Technology & Innovation

5 ways AI can help your business do more

Discover a number of ways you can use artificial intelligence in your business and the benefits you can gain from it.

Artificial intelligence and robots could make your business run more efficiently

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence (AI) technology has rapidly developed.

Robots have become infinitely smarter and gained new capabilities due to advancements in machine learning.

But what’s really driving the AI explosion we’ve seen in the past 12 months or so is a massive growth in accessibility.

Today, companies of every shape and size are using generative AI in their everyday operations.

And you’d be hard-pressed to find a business technology vendor that isn’t adding the technology into its products.

According to a recent study by CompTIA, 22% of businesses are aggressively pursuing its integration across a wide variety of technology products and business workflows, with another third engaging in limited implementation.

Due to this democratisation of AI, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of this innovative technology.

In this article, we take a look at a few of the ways you can apply it in your business, and what kind of benefits you could gain from it.

Here’s what we cover:

How you can use AI in your business

The beauty of AI is that it’s extremely flexible and as such has many uses.

More than half of businesses currently use AI applications in their customer service, while 30% use it for accounting.

Other uses include:

  • Virtual personal assistants
  • Cyber security
  • Inventory management
  • Service personalisation
  • Supply chain operations
  • Recruitment.

AI is already disrupting sectors and business functions such as manufacturing, logistics, sales and customer experience.

As this technology continues to develop and reach new milestones, it’s expected to have a significant impact on nearly every industry.

Unsurprisingly, large corporations are already adopting AI technology.

You’ll no doubt have seen countless websites using AI-powered chatbots, for example, to answer customer questions or point them in the right direction quickly.

After building ChatGPT into its customer service channels, energy supplier Octopus Energy says 44% of its customer inquiries are now handled by AI.

But the application of AI in business is already going far deeper.

Take delivery firm FedEx, for instance. In a bid to retain customers, the company is using predictive analysis to detect customers who may be about to leave them for a competitor—which it claims it can do with up to 90% accuracy.

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5 benefits of AI in business

1. AI software boosts sales

Data and insights can be invaluable when it comes to increasing conversion rates.

AI technology can process large amounts of information and provide accurate insights into the sales channels of small businesses and medium-sized businesses.

AI software such as Gong and Chorus can listen to calls made by your sales team and analyse these calls to identify the variables that helped close the deal, for example, word choice or time spent talking versus time spent listening.

These insights can then be used to improve how your sales team communicates with customers and ultimately increase your conversion rate.

2. AI automation software enhances engagement and productivity

On average, UK SMEs spend 120 days per year on admin tasks. This time could be better spent creating new opportunities for growth.

AI applications allow you to automate routine admin tasks, freeing up employees for more profitable assignments.

You can streamline invoice and inventory processes with accounting software or hire a virtual assistant to schedule meetings, transcribe calls, and even book Uber rides.

Eliminating these tasks from employees’ workloads leads to higher engagement and productivity across your entire company.

3. AI software can reduce human errors

Robotic process automation (RPA) can help businesses avoid costly human errors.

RPA tools are designed to continually collect, analyse, and learn from large amounts of data. As such, robots are far more effective at standardising processes than human employees.

That combination of consistency and speed makes these kinds of automation tools really useful for admin tasks such as accounting, time management, and reporting.

Sage Ai, for example, can cut invoice processing time by more than 50% by using automation.

The application of RPA software is huge, and is used by businesses across a range of industries and use cases, from making logical and consistent marketing decisions, to avoiding expensive fines from mistakes within compliance reports, and using set protocols to reduce injuries at work.

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4. AI improves customer service

AI can help your business collect data on customers’ pain points, sales journeys, and even how best to communicate with them.

As such, you can develop more precise and in-depth insights to improve customer service.

Artificial neural networks (ANN) are AI applications that use machine learning to analyse language and identify subtle meanings.

When used for customer service, artificial neural networks allows your business to more efficiently address customers’ needs and provide 24/7 support.

Chatbots use ANN to provide customers with context-based answers and respond to their individual needs instead of using a set script.

These chatbots can often learn new answers and responses based on past experiences and easily integrate into your business’s CRM and ERP software.

5. Achieve higher ROI with AI

Perhaps the most significant advantage of artificial intelligence in business is its potential for high return on investment (ROI).

AI applications allow you to quickly collect and analyse massive amounts of data about consumers.

When converted into customer insights and used for marketing purposes, this data can help you:

  • Create more effective strategies for targeting adverts
  • Optimise campaign messaging
  • Enhance customer engagement.

All of these can ultimately drive increased sales.

Final thoughts

With so many benefits, it might be easy to imagine a future where robots completely replace human employees.

However, most AI experts suggest that rather than replacing humans, robots can work alongside employees to boost human productivity.

Assigning tedious or dangerous tasks to robots allows humans to focus on more fulfilling jobs and therefore improves work environments.

Editor’s note: This article was first published in September 2018 and has been updated for relevance.