The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution is not coming — it is here. While AI’s potential for your company might not seem immediately obvious, this technology is capable of helping businesses of all shapes and sizes to ‘get smart.’
AI generally refers to the use of computer systems to perform tasks commonly thought to require human intelligence. Examples include image perception, voice recognition, problem solving, and decision making. AI includes machine learning, an iterative process where machines improve their performance over time based on examples and structured feedback rather than explicit programming.
Three applications to consider
Businesses can use AI to improve a variety of functions, and three specific applications to consider are:
- Sales and marketing. You might already use a customer relationship management (CRM) system, but introducing AI can really increase your efforts and efficiencies. AI can go much further — and much faster — than traditional CRM.
For example, AI is able to analyze buyer behavior and consumer sentiments across a range of media, including recorded phone conversations, email, social media, and reviews. AI also can, in a relative blink of the eye, process consumer and market data from a far wider range of sources than previously thought possible. It also can automate the repetitive tasks that eat up your sales or marketing team’s time.
All of this results in quicker generation of qualified leads. With AI, you can deploy your sales force and marketing resources more efficiently and effectively, reducing your cost of customer acquisition along the way.
- Customer service. Keeping customers satisfied is the key to retaining them. But customers do not always tell you when they are unhappy. AI can pick up on negative signals and find correlations to behavior in customer data, empowering you to save important relationships.
You can integrate AI into your customer support function, too. By leaving tasks such as classifying tickets and routing calls to AI, you will reduce wait times and free up representatives to focus on customers who need the human touch.
- Competitive intelligence. Imagine knowing your competitors’ strategies and moves almost as well as your own. AI-based competitive analysis tools will track other companies’ activities across different channels, noting pricing and product changes and subtle shifts in messaging. They can highlight competitors’ strengths and weaknesses that will help you plot your own course.
The future is now
AI is not a fad; it is becoming more and more entrenched in our business and personal lives. Companies that recognize this paradigm shift should jump on board now to save time, cut costs, and develop a clear competitive edge.