A research paper from McKinsey and Company outlined the huge potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its ability to contribute massive sums to the global economy. Businesses from are adopting the AI technology in their systems in one form or another. It is estimated that by 2030, 70% of the enterprises will have adopted AI technology for their entire business functions. Consequently, the AI is expected to contribute nearly $13 trillion and increase the global GDP by 1.2% every year. The learning curve and adoption trends are expected to be slow at first as businesses take time to invest and deploy the technology. But an accelerated growth is to be observed as the competition grows and businesses become used to the technology.
Artificial intelligence and its applications are spread out across a number of applications and services. AI is a wide term and encompasses a multitude of technologies and approaches. Primarily, an AI’s purpose is to imitate a human brain’s cognitive function and to be able to learn and solve problems. Two of the most effective applications of AI include Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Machine learning uses complex algorithms for data analysis, while deep learning uses neural networks to perform more complex tasks like language generation and audio and image recognition. Suffice it to say that AI has proliferated the market completely and is making waves in every business function. The different industries and business functions that can be made more efficient and productive by integration of AI-enabled systems include;
Sales and Customer Service
Businesses, particularly those targeting a corporate level clientele use internal sales teams to target their audiences. Add to that the long and tedious tasks of customer services and business support. All such functions are slow and time-consuming. This is one of the main reasons many websites these days have 24/7 chat support. They are able to provide round the clock customer services through chatbots that use AI tech to answer questions that are repeatedly asked by customers or clients. For businesses having a large customer base, answering a wide set of queries and keeping customers up to date with the latest can be a daunting task. Not to mention the huge costs of hiring an army of customer service representatives. Chatbots can effectively answer every day queries of customers and keep them up to date on changes in their services.
Not only that there are tools available that use machine learning protocols to analyse the techniques used by most high-revenue generating sales representatives like the set of words they use, the time they spend listening to the client versus the time they spend speaking. The tool can then suggest a set of best practices other sales reps can use to attract more clients.
Improve Employee Functions
Studies and surveys show that more than 70 per cent of employees in a business environment are not engaged in their work. For a startup or a small business, it can be even more of a concern that their employees are not engaged or inspired by the work they do. For startups and online businesses, it can be costly, not to mention time-consuming to develop a full-scale HR department that can contribute towards positive engagement of employees. A number of AI solutions for this purpose are now available that can provide HR support to employees round the clock. It may be easier for employees to address their concerns to a chatbot or an automated system instead of coming forward with their concerns to the HR or their supervisor. Once the chatbot has answered a designated set of questions for an employee, the system can then revert the specific concerns to the relevant department head or supervisor to resolve.
Decrease Fraud and Crime
Every business, online or otherwise, experiences cybercrime and digital scams on some level or the other. Online fraud manages to extract billions of dollars worth of revenues from businesses, thus causing them both structural as well as financial losses. As it turns out, AI enabled fraud prevention tools are just the thing that can help e-commerce retailers as well as the financial services sector to save millions, if not billions of dollars in fraud costs. With advanced transaction monitoring systems and real time KYC & AML verification solutions now available, online merchants can catch fraudsters before they can cause much harm.
Monitoring systems enable banks and online businesses to track customer transactions and flag any suspicious activity. When an alert is issued the company can further investigate the transaction to check its legitimacy. Moreover, online identity verification services are now being implemented for customer verifications. They can use document verification to validate a customer’s identity and facial recognition tech to authenticate it. Furthermore, address verification services are used by businesses to verify the shipping addresses given by customers. All such verification tools allow online retailers to weed out fraudsters and scam artists.
Apart from that AML screening checks can also be used by businesses, and financial service institutes, in particular, to screen an individual against global watchlists to check if they are a politically exposed person (PEP) or not. Such verifications are carried out in order to comply with AML or Anti Money Laundering regulations imposed by different regulatory authorities.
Find the Perfect Product-Market Fit
Small online businesses tend to survive on finding their product market fit. Unlike big corporations, they do not stand a chance if they risk targeting the wrong market for their product or service. Fortunately for them, advanced AI-based tools are now available that can assess the customer feedback for a product or service and can categorise them according to their responses. Such AI systems use techniques like machine learning, market segmentation and deep learning to evaluate the perfect fit for a product and the market it should choose to target.
Furthermore, it is no surprise that tech giants like Facebook and Google use targeted advertising by utilising artificial intelligence protocols and displaying ads to users according to their search history and preferences and likes. Even newsfeeds include content that users view most often. Using such targeted ads can enable businesses to point out customers that are best attracted to their product or service.
Use AI to Generate Marketing and Product-Related Insights
AI is also being increasingly used by businesses today to generate insights for marketing campaigns. AI and machine learning systems are used to develop systems that can extract data from CRM software. Large amounts of customer feedback and queries received by the business can be used to extract meaningful insights regarding how to position their product or service and what improvements can be made to it to resolve prevailing customer concerns. Since AI-based systems work much faster, they can enable the management to take timely decisions that are intelligent as well as practical. They can also enable the company to identify which customers to focus on which opportunities to avail first.
Artificial intelligence is generally perceived by some companies as something that can only be used by huge corporations with unlimited resources. As a matter of fact, as the trend of SaaS (software as a service) products has increased, implementing AI solutions in businesses has become easier than it ever was. A number of individual service providers are developing AI-based tools that are offered as a cost-effective software solution to businesses. All the costs of developing the technology are borne by the service provider and all a company has to do is pay for the service. Be it customer service tools or fraud prevention solutions for implementing anti money laundering regulations, AI is allowing businesses to significantly improve their revenues, and perhaps even earn billions in profits.