No matter what your business is, there’s a chance that you’re already using artificial intelligence (AI) – knowingly or not. With the huge bounds in technology that have happened in recent years, you’re likely already reaping the rewards.
With so many benefits, you can start growing and evolving when you use AI. Here are some of the ways your business is ready for it, and how you can get started implementing it right now.
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Is AI Really The Answer For Your Business?
It can sometimes be hard to think of AI as something you can use in your own business, especially as it’s such a sci-fi concept. Are there really AI programs ready for you out there that will help you find more success? And if there are, is your business ready for them?
The reality is that we’re using AI every single day. When you use your Alexa to check the weather, that’s AI at work letting you know what to expect weather-wise that day. When you browse Netflix and get recommendations for a show you might like, that’s an AI paying attention to what you’ve already watched. These programs are in use every single day, and they offer you a lot of benefits.
The same is true of business, too. There are lots of ways that you can put AI to good use, whether that’s to understand your customers better, to increase sales or anything in between.
Here are some of the ways that AI can be integrated into your business, right now.
- Customer Service
This is a big way that AI is being implemented into business operations, especially in small businesses that work mostly online. When you have a customer come to your site, you want them to find what they want right away, thus becoming more likely to make a purchase. However, if they can’t find what they need, and they’re visiting your site outside your customer service team’s operating hours, then they’re more likely to leave and try elsewhere.
This is something that can be solved with the use of AI. You’ll see a lot of businesses using chatbots. When someone visits a site, the bot will pop up asking if the customer has any questions. If they do, they can simply type in the question to receive an answer. That way, the bot can direct the customer to the right page, reducing frustration and making that sale more likely.
“It’s a system that’s fairly easy to implement, but gives you excellent results,” says tech blogger Timothy Harrison, from Write My X and 1 Day 2 Write. “When you use chatbots, you’ll be helping customers around the clock.”
Personalization is another way that AI can be leveraged to make a better impression when it comes to marketing. You’ll always want to make the customer feel as though they’re appreciated, and that you’re paying attention to what they need. That’s something you can do in person in the store, but online you can’t be there. That’s where AI comes in.
There are lots of different ways that AI can be used for personalization. For example, if someone has an account on your site, artificial intelligence can track what that person looks for. When they log in again, they’ll get recommendations for the kinds of products that they’re interested in. You can also use personalization AI to insert the customer’s name into marketing emails, making it feel more personal.
These are just a couple of examples, but there are lots of ways that this AI can be used to make the customer feel special.
- Sales Forecasts
Here’s another way you can put AI to good use. To grow as a business, you need to be able to make sales forecasts, and understand what the customer will want in the future. Keeping up with trends is vital, and AI makes it easier for you to keep up and see what’s available to you.
You’ll have access to a wealth of data when you sell online, and that will be put to good use by AI. These machine learning programs will comb through the data, and be able to provide you with insights into what’s popular right now, who’s buying from you, and what is growing in popularity. When you have this data, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions and ensure your future success.
Also when you have that data, you know what makes customers convert. When you know this, you can use that info to your advantage and begin to grow as a business.
- Human Resources
It sounds strange to use artificial intelligence in your HR department, and it’s true that you’ll never totally replace the human element of the job. However, you’ll see that you can stay on top of a lot of the more rote tasks with AI, freeing up a lot of time to work on other tasks that need to be addressed.
Even the biggest companies out there have put AI to work for them in this way. For example, PepsiCo used Robot Vera to phone and interview candidates for sales positions. This helped them get through the opening stages of recruitment in a faster and more productive way. Once the best candidates were found, they could then move on to more traditional interviews.
Much like with sales, you’ll have access to lots of data on hiring processes and candidates. AI systems can help sort through that data much faster and help you get what you need.
- Manufacturing And Supply Chain Tracking
AI is already in use in many warehouses and manufacturing facilities. It aims to improve the entire process. For example, predictive intelligence can anticipate demand for a certain product, and so ramp up production.
As for manufacturing equipment, sensors can keep an eye on the moving parts, and alert you when something needs to be maintained or replaced. That allows for more productivity, as you’re less likely to shut everything down in order to fix a problem, and you don’t have to spend time manually assessing each component.
You’ll also see that AI can be used in quality assurance. It can offer a closer eye and a lot of data to work with, so it can quickly pick up any issues in production and let you know about them. That means that issues should be picked up more quickly, and you’ll be aware of them before any major flaws in production happen.
Implementing AI In Your Business
These are just a few of the amazing ways that artificial intelligence could be used in your business right now. As a business owner, your job is to now work out how you can use it in your business to its full advantage. How could you make this work?
Let’s take a look at some of the steps you need to take to implement AI in your business.
Understand the problems you want to solve with AI
The first step you should take isn’t with the AI itself, but the problems that you’re looking to solve. There are going to be things that you’ll want to improve within your own business. Are you looking to better understand your customer base? Are you hoping to improve the manufacturing process?
You’ll need to understand what it is you’re trying to do, before you start looking for the right AI program. When you do this, you’ll have a starting point, and be able to find a system that works for you.
Understand what AI can do
You’ll also need to understand exactly what AI can do for you and your business. If you have an idea of the benefits and limitations, then you should have reasonable expectations. There are lots of online resources you can use, either free or paid, that can help you do this. For example, Udacity has an Intro to AI course that can give you all the basics that you need.
Want to apply AI to everything you can? You shouldn’t do that right away.
“It’s always best to start small, and build from there,” says Geraldine Dawes, a business writer at Origin Writings and Brit Student. ”When you start with a small AI project, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with how it works, and what you should expect.”
Pick a small issue to focus on, such as finding all customers who haven’t bought from you in a certain period of time and contacting them. From there, you can start using it elsewhere too. Starting small means you’ll have time to get used to how the AI works.
In most cases, AI needs data in order to give you the best results. The more data it has access to, the better. When there’s more data, there’s more to compare your current data set to, and so you’ll get more accurate results overall.
You can keep feeding that data to the AI, but you will need a way to store it all. You need a fast and optimised way to store it. There are many options out there right now, so you’ll want to look around and see what works best for you.
Embrace AI and kickstart your growth
With this, you can see that your business is already primed for AI. There are so many ways that it can be used to improve your experience, and ensure that you have the best possible output. Now is the time to start investigating AI for yourself, and see just how it can benefit your work.
- 5 Ways Your Business is Artificial Intelligence Ready - May 19, 2022