We’re on a mission – a communications mission. We want to de-mystify technology, jettison jargon and explain tech developments in plain English, to help inform and inspire you. In this issue, we’re focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI). But, what is AI and how could it boost your business?
Briefly, AI is the development of computer systems able to perform human tasks. This might include speech recognition, visual perception and decision making. Think Amazon’s Alexa, the voice assistant gadget and Self-driving vehicles, operated by sensors.
But AI can also help transform small businesses, providing affordable tools which make a big impact. It is revolutionising industries, from professional services, to retail.
Here are a couple of examples of AI and the use of chatbots, which could benefit smaller businesses across many sectors. We’ve also flagged up some of the challenges.
You’ve probably come across chatbots. These are the pop-up boxes on websites, asking how they can help you. They’re almost all automated, enabling you to ask questions and receive answers, driven by a set of rules, or often AI. This helps decrease the back-office costs and, arguably, provides a more personalised service to customers. They can be used in a huge range of ways, for example, to take bookings and handling customer responses to questions and promotions.
However, some customers find them annoying. But, as customers get used to these new experiences the balance may tip. Gartner, the US tech research and advisory firm, predicts that by 2020 25% of customer service operations will use these Virtual Customer Assistants. Read more on Gartner’s research here.
Organisations can create systems which help with training, coaching and improve forecasting. For example, by collecting and analysing data related to sales pipelines and sales rep performance, AI can deliver insight into where reps are failing to close deals. This then informs and influences sales training, which can be undertaken by chatbots.
The chatbots can coach a sales person and provide data on words, information and conversations, which are successful in closing sales.
Is there a downside? Nothing beats face-to-face sales training as a valuable way of learning the tactics and techniques of selling. Further down the line, chatbots can help to provide insight and analytics to help refine and improve sales performance.
The wonderful world of AI is accelerating at speed, so it is worth investigating how AI could help drive forward your company.
Want to learn more about how tech could support your business? Read our article about the Internet of Things (IoT)
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