6 ways to use artificial intelligence in your business8 min read
Artificial intelligence isn’t just the future – it’s now! Learn how your business can take advantage of this game-changing technology.
Artificial intelligence(AI) has long been viewed as a malevolent entity, dead set on eradicating humanity, or at least, putting its members out of commission. However, artificial intelligence is far from that, which brings us to the question: what exactly is AI?
According to Techopedia, artificial intelligence is “an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed to do include speech recognition, learning, planning, and problem-solving”. In other words, traits that you would typically associate with humans, and not computers.
As per a recently conducted PwC survey of more than 1,000 American business officials, 20% of organisations will adopt artificial intelligence(AI) across their whole enterprise in 2019. If you’re thinking about how artificial intelligence can influence your strategy, here are six ways it is redefining business.
1. Optimise customer support with a chatbot
Did you know that the chatbot market is estimated to reach $1.25 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.3%?
Chatbots are an interactive artificial intelligence(AI) tool that can replicate a real exchange (or chat) with a consumer in a natural language, through websites and apps. By using chatbots, devices can understand and react to human input through speech or writing.
Chatbots help resolve customer issues quicker, meaning you can deliver excellent customer service. And as they are machines, they can talk to your customers at any odd hour, ending the era of being ‘on hold’ forever.
These bots are brilliant data collection agents for your customer support team. They can act as virtual helpers, finding customer data for your support reps, so that they have a detailed history of each account.
Consider a scenario where you want to turn cold leads into hot leads. By deploying chatbots in your lead funnels, whenever a visitor interacts with your website, the chatbot can ask them yes/no questions to determine the reason why they are visiting your site. Based on their answers, you can consider various approaches to attract them, like sending different promo codes to them or redirecting them to a particular landing page, without any human interaction.
With so much flexibility, it comes as no surprise that 80% of marketers are willing to start using a chatbot in some form or the other by 2020, according to an Oracle survey.
When utilised judiciously, chatbots can not only help you decrease costs and improve profits, but they can also change the way you do business altogether.
2. Image, facial, and object recognition
Artificial intelligence has also revamped optical character recognition technology to the point that it can assume the place of a considerable amount of administrative operations.
Artificial intelligence(AI) is now sophisticated enough to recognise faces and items, which can have immense consequences for a number of business applications. Facial recognition can be utilised to distinguish individuals for security purposes, while object detection can be employed to differentiate and analyse photos.
This technology treats people’s faces like cookies, helping to provide targeted services according to the customer’s preferences. Some organisations are experimenting with facial recognition to diagnose the disposition of their customers and, in turn, give them appropriate product recommendations.
All in all, the future of facial recognition look very bright. It has been estimated that by 2022, the global market for face identification will reach USD 7.76 billion. It is expected that the use of this technology in online marketing will contribute to a huge portion of this figure.
3. Smarter IoT products
One avenue where the potential of artificial intelligence has immense utility for organisations in various industries is in the creation of smarter IoT products. Gartner has predicted that the number of interconnected things in use will reach 14.2 billion in 2019, and will rise to a humongous 25 billion by 2021. Today, the business world is changing with the development of IoT in various ways.
IoT has completely revolutionised the notion of data handling. In addition to offering greater access to consumer data, these devices track and record the how users interact with them, which makes the devices smarter. And as the research in IoT technology gains more ground with each passing day, businesses are leveraging it to interpret the data acquired from IoT widgets for improvement and growth.
With better awareness of the market and customers, the productivity of any business can be improved. IoT devices can be deployed during product development to enhance efficiency. Also, IoT software and appliances will enable employees to complete tasks faster and make fewer errors.
4. Delivering personalised experiences
Did you know that according to Deloitte, while 36% of customers express an interest in purchasing customised services or products, 48% of them are willing to wait longer for them?
Chief of AI’s core functions is its capability to assess and comprehend inordinate amounts of data. AI algorithms utilise millions of data points, such as demographics, past exchanges, purchasing tendency, on-site interactions, etc. to create distinctive consumer identities. These identities make the task of aligning customers to their preferred services or products very straightforward, thereby greatly amplifying the customer’s experience and engagement.
One prime example of this is Netflix’s suggestion engine. Data shows that an average viewer takes up to 90 seconds to choose what they would like to watch before giving up. But, Netflix’s AI-enabled suggestion engine saves itself up to $1 billion every year by customised recommendations that have improved customer retention vastly.
5. Social media marketing powered by artificial intelligence(AI)
AI’s prophesied impact on social media marketing is huge. In a Salesforce study conducted in 2017, marketing leaders hoped to see enhanced efficiency and improved personalisation over the next five years. Also, more than 60 percent of marketers envisage utilising AI to build dynamic websites and landing pages, and undertake programmatic advertising.
However, the thing that people are most excited about is AI’s potential impact on social media marketing and lead nurturing. Not far from now, AI will become much more advanced, and a powerful tool for social media marketing.
The biggest way in which artificial intelligence will influence marketing efforts is by nurturing leads via social media. How? Through customised, real-time content targeting that creates up to 20 percent more sales opportunities. With the utilisation of behavioural targeting practices, AI will be able to track and begin the process of nurturing, and subsequently boost sales.
6. Modernise the recruitment process
One avenue where artificial intelligence can massively affect business operations is in the payroll and human resources sector. These two are very important departments of any business, but they’re often neglected by smaller organisations that can’t afford to have a full time HR department.
This is where AI can step in and act as a lifesaver for such organisations. It can do scores of things like provide decision makers with more information, automate lower-level operations, supervise how candidates employ their skills, etc.
Here are four ways in which artificial intelligence can revolutionise the recruitment process:
1. Increased quality of hiring
Artificial intelligence(AI) can streamline the hiring process by categorising it into stages. Employers can accumulate more information on every prospect and assess them more effectively.
2. Better incorporation of analytics
The HR department can determine which candidates to choose based on their skills and then find an existing job where those certain skills are needed. This approach also stimulates employees to enhance their skills, as well as increasing the productivity of the business.
3. More time saved
Artificial intelligence can help save valuable resources like time and money. It can offer a host of solutions for determining a prospect’s skills, and based on its analysis, it can produce comprehensive information for decision makers.
4. Unprejudiced decisions
AI can do away with partisan practices employed by humans, eliminating unconscious or conscious bias completely. This gives organisations a great opportunity to employ only the best candidates for a particular job, based on their real potential.
Artificial intelligence is a fantastic medium to augment and enhance everyday processes and help people work smarter. This is as equally applicable to robotic process automation as it is to machine learning and other forms of AI.
Though this technology is far from being faultless, it can still accumulate and assess information faster than people can, and it can function alongside humans, much like any effective tool. It can also do away with, or considerably mitigate, repetitive tasks and boost productivity.
As the utilisation of artificial intelligence in business practices starts to gather pace, organisations are increasingly looking to leverage it to enhance the efficiency of regular business processes, streamline strategic output and remove the guesswork from their decision-making. With so many benefits to artificial intelligence(AI), how are you going to react to it? Share your views in the comments below!