Artificial Intelligence has made several gains in the last decade, with people using or encountering it everyday, whether they realize it or not. Any time someone asks Alexa to turn up the music or tells Siri to direct them to the nearest gas station, AI is responsible.
Businesses, too, can incorporate AI into their processes to improve business and drive results — and not just tech or enterprise-level businesses either.
Smaller companies can also benefit from using AI. There are several ways AI can help a business: automating rote processes, facilitating brand management, improving customer service, and assisting human resources are just a few areas where AI can make a positive difference.
With so many software and platforms available that now enable AI, all companies should consider using these tools to keep up with the industry, supply value to their customers, and maintain a competitive edge.
How AI Benefits Businesses
AI was designed to quickly and efficiently gather intelligence at speeds and levels beyond the capacity of humans. This means businesses don’t have to wait for valuable insights that can drive growth.
In a survey of 250 business executives, 75% reported that AI had the ability to transform business within three years. Other benefits AI delivers are flexibility and responsiveness, especially in times of crisis by providing the data needed if and when a pivot is crucial.
AI can also be used to streamline important, yet rote, processes, reducing time spent on repetitive and/or administrative tasks, and in some cases free up the need for human resources, which can save money by lowering the cost of business.
Most important, AI can be used to gather important customer and financial insights that companies can use to make better informed decisions that can improve and drive business
In this blog post we’ll discuss some of the main areas where AI can improve business performance, and touch on how EX Squared has used AI to drive our business, as well as business for our clients. You will learn how implementing AI in a few key areas can deliver both short and long term returns on investment.
Using AI to Drive Automation
Using AI to enable automation can help business in several ways by reducing time spent on menial or administrative tasks, speeding up processes, and/or making them more efficient, and maximizing headcount.
Automating processes may in some cases eliminate headcount, and in others allow existing employees to focus instead on more creative areas of business. In fact, according to a recent PWC report, 54% of businesses that have implemented AI experience an increase in overall productivity.
One way businesses can use AI to drive automation is by integrating with a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM). CRMs have several functions, including the ability to gather data across various communication and social media channels. This data can drive insights that can help optimize marketing strategies and focus lead generation.
In short, CRMs use AI to enable smarter marketing by using highly specific targeting methods to optimize budget and effort spent on personalization.
Using AI to Improve Customer Service
Businesses can also use AI to improve customer service by implementing chatbots. Chatbots improve the customer experience in several ways, including the ability to provide customer service 24/7, regardless of work shifts or time zones.
Chatbots also eliminate the need for human customer service representatives. While it’s true that a chatbot might not be able to handle more complicated or unique requests, they are successfully used to handle often-asked or basic questions. This can be especially useful for smaller companies who might not have a dedicated customer service team.
In some cases, companies even use chatbots to engage customers and further their brand persona. For example, some companies use chatbots to interact directly with customers by asking questions and getting answers (data), and the chatbot “converses” using the brand voice.
EX Squared’s sister company BDX uses a chatbot, BuilderBot, that is targeted towards builders and is designed to learn from interactions across the homebuilder industry, scaling interactions and learnings.
AI and Pattern Recognition
Some companies may find it useful to employ AI programs for pattern recognition, or sifting through large amounts of data to identify patterns or trends that can be useful for business intelligence.
Pattern recognition is responsible for many of the cool things big tech companies do that consumers may take for granted, such as how Yelp can find and label images, Pinterest can curate and serve interesting content to users, and Google can translate from different languages, and use speech recognition in Search. It’s also how Salesforce’s CRM has learned to identify every facet of the customer relationship from initial contact, to sale, for more effectiveness.
As another example, EXSquared built inScene for BDX, which is a pattern recognition bot that can cull through enormous directories of images to identify what they are (interior, exterior, kitchen, for example) and even has the capacity to recognize items like household appliances.
This of course eliminates the need for a human to have to go through thousands of images, reducing what would take days into mere seconds.
AI for Boost Brand Management
One boon to businesses thanks to AI is the ability to monitor brand data across several different communication channels and social media platforms. Using AI tools that are essentially analytics tools with superpowers to search for and extract data across the web that can then be crunched into valuable actionable insights regarding customer behavior. Those insights can be used to modify marketing strategies and lead gen activities to better target potential customers through optimized digital ads and other means.
This can be especially useful in the area of public relations. Many tweet-disasters have been (or could have been) squashed, thanks to social media monitoring platforms that alert PR teams of potential disasters before they can turn into all-out fires, such as happened to Trip Advisor.
Another way AI can help with brand management is by providing insight into competitors. Competitor analysis tools use AI to track competing companies on various communication channels and social platforms to gather important data, such as marketing language, pricing information, and customer engagement. This can help businesses modify their marketing approaches, target audiences, and adjust pricing models to optimize profit margins.
Finally, AI can help protect a brand and its assets by identifying instances of fraud. One study reports that 13 percent of current organizations are using an AI program to fight fraud, while 25% of companies expect to adopt AI in the near future.
AI to Help Human Resources
One way companies can continue to grow and improve is by maintaining a talented and skilled workforce. But as anyone in hiring can tell you, this is easier said than done.
Many companies today use AI to help in Human Resources. AI can be used to sift through the thousands of job applications to find the top applicants based on keywords and criteria the company is looking for. AI-driven software can also be used to improve onboarding with internal sites dedicated to providing knowledge to new employees. This can save time and free resources who would otherwise have to spend time “reinventing the wheel” by answering the same questions repeatedly.
Every part of the enterprise is evaluating their digital transformation and generating huge amounts of data that needs to be managed and analyzed. The successful and best use of AI in your business just depend on your goals, strategy, and plans.