Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of machines to learn and make decisions based on data and analytics. When used strategically, AI has the potential to make a massive impact on the way we go about our work.

 

Companies have access to more data than ever before, and according to Forbes the amount of data created and consumed increased by 5000% between 2010 and 2020. There are a raft of emerging technologies that enable companies to capture user data providing them with actionable insights to assist them to make informed business decisions.

Many companies have embraced AI in their efforts to make better use of the data they are already collecting. In research conducted by Grand View:

  • The global AI market size was worth $62 billion in 2020, and is expected to have an annual growth rate of 40.2% from 2021 to 2028,
  • In McKinsey’s “The state of AI in 2021” survey 56% of respondents report adopting AI, an increase from 50% of respondents the previous year,
  • Accenture’s report on AI found that 84% of C-suite executives believe that leveraging  AI will help them achieve their growth objectives

You could say that AI is no longer an experimental technology. However, these statistics show that AI is only used by some brands, though for many companies around the world it has become a core part of their operations.

AI doesn’t need to be complicated and difficult.  It’s only within the last few years that AI has managed to make the leap from theory to practice. But where and how can you use AI to benefit your business?

 

Business Benefits of deploying AI

  • Process automation can boost efficiency
  • Improvements in service and customer experience speed and consistency
  • Data and customer insights can be used to inform impactful decision-making
  • Opportunities for new products and services can be uncovered

 

In a survey by Narrative Science 44% of executives believe artificial intelligence’s most important benefit is “automated communications that provide data that can be used to make decisions.”

Some companies might be using AI without really knowing it. There are many applications that include embedded AI. The most common being those apps for marketing, sales and  customer service. Listed below are a few examples of how artificial intelligence is used in business.

 

Customer Service

If you have ever visited a website and been greeted by a chatbot you will have experienced  one of the most common instances of AI driven customer experience. Chatbots can enable  companies to reduce the cost of providing many manual and time consuming (and expensive) customer service processes. Freeing up employees’ time for issues that require more personalised attention and which are perhaps more profitable for a business such as sales.

Chatbots use a combination of natural language processing, machine learning and AI to understand customer requests. If the chatbot technology cannot answer the customer query then they can help route the query to the best equipped person to solve their query.

 

Product recommendations and upselling options 

AI can help companies make product recommendations that will align with customers’ interests and help improve customer engagement. By tracking customer behaviour on your website, you can present your customers with services or products that are relevant to the customer and based on their prior purchases, or have been viewed by customers with a similar demographic. A very important tactic for companies in the ecommerce space.

Another example of personalised recommendations comes from streaming services. By analysing the types of music, movies and shows you click and listen to/watch most frequently, streaming platforms can make suggestions for you primarily to get you to remain in the app for longer periods of time by presenting you with personalised and relevant recommendations.

 

Audience segmentation

Similar to recommending products, marketing and advertising teams can use martech with AI to segment audiences and create more personalised and targeted marketing campaigns. With 3rd party data and cookies being outlawed it is especially important to capture first party data and then ensure you are using that data to present your customers with personalised and relevant offers, products and services.  To ensure marketing campaigns are more effective, companies can use data driven by AI to push relevant ads to the right type of users. AI can be used to predict how customers will respond to specific ads and recommendations.

 

Customer Satisfaction Analysis 

Sentiment analysis, which is sometimes called emotion AI, is a tactic that companies use to gauge the reactions of their customers. Through the use of AI and machine learning, companies gather data on how customers perceive their brand. This can include using AI social listening tools to monitor social media posts, reviews, and ratings that mention the brand. Insights gained from this analysis enables companies to provide proactive customer service and make improvements to their product or service.

 

Optimising Operations 

AI-driven solutions can be used by companies to predict the price of material and shipping whilst also providing more accurate estimates of how fast products can move through the supply chain. Optimising operations is a key benefit of implementing AI based predictions.

 

Fraud Prevention

There are AI based applications in the financial industry that can be deployed to identify suspicious transactions through the use of machine learning algorithms. When a fraud risk is detected, the application can block the transaction being processed and alert their fraud prevention team.

 

AI in Travel

As Katie King, CEO AI In business reports in her blog Is AI the Answer to Hospitality, Travel & Tourism’s Troubles?  While guests and passengers enthusiastically returned to travel, staff did not. With the outcomes of staff shortages being airport disruption, and hotels, restaurants and bars also facing disruption. This of course has a massive impact on the customer experience. AI can help here although whilst in IBM’s Global AI Adoption Index 2022 it was reported that 35% of companies have adopted AI in their business processes this does not include travel, still ranked as one one of the industries with the least AI adoption.

Chatbots and virtual assistants are all relatively straightforward to implement with a wealth of NOCODE tools from the likes of Salesforce, Zendesk, Hubspot and wotnot.io, however, there are good and not so good chatbot implementations.  I won’t call any out here but I am sure you will have experienced them.

Data Analytics is the Future of AI.

Today’s advanced analytic tools are capable of gathering data from a wide range of sources. Information related to demographic data, purchase history, support interactions, customer preferences, and more, can be automatically captured and evaluated, providing a business with actionable outcomes that are easy to digest. Data analytics can help organisations better understand important information yet AI takes things a step further.

 

Doing more with less

From an operations perspective and with fewer available staff, AI can be used to deliver information on products and the customer in real time and to the right touch points providing teams with actionable information making them more productive.  The use of AI and machine learning can be especially impactful where there are many laborious manual processes. Product suggestion, upselling and identifying which customers to focus on based on payment due dates, their propensity to buy and lapsed contact identification, are all major benefits of using an AI driven platform.

 

Summary

There is no need to consider AI as something very complex to implement, but an opportunity to improve business performance and out shine your competitors. If you use the right tools which include AI, and with the rise in NOCODE solutions, AI can be relatively straightforward to implement.

AI is about discovery and learning, and identifying those insights in your data and presenting them as actionable insights.

 

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