the Intersection of AI, CRM, and the Human Connection in Business

Humanizing CRM

To drive both our professional and personal lives, we should use technology to enhance rather than replace human connections. 

In a previous exploration of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and automation, I discussed the transformative impact of these technologies on business efficiency. However, this perspective was met with legitimate concerns about the diminishing human element in our increasingly automated world. Inspired by Simon Sinek's thought-provoking principles, this article aims to address these concerns and explore a more balanced approach that honors both technological advancement and human connection.

Simon Sinek, a visionary thinker and one of my favorite authors once said "People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it." This principle is central to Sinek's “Why” philosophy, in that it reminds us of the profound value of human connection in every aspect of our lives, including the business world.

As we enter this new age of AI and automation,  I believe that it is crucial for us to take a mental pause here and there to reflect on the pitfalls of over-reliance on technology at the cost of human interaction, relationships and things that are a natural  part of the human condition. While technology is clearly a boon to mankind, everything in some way or form comes at a cost. We as business people have to determine if we are willing to  pay whatever that cost may be in the name of efficiency and “hockey stick growth”.  The human race is wired for solicitation, connection and tribal interaction. In absence of those things our businesses and communities begin risking negative and counterproductive impacts such as mental health,  emotional well being, and sense of connection. 


If we want to create a business landscape that drives both our professional and personal lives, we should use technology to enhance rather than replace the invaluable human connections.  That means we must incorporate a strategy that emphasizes:

1. Listening to Feedback
2. Humanizing Technology
3. Investing in Human Skills

The Balancing Act: Efficiency vs. Empathy

While automation in systems like a CRM can streamline processes and enhance data management, it raises questions about the erosion of personal touch in customer interactions. Emphasizing the 'why' behind actions, would be core to a modern business's success  in that it shows a foundational understanding of the value of human relationships. Automating tasks should not equate to automating relationships. The challenge lies in leveraging technology to enhance, not replace, the empathetic connections that form the backbone of customer loyalty.


Learning from Feedback: The Importance of Human Insight

The pushback from my previous article highlights a crucial lesson: the value of human insight in shaping business strategies. In an automated CRM system, feedback can become just another data point, devoid of the emotional context that only human interpretation can provide. By integrating human feedback into CRM strategies, businesses can ensure that their approach remains grounded in genuine understanding and connection.


Humanizing Automation: A New Approach to CRM

The goal should be to humanize automation. This means designing CRM systems that don't just process information but also provide insights that enable human employees to make more empathetic and personalized decisions. For example, instead of relying solely on automated email campaigns, businesses can use CRM insights to guide personalized interactions, blending efficiency with a personal touch.


Investing in People: The Role of Training and Development

Another key aspect is investing in employee training and development, particularly in areas that AI cannot replicate – emotional intelligence, creative problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. Empowering employees with these skills ensures that they can add unique value to the automated processes, making the human-technology partnership more effective and meaningful.


Reaffirming the 'Why' in a Digital Age

In line with Simon Sinek's philosophy, it's essential to continually revisit and reaffirm the 'why' behind using CRM and automation. The ultimate goal should be to enhance human connections and experiences, not to overshadow them with technology. Businesses must remember that at the heart of every transaction and interaction is a human being seeking a connection, understanding, and value.

Integrating a sales CRM and automation in business requires a delicate balance that respects and values the human element. By listening to feedback, humanizing technology, and investing in human skills, we can create a business landscape where technology serves to enhance rather than replace the invaluable human connections that drive our professional and personal lives. As Simon Sinek might suggest, it's about finding the harmony between the efficiency of 'what' and 'how' and the empathy and understanding of 'why'. It's not just about what technology can do or how it does it, but why we use it in the first place. The 'why' should always resonate with the human aspect of our operations – to enhance rather than replace the invaluable human connection. Only then can we truly harness the potential of technology without losing the essence of what makes us uniquely human.

AI and your CRM are merely tools to help you make human connections.  I would love to learn more about your 'why' -- leave a comment below.  And, if you need help with the tools to help you improve your interactions, you know where to find us.


+ + +

Michael Beck is the co-founder and CRO of Popcorn GTM, a business consultancy that helps restaurant technology companies break through and win with integrated sales and marketing strategies. Connect with him on LinkedIn.