3 min read
Businesses are built and sustained by smart, hard-working humans. Integrating technology—from telephones to microchips to laptops—has allowed us and our businesses to iterate faster, organize better, and achieve more. In just the past five years, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as the business technology of tomorrow, but you can implement it to help your business today.
What is artificial intelligence?
AI is driven by big data—the vast amounts of information mined from nearly all modern interactions like online purchases, webpage clicks, app downloads, browsing history, and more. Using frameworks like machine learning, natural language processing, and social intelligence, AI can analyze data to recognize patterns, predict behavior, and deliver valuable business insights. Although there are numerous ways to use AI to your advantage, one tool sure to satisfy your ROI formula is a chatbot.
Chatbots combine machine learning and natural language processing to converse with humans. These conversations and the information gained from them can support diverse elements of your business, ranging from overall infrastructure and processes to human agents and customer experience.
How can artificial intelligence and chatbots improve business infrastructure?
AI and chatbots can help improve infrastructure in a variety of ways. These tools can help integrate new employees by answering common questions, take over automated tasks, and manage client lists. With the correct structure applied, machine learning can utilize any data set relevant to running a business and suggest strategies for improvement.
How can chatbots improve processes?
The primary benefit of artificial intelligence and chatbots is speed. If a process normally requires ten steps, five agent touches, and three customer touches, AI can analyze the situation and reorganize elements to create a smoother, simpler approach. With incremental learning, as it churns through current and past information, AI refines its accuracy and abilities over time.
Chatbots can also be used to combine steps in a process. As human agents proceed with one sub-process, chatbots can interact with a customer simultaneously, completing work that the human would otherwise have had to do later.
How can human agents use chatbots?
The processing power of chatbots can be employed directly with customers or behind-the-scenes with agents. Natural language processing allows chatbots to “converse” with human customers, answering common questions and routing customers to a human when necessary. They can identify important information (such as purchase history, location, preferences, etc.) and deliver it to a human agent, who in turn can support customers faster and more thoroughly. Chatbots also allow human agents to speak with a refined subset of customers, such as those with especially complicated questions or emotional needs. In short, chatbots can tackle automated, repetitive, and/or formulaic tasks, freeing up human agents to devote time and energy to more nuanced work.
Chatbots also allow customers to get questions answered at any time. Unlike humans, chatbots are not restricted to a standard workday and are happy to help a curious customer awake at 2am.
How can chatbots improve the customer experience?
Today’s consumers prioritize convenience. Why shop elsewhere when your experience can be simplified, personalized, and amplified? Chatbots can humanize the personalization process by asking customers for information like location or preferences and applying this data across the rest of the website.
Finally, chatbots also make important information more accessible, providing insights that help customers feel empowered. At Bank of America, for example, the Erica chatbot can provide insights about spending habits, manage recurring payments, transfer money, and maintain account security. With the advent of chatbots, the customer experience is no longer constrained by ambiguity, time, or location. Chatbots make it easier for customers to do things their way.
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