Determining whether Artificial Intelligence is Right for your Business

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“Market research indicates that the market for robots and artificial intelligence will grow to $153 billion by 2020, comprising $83 billion for robots and robotics and $70 billion for artificial intelligence-based analytics,” – BofA Merrill Lynch

Human ingenuity and intelligence are driving factors in the evolution of civilizations on earth. The discovery of the many uses of fire, the invention of the wheel, the domestication of certain animals, ancient astronomy, the various manifestations of architecture, navigation on the high seas, and the concept of monetary interest represent some examples of human intelligence at work. Commerce and commercial transactions found widespread acceptance based on this unique human faculty. In modern times, artificial intelligence has established itself firmly in commerce and business. Recent trends indicate that this emerging aspect of modern technology will significantly affect the future of commerce and industry. We shall examine some of these trends in the following paragraphs.

A large number of surveyed businesses note that artificial intelligence will help them to improve the customer experience and boost customer support mechanisms. These assertions are basis the fact that said technologies can be deployed at the interface between brands and their customers. For instance, an online business operator can deploy chat bots on its mobile app and website in a bid to boost customer experiences. We note that chat bots powered by algorithms and artificial intelligence enable faster response times to customer queries. These bots also enable businesses to cater efficiently to a very large number of customers, without increasing the costs of service. In addition, chat bots are perfectly suited to interact with smartphone-borne online customers, thereby validating the utility of modern connected technologies. In light of the above, we can infer that artificial intelligence forms the bedrock of future success for consumer-facing brands and businesses.

Further to the above, we note that chat bots powered by artificial intelligence act as intelligent virtual assistants that empower customers. For instance, chat bots enable quick service restaurants to offer multiple choices to online shoppers and food enthusiasts. These software-powered machines study user behaviour and make suggestions in the form of high definition images in a bid to encourage consumption. Similarly, app-based taxi service aggregators study consumer behaviour and proffer inputs that boost the consumer experience. We note that operators in diverse markets such as healthcare, utilities, financial services, retail, and communications are leveraging the power of artificial intelligence in a bid to serve more customers and to deliver phenomenal service experiences.

Industry sources attest to the fact that artificial intelligence technologies boost business productivity. For instance, the banking and financial services industry notes that automation easily excels human traders in financial trading competitions. Artificial neural network systems enable such institutions to invest in stock markets, manage properties, and to spot fraud and irregularities in business operations. Similarly, commercial airline operators deploy artificial intelligence-powered systems in revenue management operations, and to determine the numbers of seats that can be sold at full fare and at discounts. These applications are enabling brands and business to expand their remit, seek and develop new customer segments, and create predictable outcomes in uncertain business environments.

Natural language processing is an aspect of artificial intelligence that helps brands and businesses to cope with and respond to customer pain points. We note this is a critical skill in modern commercial operations because growing numbers of customers and the strain of conducting business operations can test the very fabric of modern enterprises. Consider this: modern commercial airline operators deal with a large number of variables in course of their daily operations. Air travellers may miss their flights owing to many reasons and the airline operator has to manage the situation by offering an alternative journey. Natural language processing can enable the airline’s operating systems to suggest the best possible alternative in the situation. The outcomes include happy passengers and a competent performance by said airline operator. In light of the above, we may state that artificial intelligence extends the utility and scope of modern commercial service operators.

Brands and businesses can create personalized and contextual offers in a bid to align business offerings with a customer’s needs and requirements. This can boost conversions for modern businesses. For instance, e-commerce operators can leverage the power of artificial intelligence to negate the phenomenon of online shopping cart abandonment. The said operators can display a wider choice of merchandise in a bid to retain the customer’s interest and propel a successful online experience. Similarly, businesses can personalize online product displays for each user through custom advertisements pitched on social media platforms. The above actions essentially hinge on the use of artificial intelligence and enable businesses to create superb customer experiences. The outcomes include deeper customer engagement, higher customer retention, and greater business margins.

The marketing organizations embedded within commercial enterprises can use artificial intelligence to acquire more customers and drive a focus on digital channels. These organizations can help to create customer profiles for diverse customer segments by using transactional data, demographic information, data from multiple customer touch points, etc. For instance, the marketing department of an FMCG enterprise can collate customer information from a variety of sources in a bid to construct multiple customer profiles. High-income customers can be proffered high value products and other customer segments can be serviced with merchandise that spotlights value-for-money. In a similar vein, other business enterprises can closely track data from customer transactions and create business offers that engage various segments of customers. We note that such efforts are driven essentially by artificial intelligence technologies and foster customer retention and customer loyalty.

Advanced modern technologies can help enterprises to drive various marketing mechanisms that hinge on programmatic ad targeting. Predictive intelligence engines driven by artificial intelligence can assess the quality and business potential of customers that arrive at various retail shopping destinations. These technologies display marketing materials and advertisements based on the current context and the potential of customers in its immediate vicinity. We may state that these new-age marketing platforms are aware of their surroundings and the rapidly changing composition of customers in the vicinity. The operating aspect of such technologies lies in displaying combinations of images and advertising copy that tests audience reactions and tweaks the content being displayed. We note that artificial intelligence drives these technologies and helps businesses to drive desirable outcomes.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the fundamental changes that have followed the deployment of artificial intelligence in modern business operations. These instances lead us to believe that artificial intelligence will create emphatic changes in modern and future business enterprises. The applications of such technology enable brands and businesses to discover and deliver new value to customers, while dealing with greater degrees of unpredictability in business climates. The fundamental ability of artificial intelligence is to manage and interpret diverse streams of information. This ability should be leveraged to the maximum in a bid to boost the customer experience. However, we note that the individual’s privacy should be sacrosanct and must be considered non-negotiable. Commercial operators should work to protect customer privacy as a long-term business goal. Therefore, modern businesses should avoid encroaching on the customer’s fundamental rights and promote the responsible use of customer data.

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