Diverse industries are investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning to increase their competitive edge and meet rising consumers’ needs. Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to a constellation of technology and tools that work together to understand, act, and mimic human decision-making for accelerated efficiency. Machine learning (ML), a subset of AI, uses algorithms to implement techniques and tools to solve problems using data and self-learning. The benefits of AI and ML span industry verticals due to their ability to optimize the customer experience, talent acquisition, and fundamental business operations.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into AI and highlight impactful uses that can enhance every organization. Whether you’re already using some aspects of AI for your emails and social media and require a solution for customer service or you’re still researching and assessing what AI can do for your business, we’ll outline key concepts and applications across multiple industries you need to know.
What is AI?
At its core, AI represents an umbrella of technology programmed to complete tasks through the interpretation of data, analytical reasoning, and learning with trial and adaptation. Examples of AI are vast and include facial recognition, facial recognition, voice-to-text automated transcription, ride-sharing apps such as Uber, and disease mapping.
Artificial intelligence has been around since the 1950s, yet it can be difficult to define based on who you ask due to its multiple subsets. Some of these subsets are often mistakenly interchanged and include machine learning, deep learning, and expert systems, so we’ll briefly define each.
- Machine Learning: a subset of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to self-learn.
- Deep Learning: machine learning applied to large data sets, aka Big Data.
- Expert Systems: Using deep learning, an expert system can interpret, infer, diagnose, and recommend repairs for complex challenges using a rules-based system.
Integrating artificial intelligence often requires a group of multi-faceted experts to strategize a master AI plan with your organization’s leaders to achieve business goals using technology. Even if your organization has determined critical pieces such as the big picture, the vision, the mission, and the goals, the specifics of the day-to-day, the “how”, is imperative to develop. This sensitive undertaking requires partnership with AI experts to effectively assemble and harmonize artificial intelligence into your existing workflows.
Benefits of Implementing AI
Imagine running a more efficient organization that provides unrivaled customer service and a memorable brand experience. Now imagine that’s occurring while you’re hiring top talent and experiencing minimal operational errors in a fraction of the time. All are possible with AI.
Improve the Customer Experience
The customer experience is how consumers perceive their relationship with your brand, beginning with the first interaction. From visiting your website for the first time to a seamless checkout experience and satisfying customer service requests efficiently, the customer experience makes up every component of interaction between consumers and your products and services, online and offline. With so many variables, organizations are investing in AI to improve their efforts to surprise and delight consumers and handle a volume beyond the human workforce capacity.
In 2021, chatbots will outdo other customer service platforms. AI-driven chatbots enable companies to provide 24/7-customer-support by automating customer communications, providing a more personalized user experience.
A survey of over 430 B2B sales teams found that failure to follow-up within 5 minutes of new inquiries on their website led to a 10x decrease in their ability to contact the lead.
9/10 consumers want to use live chat to speak with business representatives, so AI-driven chatbots enable companies the ability to provide 24/7 customer support by automating customer communications until a representative can take over.
Banks with recently added chatbots have seen a decrease in salary and benefit costs while advancing back-office efficiency. For example, a voice-enabled AI-bot can reduce six tasks to one by pulling up requested files by voice command, which would take a human user several clicks and layers of navigation to find. Chatbots are rapidly entering the workplace, due to their ability to use natural language processing (NLP) to match written or spoken input to an intent.
Research from Gartner strongly recommends that companies source third parties to create chatbots. Best practices include the ability to implement governance policies and the ability to screen AI vendors carefully since quality control and ongoing maintenance and monitoring are necessary factors. Without the right machine learning assets and data science, you could be setting up your AI-powered customer service to fail.
9/10 consumers expect a personalized experience. In fact:
- 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company with a personalized experience.
- 77% of consumers have paid more or recommended a brand to others based on a personalized experience.
While 77% of organizations are using personalization in emails, only 52% are applying personalization to their websites, 31% are utilizing personalization within a mobile app, and 24% are using personalization for web applications. Additionally, 55% of companies believe they don’t have sufficient data and insights to drive effective personalization.
Through the use of predictive analytics, your organization can project likely scenarios based on historical data and trends using ML, statistical modeling, and data mining. If you’ve ever had products recommended to you on a website such as Amazon, then you’ve experienced predictive analytics delivering automated personalization.
Netflix saves $1 billion a year in customer retention costs alone by employing predictive analytics for recommendations to current customers, delighting their consumers by providing what they want even before the consumers know what they want.
Delivering personalization is a key driving factor of increasing revenue and relationship building, yet tapping the necessary data, from sourcing to analyzing, can feel overwhelming. AI can simplify the process, save time, and deliver results that can be measured and monitored.
When behavior can’t be predicted, consumer data can be collected and analyzed through AI to power new product development. Coca-Cola unveiled Cherry Sprite after monitoring consumer behavior with self-serve drink machines through data analysis and AI insights. Think of the increased capabilities and agility your teams could utilize if you had new intelligence on the different ways your consumers used your products.
Customer service, automated personalization, and product development are just three areas where AI can improve the customer experience for almost every industry. More opportunities may exist in your organization within the mountains of data at your disposal that requires expert systems.
Simplify the Hiring Process
While 67% of hiring managers confirmed they currently use AI, implementation typically involves advertising job openings and screening resumes. HR departments have an opportunity to adopt AI to speed up the candidate review process in competitive fields with small talent pools. AI technology decreases the time to fill vacant roles, analyzing candidate applications faster than human agents.
Filling 250 jobs within two months, PepsiCo utilized an AI-bot named Vera to conduct the first round of interviews. Vera interviewed 1,500 candidates, a task the robot can complete in nine hours, while HR staff would take around nine weeks to interview the same number of candidates. This optimization provides an upper hand for recruitment teams by boosting cost-efficiency and slashing time during talent acquisition.
Reduce Human Error
Despite all of man’s achievements, humans are still prone to error, which is why all industries are looking for ways to implement artificial intelligence to eradicate miscalculations that could cost organizations millions or more.
In 2018, businesses lost $1.2 billion to business email compromise, and 94% of IT professionals in the Finance industry said they’re not confident in the ability of employees, consultants, and partners to safeguard data. Machine learning algorithms can be programmed to recognize malicious emails, analyze legitimacy, and block potential security threats.
Forecasting cash flow is also prone to human error while essential to business success, similar to the use of workplace emails. AI can help businesses automate accurate forecasting without manual intervention while providing companies greater visibility of their future finances, empowering them to make better decisions.
No matter your goals for reducing human error, from implementing cybersecurity to forecasting cash flow, the reduction of risk and protection of assets is far greater with artificial intelligence systems.
Any industry can benefit from implementing AI to improve the customer experience, expedite hiring qualified candidates, and upgrade operations for increased security and cost savings. By investing in the proper development and ongoing maintenance and monitoring, you can deliver transformative automation while saving time and reducing errors like never before with AI designed to fit the unique needs of your business.
Discover how your business can customize the potential of artificial intelligence. Schedule a time to talk to our experts now.