Over the past few years, robotic or artificial intelligence technology has rapidly developed. As robots become smarter and gain new capabilities – thanks to advancements in machine learning, companies are increasingly jumping on the bandwagon.
In fact, recent research by Narrative Science reveals 61% of businesses have implemented some form of AI. This trend is expected to continue and soon every modern company will employ some kind of artificial intelligence.
Uses of artificial intelligence in business
The beauty of artificial intelligence is that this technology is extremely flexible and as such has many purposes. Nearly a quarter of businesses currently use AI applications for predictive analytics, while 22% use it for machine learning (an algorithm that allows devices to “learn” based on data).
Other uses include natural language processing, voice recognition, virtual personal assistants and chatbots, and diagnostics.
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.
Amazon uses AI technology to run Amazon Go, a brick-and-mortar store that allows customers to make purchases without the hassle of checking out, Netflix uses it to recommend shows customers would enjoy, and Uber is experimenting with creating driverless cars. With so many AI applications, it’s only natural to wonder how artificial intelligence can help your business.
Five benefits of artificial intelligence
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 and medium-sized businesses.
AI software such as Gong, Chorus, and Jog 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 communicate with customers and ultimately increase your conversion rate.
2. 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 such as Zoom.ai 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 reduces human error
Robotic process automation (RPA) can help businesses avoid costly human errors. Each year human errors cost SMEs millions of pounds. 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.
SMEs use RPA software across a range of industries and purposes. For example, making logical and consistent marketing decisions, avoiding expensive fines from mistakes within compliance reports, and using set protocols to reduce injuries at work. Leading RPA tools include Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, and Uipath.
4. Artificial intelligence improves customer service
Artificial intelligence can help companies collect data on customers’ pain points, sales journeys, and even how best to communicate with them. As such, companies 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 allow companies 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 be integrated into your company’s CRM and ERP software.
5. Achieve higher ROI with artificial intelligence
Perhaps the most significant advantage of artificial intelligence in business is its potential for high return on investment. 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, optimising campaign messaging and enhanced customer engagement all of which can ultimately drive increased sales.
Future of AI: Are robots replacing humans?
With so many benefits, it might be easy to imagine a future where robots completely replace human employees. Most AI experts suggest that rather than replacing humans, robots should work alongside employees. Assigning tedious or dangerous tasks to robots allows humans to focus on more fulfilling jobs and therefore improves work environments.
So should your business hire robot workers or have you started to do this for certain functions at your company? Let us know in the comments below.