7 Reasons Your Company Needs To Think About AI
By Victoria Greene
There is no question; artificial intelligence is already taking over the way we do business. Everyone from huge multinationals to tiny 'Mom and Pop' shops are using it to streamline their processes. Every day, AI shapes recommendations and buying processes, providing us with fast, convenient service on-demand.
But according to a survey carried out by Salesforce, in 2016, 61% of the SMEs surveyed believed their services were 'not ready' for artificial intelligence.
There are plenty of ways you can embrace AI to help you:
Generate more sales
Create effective marketing collateral across all channels
Manage your inventory and operations
Analyze data feedback for accurate forecasting
Read on for seven reasons why you need to consider AI for your business.
Optimize Your Site's Virtual Library
If you have taken the time to build up a comprehensive campaign marketing strategy, AI chatbots can help you maximize your content's exposure to site visitors. For instance, if you run a mortgages website, you can program your chatbot to ask relevant questions via a live chat window. Based on your visitors' responses, the bot can then direct a link to a related mortgage guide, helping the customer make smarter purchasing decisions.
Further, your chatbot can also collect data based on customer feedback. From these insights, you can then choose to restructure your site's information architecture to optimize the experience for site visitors. Find out more about virtual libraries in this previous post.
Improve Your Supply Chain
Keeping track of inventory and managing processes is costly and time-consuming. By automating your processes with artificial intelligence, you can reduce the amount of human contact in your supply chain and thus reduce the likelihood of errors. Taking Amazon's automated distribution outlets as an example — RFID tags and the latest in robotic technology helps them meet global demand for fast service.
For smaller operations, supply chain management systems are a must. Centralize communications at every link in the supply chain and use automated tools to re-order inventory and provide real-time data feedback on inefficiencies.
Personalize Your Customer's Experience
AI have been making huge leaps in forming the opinions of the consumer. If you have ever clicked on a recommended products option, you will know what it is like to have your purchasing decisions influenced by AI. As technology develops, the recommendations will get smarter. With mobile chat applications and tools like Alexa, you can receive real-time recommendations based on your preferences 'in the moment,' wherever you are.
Setting up personalization tools to your site is straightforward. You can head to your ecommerce host and search for a suitable plugin. Look into personalized abandoned cart emails, retargeting ads, referrals, recommendations, packaging design and inserts, customization of goods; the options are ever-expanding.
If you are setting up in a new location, or you're looking to increase your brand's reputation in your local community, AI can help you target your fan base with ads and offers. Papa John's for example, uses geo-targeting to send push notifications to social media users within a three-mile radius of their new stores.
Geo-Targeting and beacon technology can also be utilized within bricks-and- mortar retail outlets. Mall of America, for example, used geo-targeting and personalization to enhance shoppers' experiences in the run-up to Christmas 2016.
Not only could customers see recommendations for everything on their Christmas shopping lists, the technology also helped to create an exciting and immersive 'buzz' around using this innovative service.
Provide Better Customer Service
Automated call center services have helped millions of customers get through to the right department with ease. We may say that talking to an automated machine can be annoying, but the convenience they provide for callers cannot be disputed.
AI, regardless of your business structure, can make customer service tasks a breeze. Automate customer inquiry tickets, use tools to help you prioritize calls and aid non-urgent enquires in getting resolved with an automatic chat responder. By providing your customers with the ability to manage specific customer services tasks themselves (such as tracking deliveries), you can also build trust and brand loyalty. Through automation tools, your customers gain full transparency of the shipment process, giving them peace of mind.
Hire An AI Marketing Coach
Aside from your customers, marketers and business owners can significantly benefit from personalized advice. AI-bots can help you make crucial marketing decisions, and can help busy business owners stay on top of all their marketing tasks.
One that's recently hit the headlines is Kit, an AI-powered 'virtual assistant' service offering marketing tips 24/7 via an app. For ecommerce store owners looking to grow their businesses, Kit provides tailor-made services for retargeting advertisements. It can also create Facebook and Instagram advertisements, as well as generate abandoned cart emails and more. Kit runs through your online storefront, synchronizing with your apps and plugins. This can be a massive help to busy store owners who are looking for help with the administration side of things.
Prioritize Your Sales Pipeline
If you have sales leads you are looking to maximize on, let AI provide you with valuable insight. Sales pipeline building features can be found in CRM systems, synchronizing your calendar, communications and client insight data, to help you make offers your customers can't refuse.
Predictive forecasting and competitor analysis tools can also help your business stand out from the crowd. You can also use features to generate things like invoices in seconds and substantially reduce the amount of data entry required to stay on top of your sales targets.
Artificial intelligence can be the key to business growth, and it is really a question of when and how you start to introduce AI systems into your operations. Focus your investments into improving customer service and centralizing communications as a starting point. Then make sure to utilize data feedback to help you adjust and grow your business over time.
This guest blog post is by Victoria Greene.
Victoria Greene is a marketer and freelance writer, blogging over at VictoriaEcommerce. She likes to regularly share tips to business owners looking to make the most out of online selling.