The next two years will be exciting times for organisations willing to invest in artificial intelligence (AI). In many cases AI will make our jobs easier and we will be more effective and data-driven.
Here are some departments and positions that can be augmented with increased intelligence today.
Difficult, complex processes can be streamlined with an intelligent search engine or intelligent chatbot. Time spent navigating a complex intranet can be better spent quickly interacting with smart search or a smart chatbot to find the answers and ‘how to’s needed to complete complex procedures and processes.
Marketing & Sales
Market opportunities and competitive advantage are two good reasons to start down the AI path.
AI can analyse sales calls far faster than any sales manager, and as conversion rates for direct telephone sales are typically less than 10%, making this role a ripe opportunity for intelligent automation.
“Writers have to ideate, create, and produce original written material. AI can do some of this with title suggestions, writing prompts, and automated social media messages, but blog posts, books, movies and plays will likely be written by humans for the foreseeable future.”Sophia Bernazzani, Hubspot
AI will create dynamic landing pages for web properties, create whole websites, as well as run programmatic advertising and media buying.
If you are a retailer you can track which ads your target market clicks on and when, enabling you to figure out when is the best time to present your targets with ads they usually click on.
With so much content, including manuals, self-help guides and hacks on the internet already, it comes as little surprise that companies are going to rely more heavily on bots and automation to answer support questions. It might sound inconsequential, but support ticket tagging and re-routing can be a massive expense for small businesses, costs that can be saved with machine learning. Modern technology allows for complaints to be automatically directed to the customer service department’s queue, for example, or a sales inquiry to go to the sales team’s queue, saving companies time and money. Chatbots can achieve faster customer service resolution, as well as provide instant quick histories of each customer for stellar customer service.
Chatbots have an edge on humans in the following ways:
- 24/7 customer service. Chatbots are getting better at detecting human emotions, so can quickly redirect an upset customer to a real human service agent to assist the customer
- The era of being ‘on hold’ is gone. With some customer and support lines a 45-minute wait is standard; government services like Centrelink have wait times measured in hours. This can be eliminated with chatbots
- Quick access to customer data makes service more personal. AI can feed your human customer service agents with history and service data instantly, allowing for a more personal interaction.
As Tara Callinan and Jenneva Vargas at Accelo wrote,
“Research, done by Xero, suggests that by 2020 automation will be commonplace in accounting, and a significant number of finance professionals will be using the next level of analytical tools to help them add value to business models across the globe.”Tara Callinan and Jenneva Vargas, Accelo
KPMG in Australia reported in 2016 that they will be using AI to complete audits, allowing them to analyse bigger data sets rather than relying on traditional sampling techniques.
Front of house
The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas has adopted an artificial intelligence concierge called “Rose” to assist their guests and provide a unique interactive experience. Since Rose’s introduction, the hotel has seen a 39% increase in on-site spending.
So what is the future for your receptionist in a world with automated phone and scheduling systems? As with many roles, post-AI there will be a place for them, they will be freed up to contribute in other ways.
Or avail yourself of this list of tools courtesy of Nudge.ai, some of which might be of interest: https://nudge.ai/97-ai-tools-2018/
So how does this affect me as a communicator?
Your role as a communicator is complex. You will see AI taking on some of your tasks, such as media monitoring. But perhaps more important will be your role in leading communication with those who fear their jobs will be lost. Staff engagement during this tricky period will need careful and sensitive “human” handling.
Changes to infrastructure, work practices and processes may be needed if a business is to fully capitalise AI investments. That means managing the transition as existing practices are replaced, and helping employees understand and come on board with the transition.
Engaging skilled consultants who understand both the drivers of AI and the drivers of staff engagement will be crucial. With more than 50 years of combined experience in engagement, and online and offline communication, we politely put up our hands to be that resource for you.