Artificial intelligence has become an integral part of our everyday lives and made them easier. Most of us are not even aware of how overwhelming its presence is – it’s all around us when we’re surfing the internet, helping us find what we’re looking for quickly, narrowing down our choices to those that fit us the best, and even predicting our needs.
AI recommends the shows on Netflix and gives us purchasing suggestions on Amazon. It’s always right there between us and the brands we’re doing business with – monitoring our touchpoints and trying to enhance them.
Beneficial to us as customers, and beneficial to businesses too, AI is not optional anymore. It’s vital for business success, whether it’s gaining an advantage over the competition, or at least trying to keep pace with the market demand.
Here are a few good reasons why AI is essential for businesses today.
Better Data Insight
The advancement of technology has finally made it possible to base business decisions on relevant and accurate information and eliminate the guesswork out of the equation.
Artificial Intelligence does a great job of gathering data from various sources. However, the amount of data we now have at our disposal is massive, and often unstructured. So much data surpass the human ability to process it and interpret its meaning.
On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence is capable of analyzing, spotting patterns in, and making sense of large pools of unstructured data.
Businesses can now use this information to learn more about the outputs of their actions, make real-time adjustments, and make data-based predictions.
For example, by using AI and big data, UPS was able to optimize its routes and save 10 million gallons of fuel annually.
AI can leverage data gathered from many different sources to make accurate predictions, both about future circumstances and customers’ behavior. Businesses can make use of these predictions to better address the customers’ demands, and at the same time, earn more.
For instance, AI can keep track of a customer who visited your e-shop a couple of times, always viewing the same product. The algorithm could predict that a discount could push the customer a step further and encourage them to make a purchase. As both sides could benefit from a deal, AI would place such an offer using predefined parameters.
AI can also determine which one of your customers is the most likely to churn, with the accuracy of prediction, in the case of FedEx being from 60 to 90 percent. With such valuable information, businesses could prevent churn by improving their workflows and service.
Another great example of predictive AI is Amazon’s anticipatory shipping, which enables delivering products to the latest shipment hub, based on the previous history and other parameters, even before an order was placed.
Significant usage of AI in businesses is related to achieving higher levels of informational security. As most companies nowadays store large amounts of user data, top-notch data security is essential for building trust and loyalty with their customers.
AI can help businesses fight cyber attacks, as it monitors online behavior and analyzes it. The machine learning algorithm learns from the data it gathers. Over time it becomes capable of recognizing anomalies, preventing any suspicious and inconsistent behavior.
Facial and speech recognition are already used in some industries, such as banking, insurance, or retail, to identify customers and prevent fraud. Other biometrics, such as finger, retina, and iris, are already used to authenticate people’s identity and grant them access.
This means that businesses can use AI to identify and avoid fraud, reduce human error, and prevent cyberattacks, providing a much higher level of protection.
AI can completely take over specific business processes and automate them, reducing the need for human intervention.
Applications of AI automation are numerous. In September 2017, The Washington Post reported that it was able to meet the demand for hyperlocal content via Heliograph, its own storytelling technology. Heliograph has been used ever since to cover high-school football games and publish reports, thus allowing human reporters and writers to focus on high-work and articles that require critical and creative thinking.
AI is also used in many email automation clients to send well-tailored and personalized email campaigns. This advanced technology leverages customer data and makes it possible to segment audiences based on their relevant traits and deliver the content that each segment will find useful and relevant. Artificial Intelligence makes sure that automated campaigns are personalized for a more human feel and adjusted to the real-time behavior of the recipients.
AI is also used in project management to automate specific repetitive workflow tasks, such as document tracking, meeting organization, progress checks, reminders, etc. These tasks are often menial, but at the same time, consume a lot of time and energy. Offloading them to AI, frees up resources of the human staff so that they can deal with issues that are more important and complex.
Better Customer Experience
AI has already taken customer experience to an entirely new level by providing target audiences with the content that fits their needs and requirements.
Customers value personalization highly – 77 percent of consumers will choose a brand that delivers personalized service, while 79 percent of customers are more likely to engage with an offer if it’s personalized.
As AI can quickly gather and analyze large amounts of customer-related information, it allows businesses to respond in a timely and adequate manner.
Many famous brands are already using AI in their everyday practices. Trying to personalize its service, The Hilton hotel has made a robot concierge Connie a part of their staff. During their stay, Connie learns more about guests’ preferences. It shows them around the hotel, gives them recommendations for places or restaurants to visit, all based on their interests.
Bank of America found a way to personalize and automate its service using an AI assistant named Erica. She can help their clients with numerous tasks – their transactions and budgeting, tracking their spending habits, etc. Erica also monitors for duplicate charges and can provide customers with useful financial advice.
Fast and personalized service boosts customer satisfaction and helps businesses build trust and loyalty with their customers, which is of paramount importance on an oversaturated and highly competitive market.
Virtual assistance, in the form of conversational chatbots, is taking over customer support. Conversational chatbots are capable of managing 80 percent of the most common customer queries successfully. Even though they are available 24/7/365, they are never anxious, bored, or tired, and they can answer customers’ questions instantly, without putting them on hold.
Due to the advancements in natural language programming, AI chatbots can communicate in a friendly, polite, and human-like manner.
Furthermore, as AI has an insight into all the previous touchpoints between a business and its consumers, the interaction is hyper-personalized.
AI is more efficient than any human and can significantly save vital business resources – time, money, and energy. Take AI chatbots as an example – most of the queries are managed without any need for human interference.
To answer the needs of your customers, and always be accessible when they need you, a business would need an army of human reps, costing them a fortune.
AI is here to pick up the slack and take over the burden of most common, minor issues, and refer customers to human agents only when problems are too complicated for them to handle. This particular applies to repetitive, mundane, time-consuming, and low-value tasks that don’t require some special skills.
Doing business without any support of AI will soon be hard to imagine. Consider the possible AI applications in your workflow too, and enjoy the competitive advantage it may bring to your business.