Artificial intelligence (AI) use-cases are growing by the day, and one of the key ways the technology has been proven to help businesses is by enhancing customer experience. The goal of AI is to complete many of the tasks humans do in a quicker and more sophisticated way. However, businesses need to consider whether or not they require AI in the first place, and if it can help improve areas such as the customer experience.

Originally by Mike Buckley at Cisco

The benefit of artificial intelligence: a quicker, more sophisticated tool

Just because some companies are opting for AI, doesn’t necessarily mean it is for every business. First and foremost, it’s worth analysing areas of your business where you feel improvements could be, or should be, made. A way to do this would be to employ Enterprise Resource Planning. Once you’ve determined if improvements can be made, you need to consider whether AI is the best solution.

This may require a deeper analysis of the business, asking your employees areas where they feel they need help or to identify tasks they find frustrating to work on. In addition, you could ask questions about how long certain tasks are taking, and consider whether this is longer than necessary.

It’s worth speaking to your CTO or equivalent about whether or not the technology you have in mind can easily be integrated into the business, and whether it will produce the benefits that the product says it will.

Then comes the tender and trial process; the only way you’ll really find out if a product can produce the results you’d like is by piloting it. How do the employees react? Is it saving time? Is it having an effect on customer experience?

A follow-up survey with customers and employees can help you gauge the success and suitability of the AI tool in question.

 

Where can I find AI in business use-case examples?

AI is already being built into well-known product suites that you will be familiar with. For example, customer relationship management (CRM) systems is one of the places that AI is most prominent and are one of the key investments many small businesses (and larger companies) make.

CRM systems have been around for many years, and is essentially the software that enables a small business to begin making the most of their customer data. That is, the ability to understand customer patterns and trends and target customers depending on their preferences.

AI can begin enhancing CRM in analysing data and handling customer enquiries. The technology can suggest or automate answers to incoming customer queries. It also classifies tickets and messages, routing them to the right team.

In the future, AI will also help you to predict your customers’ needs and make relevant suggestions before they contact you.

Salesforce, for example, offers Einstein AI as an add-on to its CRM. This can analyse phone calls, emails, social media posts and customer reviews, and suggests changes to your marketing and sales activities, including personalised marketing campaigns.

 

Personalised, AI-matched content

The benefits are real; at a 2017 conference entitled Consumerology, Vesselin Popov from the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, explained: “Personality-matched content is twice as profitable. And when people spend on ads that match their personality, they are happier too”.

In fact, 28% of global companies have already used AI as part of their CRM strategy and 41 percent plan to do so in 2018 and 2019, according to a report by market intelligence firm IDC and Salesforce .

However, Popov warned it’s important to avoid being too intrusive.

“People don’t like predictions being made about them without their consent. If you personalise, there needs to be a benefit to the customer and the content needs to be relevant,” he said.

So, if your business was to introduce AI features into your CRM you need to ask whether the technology will provide benefits that go beyond your existing CRM set up, and whether it is worth the additional investment. You’ll also have to keep in mind privacy and whether or not the AI features will seem intrusive to your customers.

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