One day after another, intelligent technology is becoming smarter. No, AI robots are not conscious and sentient yet, but they are learning the rules of the game with each new interaction. In matters of business, they already know much more than we have ever dreamed of knowing. And that is plenty.
Let’s take our customers for example.
By collecting data available throughout the online environment, a single piece of software can detect changes in behavioural patterns, predict purchasing decisions, and send the prospect down the path to certain conversion. AI is doing a brilliant job with great speed, and it doesn’t ask for compensation.
Whether or not it’ll steal our jobs is uncertain, and at this point, irrelevant.
What’s important is that AI is changing the online business environment for good.
Marketing Automation Is Becoming a Norm
In 2017, the number of companies who were (and still are) using marketing automation has finally surpassed 51%. According to Email Monday’s ultimate marketing automation stats, more than half of B2B companies (58%) are currently planning to adopt sophisticated technology for this same purpose.
The main benefit of this practice is pretty simple and straightforward – requiring no human touch, marketing automation can collect actionable data, track leads across social media, and nurture them with paid ads and organic content. We need only to approve, schedule for later, and click the button.
But marketing automation is not becoming a norm only because of this.
AI is fast and far-reaching, but it’s also omnipresent. It calculates the exact day and time when you are most susceptible to targeted ads on social media and pinpoints the exact type of content that you’ll respond to by taking action. Marketing automation doesn’t guess but works with infallible certainty.
For any ambitious company that counts more than a dozen customers, this is a game-changer.
AI marketing is simply much more powerful than human beings, which is why it’ll stay here for good.
Chatbots Are the Future of Customer Service
The most exciting business opportunity for 2018 is customer experience.
Its importance is highlighted with different stats:
- 87% of customers think brands must put more effort into providing a consistent experience.
- 62% of companies view CX delivered by customer service as a competitive differentiator.
- 52% of customers are likely to abandon their carts because of bad mobile experience.
- 67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for churn.
On all touch points, including customer service, a good CX is defined by 24/7 availability, speed, and quality. Human agents still don’t have any viable solution for wait times, which inevitably leads to poor experiences, frustration, and churn. Try as we might, we cannot serve two customers at the same time.
Chatbots can, with no effort at all.
For the time being, most digital assistants work only with simple queries. But machine learning and NLP are already in place, allowing them to improve the quality and depth of their interactions no matter the context or complexity of the problem. Soon enough, they’ll grow into worthy contenders.
When that happens, chatbots will be able to meet all three requirements for successful customer experience. They are already available 24/7 across all channels and devices, and very fast at providing simple solutions. The quality of their service is continually improving, thus changing the CX for good.
Personalized Offers Are Redefining Sales
All of your customers need your products and services; that’s why they’ve decided to come to you in the first place. But each of them is different in his or her own right, and even though they want the same thing, they expect to receive it in their own special way. Nowadays, personalization is a priority.
In order to customize every offer, a salesman must know each and every customer.
Without any automation, this is nearly impossible.
Luckily, business AI is designed for this purpose as well. The ability to learn by collecting data is by far its strongest suit, and it’s pretty much everything you need to provide a personalized experience. Intelligent automation knows every need and pain point, every past decision and current preference.
For sales, this means more conversions, better ROI, and greater opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. For customer success at large, it means a whole new approach that combines big data with the human touch. Equipped with this kind of insight, human salespeople need not fear AI chatbots.
They can completely redefine sales themselves.
Human behaviour and artificial intelligence are no longer separable – they are going in the same direction, always pushing each other towards the same goal. The human demand relies on AI to provide and supply, which is why automation has already changed business to the point of no return.