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Three real-world ways to use AI in your business

No longer in its infancy, AI is already helping businesses improve their customer experience and gain a competitive edge.

Once thought the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence is now part of our everyday lives.

Just ask Siri.

According to a survey by McKinsey & Company, 20 percent of global businesses are using one or more AI technologies at scale. Meanwhile, 41 percent are piloting or experimenting with AI.

And everyone else? The survey found companies that don’t use AI are unsure of a use case that would provide a return on their investment.

But evidence suggests that companies that adopt AI can drive business value. The McKinsey study shows that, “early AI adopters that combine strong digital capability with proactive strategies have higher profit margins and expect the performance gap with other firms to widen in the next three years.”

Meanwhile, Forrester predicts businesses using AI will “steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less informed peers by 2020.”

3 ways AI can improve your sales and marketing results

Over the past few years, computing power, IoT, machine learning and wireless networks have improved dramatically. These trends have helped to make AI technology accessible for more businesses.

In addition to the 61 percent of businesses already using or experimenting with AI, 85 percent of executives plan to invest extensively within the next three years. This suggests companies using AI are already seeing value in their investments.

Here are three ways companies can use AI to improve the customer experience and drive sales:

1. Automate customer relationship management

Giving customers a personalized, relevant experience is no longer an option. To boost sales, companies must address each customer’s unique goals and needs.

But if your data is spread across different systems, it’s challenging to gain a deeper understanding of your customers. For example, you might store a customer’s email marketing info, purchase history, IoT usage data and service reports in different platforms.

Incorporating AI into your customer relationship management (CRM) can help you gain a single view of your customer and better anticipate their needs. According to a report by MIT Technology Review, this can help you learn “exactly when the customer last purchased a product, what that product was, whether he or she had a problem, and, if so, exactly how it was resolved.”

The report goes on to state that machine-learning technology can learn from this data to “unearth and match patterns, as well as act on correlations that would otherwise remain hidden.”

2. Improve customer satisfaction

Beyond just crunching data to gain a sales and marketing edge, AI and IoT sensors can also help you boost customer satisfaction. They provide diagnostics, anticipate repairs and optimize inventory availability.

AI also gives customers on-demand support. When customers have questions, they want answers now. They have better things to do than queue for support.

AI chatbots allow you to answer your most common questions within seconds. When a customer types a question into the chat box, an AI bot will instantly answer it and provide links to more information. This can boost customers’ satisfaction and make it easier for them to do business with you.

Studies have found chatbots can handle 40-80 percent of customer service inquiries. According to Chatbot Magazine, this can help you lower costs and automate 30 percent of your customer support tasks.

Chatbots can therefore slash overall customer wait times. With such fast response times, it’s not surprising that 45 percent of end users prefer chatbots as the primary mode of communication for customer service inquires.

3. Get better results from your marketing campaigns

Savvy companies are harnessing the power of AI to attract and retain customers.

For example, Netflix and Amazon use AI to recommend content that will engage you and get you to consume more. Marketers are also using AI to:

· Provide customers with relevant content, such as customized emails based on how each subscriber interacts with the company

· Optimize content for mobile devices

· Automate social posts

· Gain a better understanding of how customers interact with them— such as through their website, emails and mobile devices

· Use Google’s automated bidding system to get the best price on PPC ads

· Generate predictive lead scoring

What’s next?

AI is no longer something that will occur in the future. It’s here now and is driving real value for businesses.

But to achieve this value, you must prepare your wireless network to support AI technology. AI demands a fast and reliable network, so it can quickly access the data it needs to automate your sales, marketing and customer service processes.

Are you ready for the AI revolution?

Read more

· 5 fintech companies using AI to improve business

· Tech trends for businesses in 2018