Artificial Intelligence

4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Shaping the Future for Businesses Big And Small

Harness the power of artificial intelligence and reap a competitive advantage.
4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Shaping the Future for Businesses Big And Small
Image credit: ipopba | Getty Images
Contributor
Serial Entrepreneur, Digital Strategist, Web Designer, Author, Volunteer
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming not just a curious concept, but a business asset worthy of every entrepreneur's attention. A. is making headway in topics from behavior-based email sequences and opt-in popups to savvy messaging bots and even internal employee satisfaction analysis (IBM says they can determine with 95 percent accuracy when a person is planning to quit),

You can use AI to increase customer retention, NPS, sales close rate and pre-qualify leads. It's hard to know where AI will be in a decade or two. But, it's already playing a big role in many business' daily operations. It can play a big, beneficial role in your business as well, now and well into the future. Here are four ways.

1. Emotional analysis

Annette Zimmermann said in 2018, "By 2022, your personal device will know more about your emotional state than your own family."

Emotion AI, also known as affective computing, is an iteration of AI capable of detecting human emotions and responding to those emotions accordingly. And while it's not perfect yet, the technology is staggering. One study from the University of Ohio claims that AI is now better at detecting emotions than humans are -- a remarkable feat considering our millions of years of evolution for that sorta thing.

I believe these emotionally intelligent bots transform your business operations, and this is why I have created an AI startup that is rooted in this technology.

Imagine being able to collect the emotions of a viewer watching a video online, or using email sales sequences, messaging bots, and even customer support telephone options that adapt automatically based on the users emotions. How would that change your business?

A study that analyzed 1400 case studies of top advertising campaigns over the last 30 years found that ads which triggered human emotions were about 100 percent more like to report "very large profit gains."

What if you could trigger the right emotions at the right time?

2. Customer support

Efficiency is perhaps nowhere more important than in customer support -- the place where people want answers and they want them right away. And while pleasing those needy customers might seem like a business revenue afterthought, it isn't.

According to a report by Temkin, a moderate improvement in customer experience can massively improve revenue. In the study's own words, "Our analysis shows that NPS is strongly correlated to customers' willingness to spend more with tech vendors, try their new products and services, forgive them after a bad experience, and act as a reference for them with prospective clients."

I've used companies like Forethought, for instance, who are leading the charge into customer support AI products with their flagship answer recommendation tool, Agatha Answers. Designed as a plug-in enterprise solution that can be installed in two days and improve customer support time-to-resolution by up to 30 percent, Agatha gained widespread attention as it propelled Forethought to victory at the 2018 TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield.

"Agatha Answers recommends answers to customer support tickets, decreases time to resolution, and increases agent productivity," said Forethought Founder, Deon Nicholas during the TC competition. "Forethought uses AI to augment knowledge professionals."

With 33 percent of Americans citing poor customer service experiences, reported by Business Insider, as the only motivation required to jump ship, clearly, AI has a significant role to play in the future of the customer service industry.

3. Sales and lead generation

AI is making big splashes in business-to-business (B2B) sales and lead generation. Harvard Business Review reports, for instance, that businesses which use AI can reduce call time by up to 70 percent and increase number of leads by 50 percent. Additionally, one source believes that 85 percent of sales-related tasks could be outsourced to the robots by 2020 (without a loss -- and likely an improvement -- in close rate).

Take LeadFuze, for example. This tool is an AI-based product focused on sales improvement, and finding the right customer segment and lead. It is the first and only lead generation software tool of its kind that combines data aggregation from multiple trusted sources while offering unlimited access and complete list building automation.

I use this product and it means that we spend less time on prospect research and contact gathering and more time on actual sales conversations. Insights-focused businesses, like LeadFuze, are projected to pull in more than $1.2 billion annually by 2020. And that's for good reason -- businesses like mine benefit from that kind of automated lead-generating intelligence.

4. Talent intelligence

Recruiting the right talent for your company can be a frustrating experience. Massive online search engines for jobs like Indeed or Monster can help source candidates, but many times, parsing the thousands of potential applicants is an exceptionally time-consuming task. Fortunately, AI products can offer some assistance.

According to a survey of 1,000 C-Level executives of large companies performed by Eightfold, 78 percent of surveyed businesses cite talent programs as "very important," but only 44 percent say that the one they use is effective. Evidently, there is significant room for improvement with talent curation, something that Eightfold's AI-based solution is intent on providing.

Called their "Talent Intelligence" platform, Eightfold's AI product delivers a talent pipeline that reduces the time from engaged candidate to interview, curates relevant candidate lists, eliminates bias with blind screening, and drives attention with internal mobility among other features. All relevant data perspectives can be ported into a single interface, making the entire talent process much more manageable.

After all, the faster and easier you find the right people for your business, the bigger, more successful business you'll be able to build.

More from Entrepreneur

New York Times bestselling author Nicole Lapin can help you pitch your brand to press and strengthen your media training.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur