The buzz over AI is loud in business, but don’t jump on the bandwagon just yet. You need a thoughtful plan of action to avoid what those of us in education know as “tech fatigue,” or the implementation of tech initiatives with no real goal for ROI. Launching blindly can leave you with an expensive tool, collecting metaphorical dust on your registers.
AI does have the potential to increase both your top and bottom line, but you have to consider its real purpose. AI solves resource issues, jumping in where teams struggle so you can put your best people back where they’ll have real value and that’s one of the best ways to increase the value of your products. Let’s take a look at how AI can accomplish this one overarching goal.
How many times a day do your salespeople and customer service agents answer the same shallow questions? Add up all the time someone responds with your company’s hours or return policy, and you’ve got a lot of time on your hands that isn’t spent nurturing leads and providing deep level customer support.
Machines can take over these questions easily thanks to the newest generation of chatbots. In some trials, customers had no idea they weren’t speaking to a real-life human, getting answers quickly and comfortably.
Your people now have more time for in-depth interactions. Machines can even flag conversations for potential human intervention once the queries turn away from standard responses.
The result? Your team produces quicker service and better outcomes.
Before the internet, complaints were made face-to-face or over the phone. The channel for feedback has widened, causing potential lags in response times. When things move quickly over the internet, it may take more manpower than what you can give to monitor all your business channels.
That’s bad news. One unaddressed complaint that sits for weeks or even mere days on a Facebook post can wreak havoc on your reputation. AI combs your channels for you, analyzing posts for both overt and covert opinion, giving you a better response time to what your customers and potential customers are saying.
The result? Your team spends less time monitoring feedback and more time acting on it.
Consistent Contracts And Agreements
How much time does your legal department spend parsing complex legalese for agreements? What’s the possibility you’ve created inconsistencies with your legal agreements with customers, opening your organization up to negative renegotiations or possible litigation down the road?
AI doesn’t forget terms. Using AI to help draft agreements and check for inconsistencies can free your legal team to negotiate and draft deep level responses tailored to each customer or situation. AI can analyze legacy documents, redline agreements, suggest changes, and flag potential issues. These actions can take days for an individual contract and weeks for bulk contracts, putting your legal team in a tough spot balancing timeliness with due diligence. AI transforms this process with better, faster analysis.
The result? Your contracts get drafted faster, and your legal team is free for higher risk operations such as negotiations or preparing for scale or international expansion.
Your IT team (or person) is probably overloaded handling potential security breaches, software updates, employee and customer tech support, and building new or better systems. AI doesn’t just detect when hackers have breached your system. It can take over lower level tech support much the way chatbots help your customer service team, by handling small issues that crop up regularly. Your IT team can handle more complex issues without getting bogged down in simple, low-level support.
AI can also consistently monitor your machine to machine support, patching holes in back end breaches throw traditionally low monitored network areas such as your multifunction printer. It can alert potential red flags and handle updates, creating more trust between you and your customers.
The Result? Your IT team is ready to handle scale and stay better informed throughout your network.
Better Financial Analysis
Your finance teams are just as overloaded as your legal department. If you’ve got one person handling the finances, you’re wasting your talent on tedious financial agreements and language. Instead, AI can learn to comb financial documents for red flags, potential discrepancies, and issue alerts based on upcoming renegotiations. It can also take large amounts of data to make more informed decisions for funding, merger, and international acquisitions without sending customers away screaming.
The result? Your finance person or teams can make better-informed decisions and focus on deep level actions such as preparing for scale or critical restructuring.
Custom User Content
Companies with large consumer-facing products can use AI to tailor content more carefully to their individual customers. Online interaction has largely replaced face-to-face interaction, and AI can help create those close customer relationships by learning customer patterns and responding accordingly.
Tolerance for irrelevant content is at an all-time low, and consumers are demanding content specific to their interests. Your content marketing department doesn’t have the manpower to tailor content to each particular customer or even respond to customer demand for new content.
AI can tailor customer experiences in everything from targeted search results to writing short, simple content. Your content marketing department is free to produce high-level content for lead generation, expertise building, and other in-depth reporting.
The result? Less budget waste with poor performing content and higher, more consistent content ROI.
Transforming Operations With Artificial Intelligence
You might be tempted to think of AI as only a customer-facing prospect, but you’d be missing out on some of your most valuable applications. Back office operations can transform with AI input, allowing your team to do what humans do best: solve problems and innovate. The best plan of action is to consider carefully where your biggest waste comes from and find an AI solution to plug the leak.
The best news? Few organizations are creating their AI and machine learning solutions strictly in-house. There is an abundance of SaaS models that get you tailored done-for-you services with less hosting expense and more efficient implementation. The only thing you need to decide is when you’ll start.
Editor’s note: Ready to use this strategy and make the most out of an expo hall experience? Attend the AI Solution Showcase Expo & Demo Hall at ODSC East 2019 this April 30-May 3 in Boston!