Does AI Deserve All the Hype? Here's How You Can Actually Use AI in Your Business

We're constantly hearing about advancements in artificial intelligence, but how can you use it practically to streamline company operations?

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By Patrick Frank

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Everyone is talking about AI right now. No longer just a futuristic concept saved for Hollywood sci-fi movies, artificial intelligence has become a red-hot topic with extensive real-world applications in recent years.

You might have seen stories about the ChatGPT bot writing song lyrics in the style of your favorite bands or holding realistic conversations, along with AI-generated art platforms like Dall-E making weird and wacky creations. But as new conversations about the future of AI are happening every day, it's easy to overlook how AI can actually benefit your business on a smaller scale.

The goal at any company is to continue finding areas where you can remove yourself from mundane tasks to focus on the more important things. Think of it as the progression from the employee, to the contractor, to the AI: greater efficiency, streamlined day-to-day tasks and bigger-picture thinking. What commitment is required of you as a business owner, and where can AI help you?

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence, by definition, is "the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence." There are varying degrees of sophistication, ranging from the ability to perform basic admin tasks, to making informed conclusions on complex concepts.

A branch of AI includes machine learning, which refers to specifically programmed computers that can continue to learn with the more data it processes without the assistance of humans. My own company has integrated this in the healthcare space, which has been integral in ensuring the most bespoke service possible to meet individual needs — AI for the purpose of greater human impact.

Aside from industry-specific applications, most of us are already utilizing some form of AI in our daily lives, from Google searches and predictive text to recommended playlists on our music streaming services. But AI is also increasingly steering the conversation around more advanced applications, like self-driving cars and facial recognition. What many of us don't realize, however, is that AI is far more accessible in the workplace than you'd think — and not in a creepy apocalyptic movie kind of way.

Related: What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Here Are Its Benefits, Uses and More

Customer service and success

It's an evergreen fact that customer service always has and will always remain king. The need for a hands-on, human touch cannot be overstated, but AI can be extremely effective in helping to improve the overall customer service experience.

Primarily, it can help staff handle fewer inquiries and reduce workflow. Many businesses will use a chatbot as the first port of call for any questions, an automated message service that can help with things like shipping updates, order times and product details. It can be integrated into numerous industries and programmed to answer basic queries or personalize user information. These can also even respond in different languages, broadening your customer service offerings on a global scale.

Regarding customer success — proactively working with customers to ensure their satisfaction and retention of services — AI can also be beneficial. However, rather than replacing a customer service rep, AI can compile key information that helps to make the consumer's experience more personalized. By offering 360-degree insight, AI can use data to make predictions, identify areas for improvement and even point toward potential expansions or developed services. It's all to keep the customer happy and satisfied.

Related: How Can Marketers Use ChatGPT? Here Are the Top 11 Uses.

Replacing email interactions

Receiving customer emails en masse — where you're required to keep track of orders, inquiries, tracking numbers and many other things — can quickly break even the most organized of teams. Not only is it logistically challenging to effectively and quickly manage so many micro-tasks, but responses can also be frustratingly slow for the customer.

On the other hand, an email bot can automate end-to-end customer service. It might be a case of it responding to pricing queries, updates on order progress, or passing on more complex matters to your team. Some bots can even pick up tone and language to prevent making matters worse with an overly cheery reply. This helps save customer support time on repetitive queries that can be resolved by the automatic retrieval of information.

Related: What AI Can Do To Engage With Customers

Outreach and sales

Have you ever wondered just where your business could be if you weren't spending so much time on the admin? AI has many applications within the marketing space — a job role primed for creativity but often gets bogged down in emails.

The key benefit is that AI decision-making and correspondence are based on hard data, such as previous usage, past orders, and surveys, whereby programs can acquire sales insights that a human never could. This can assist with lead generation and lead scoring before determining the appropriate marketing campaign. One survey found that 61% of sales teams exceeded revenue goals when leveraging automation in the sales process.

Related: Artificial Intelligence May Add More Value to Marketing Than Human Brains

Blog writing and SEO

We know by now that there is a science to SEO optimizing web pages and blog posts — and it's constantly changing. If you want clean, factually accurate and lively copy for your business, AI resources are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable of doing so.

Consistency can be one of the hardest aspects for blog posts, but AI can help increase your output by drastically decreasing writing and editing time. By entering keywords and a simple brief, AI can form strong copy frameworks for the marketing team to refine, supplement, and polish off, from ads and marketing emails to social media copy and explainers.

AI is not a means to completely replace jobs (yet), but it can make our roles at work a lot easier. By freeing up more time for creativity, strategy, and long-term thinking, it provides the means for companies to stop looking at emails and start looking ahead.

Patrick Frank

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

COO of PatientPartner

Patrick Frank is the co-founder and COO of PatientPartner, a platform that connects pre-surgical patients with fully recovered patients who went through the same surgery. He has worked in consumer technology across a variety of industries including retail banking, law, real estate and health care.

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