Artificial intelligence (AI) has been on the rise for some time now. It's not only making humans more efficient; it's also revolutionizing the way we do business. In fact, as of 2021, 86% of CEOs note that AI is a mainstay in their offices. From predicting customer behavior to reducing data entry, it’s becoming indispensable in unprecedented ways.
This hardly comes as a surprise, considering that, with AI, you can make decisions much faster and more accurately than before. And while using it is still a relatively new concept, it already has multiple business applications. In this article, we are going to go over eight current uses of AI in business.
Let’s dive in!
Overview of current uses of AI in business
Automation, data analytics, and natural language processing (NLP) are among the top applications of AI. How do these three domains simplify processes and increase operational efficiency? Here’s how they affect a wide range of businesses:
- Automation: People are no longer required to undertake repetitive activities as a result of automation. It frees up employees' time to focus on higher value work by completing monotonous or error-prone tasks.
- Data Analytics: Data analytics allows organizations to gain insights that were previously inaccessible by discovering new patterns and correlations in data.
- Natural Language Processing (NLP): Natural Language Processing is beneficial because it empowers search engines to be smarter, chatbots to be more helpful, and boosts accessibility for those with disabilities, such as hearing impairments.
Other current uses of AI for business include:
- Data transferring, cross-referencing, and file updates
- Predicting consumer behavior and product suggestions
- Fraud detection
- Advertising and marketing messages that are tailored to the individual
- Customer service using a telephone or chatbot.
With this brief overview, let’s look at use cases for artificial intelligence in some top areas of business.
Using artificial intelligence in Sales
Expert sellers and sales companies are rethinking the balance between humans and machines in sales. Automation AI is already affecting sales and will continue to do so. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, companies using AI for sales are able to increase their leads by more than 50%, reduce call time by 60-70%, and have cost reductions of 40-60%. Given these numbers, it’s clear as day that leaders seeking to improve their bottom line should look into artificial intelligence.
Here are a few current uses of AI in sales:
- Demand forecasting – Forecasts are complex, but they can be automated. Artificial intelligence enables the creation of automated and accurate sales projections based on all client interactions and historical sales results.
- Lead scoring – AI aids in lead prioritization. These tools help sales professionals prioritize customers based on their probability to convert. With AI, the algorithm can rank the opportunities or leads in the pipeline based on their chances of closing successfully by compiling historical information about a client and social media postings and the salesperson's customer interaction history.
- Sales rep chat/email bot – Chatbots are said to improve sales by 67% on average. They can help start the conversation by sending a tailored message, making it simple for customers to interact right away or come back later. AI algorithms can also produce personalized emails, saving sales reps from manually sending out personalized messages to several different customers.
Using artificial intelligence in Marketing
To improve operational efficiency while increasing customer experience, many organizations and marketing teams are rapidly adopting intelligent technology solutions such as AI. With AI, marketers can acquire a deeper insight into their target consumers. The data obtained can then be utilized to increase conversions while also reducing marketing teams' workload.
Here are a few current uses of AI in marketing:
- Better CRO and customized website experiences – while artificial intelligence is still far from being able to construct whole new websites, it can assist in improving the visitor experience on a website through intelligent personalization.
Intelligent algorithms can aid in the personalization of:
- Website experience – A single user's location, demographics, device, interaction with the website, and other information are analyzed using artificial intelligence, which then displays the most relevant offers and content based on the analysis.
- Push notifications – Push notifications can be tailored to individual users with behavioral personalization, ensuring that they get the most relevant message at the most appropriate moment.
- Image recognition – with computer vision, computers and systems can infer meaning from digital images, videos, and other visual inputs and then act or recommend accordingly. Marketers can use this to analyze the millions of pictures published daily to social media sites to gain insight into how and where products or services are used. By doing so, market penetration and brand awareness can be measured in new ways.
- SEO optimization – in search engine optimization, the term "search volume" informs us of how many people are searching for specific terms and phrases while looking for items or services. Machine learning (ML) algorithms are now being used to gain a better grasp of the intent behind search term usage as well as the substance of searches. Another application is to analyze competitor SEO tactics in order to identify any holes that may exist in your own, or to take advantage of keywords that competitors aren’t using. AI can also create SEO-friendly marketing material for your own website.
Using artificial intelligence in Customer Support
Businesses work hard to ensure that consumers appreciate their experience with an organization or service and want to tell others about it. Promptly resolving issues is one of the most efficient ways to keep customers happy. But, for scaling businesses, this may be challenging as more and more requests come in. As a result, businesses are introducing AI into customer service teams to enhance the customer service experience.
Here are a few current uses of AI in customer support:
- Chatbots as front-line customer service agents – AI-powered bots help organizations handle jobs, fix issues, and even communicate with potential consumers. AI-powered chatbots can assist a vast number of consumers 24/7 without a human employee. As a result, AI-powered chatbots are being used to interact with customers. Using chatbots as a first encounter can assist in identifying consumer needs and guarantee that they get connected to the right people. At the same time, it can cut down on wait times and the amount of time that customer service agents spend answering the same questions.
- Voicebots reduce the number of calls – Artificial Intelligence voicebots are capable of listening to the caller, interpreting their mood, and detecting the seriousness of the situation. An AI voicebot, similarly to a chatbot, may be trained to offer responses to common questions on its own, much like a chatbot but in a speech format. Because they are capable of understanding queries, they may also be used to improve call categorization and making sure that callers get connected to the most appropriate department.
Using artificial intelligence in Accounting
As stated previously, AI can automate tedious activities, improve accuracy and efficiency, and uncover hidden trends. It can upload files, read them, and classify them in the correct accounting codes. AI never sleeps, tires, or makes human errors. So it’s no surprise that AI is making headway in this demanding field.
Here are a few current uses of AI in accounting:
- Performing repetitive tasks – repetitive actions like: recording data, categorizing transactions, reconciling accounts, entering and correlating data from scanned receipts and invoices to transactions, evaluating employee expense reports, and tracking pricing changes are just a few things that take up a lot of accountants time. AI can do all of these tasks with much less error than a human. This way, employees are saved from mental overload and can focus their work on other ongoing tasks.
- Semi-automating complex processes like payroll – AI is likely to alter the future of payroll. Unlike automation, which is based on cause-and-effect, true AI systems can analyze data, learn from failures, and solve issues strategically. The market for cloud-based payroll software was valued at $7.88 billion in 2018, and is anticipated to hit $13.37 billion by 2026. Company executives are increasingly eager to invest in advanced AI-supported payroll systems.
Using artificial intelligence in Human Resources
Human resource professionals are confronted with a drastically different environment than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As hybrid and remote workforces continue to expand in number, virtual recruiting, as well as a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion, have introduced new dynamics and reinforced existing ones. New platforms and technologies are required to stay competitive, and AI is at the center of this growth.
Here are a few current uses of AI in human resources:
- Analyzing candidate profiles – many companies have invested in AI to help with the hiring process. Using AI, HR managers can analyze a potential candidate's past work experiences and interests and match them with the best roles.
- Organization Network Analysis – to assist your company in becoming more sustainable and successful, AI can be used to analyze formal and informal relationships in the business, which can help develop business strategies that increase the organic exchange of information.
Using artificial intelligence in Contact Centers
Every contact center encounter with a consumer either increases loyalty or pushes customers away. So, efficient customer service is a major focus. Contact centers hold a wealth of data, and AI can help organizations better understand their clients. There has been a lot of interest in deploying AI-based virtual agents that are theoretically indistinguishable from actual people. For now, however, here are the attainable and most popular uses of AI at contact centers:
- Recognizing most urgent customer queries – you can use artificial intelligence to sift through tons of conversations with clients and leads. You can code AI models to recognize the most important words that indicate urgency. In the case of customer queries, AI can pick up crisis-prone words or sentences like "I'll leave your business." In the case of leads, AI can recognize sentences like, "This offer sounds interesting," or "I'd like to buy next week," and others that may indicate a possible sale. Speaking of sales, this leads us to the next point below.
- Running outreach campaigns – an Artificial Intelligence voicebot can contact hundreds or thousands of individuals to present the offer, respond to simple questions, and pass them to a sales representative if the person is interested. This was previously unattainable for most businesses, as it would require a major investment in real-life outreach agents.
Using artificial intelligence in Operations
Known as AIOps, the use of AI in business operations helps many organizations tread the path towards a successful digital transformation. What’s more, the need for corporate agility made operations complex, making it challenging for humans to keep up. AIOps helps with this by automating certain processes and freeing up staff time for higher priority projects.
Here are a few current uses of AI in operations:
- Improved IT processes – businesses can save a lot of money with an AI application that employs machine learning. AI can automate cybersecurity and software maintenance tasks. It can also detect possible threats faster than humans, potentially saving companies from cyber attacks. AI applications help IT staff with maintaining the organization's systems and keeping things running smoothly.
- Digital Transformation – globally, businesses are actively adopting advanced technology. Business processes are being automated by first digitizing them and then allowing users to use apps based on new technology, whether it is in banking, travel, healthcare, or e-commerce. The use of robotics and blockchain technology can assist with managing information, and AIOps reduces IT operational friction.
As we’ve discussed in this piece, AI and Machine Learning have revolutionized and will continue to revolutionize businesses for many years to come. From IT operations to sales, implementing AI into business environments cuts down on time spent on repetitive tasks, improves employee productivity, and enhances the overall customer experience. It also helps avoid mistakes and detect potential crises at a level unattainable to humans.
No wonder organizations are leveraging it to improve a number of business areas, from logistics all the way through to recruiting and employment. It’s our conviction that companies at the forefront of AI will reap the financial advantages and dominate the competition in the future.