BLOG 5 Ways AI Delivers Better Business Outcomes

Ben O'Loghlin

It’s 2020: technology is rapidly advancing, and with the availability of better tech comes the expectation for all of us to keep up with the digital trends.

Businesses everywhere are going paperless, and that means everything can be processed with just a couple of clicks. Gone are the days when people have to go through dozens of physical shelves to find a file.

With all these advancements, customers and employees are getting more impatient with any service delays and it’s hard to find a valid excuse to keep sticking with older means.

With proven speed and efficiency, no one wants to work in a business, start one, or work with one where the systems and processes are outdated, slow, and dysfunctional.

Employee and customer loyalty aren’t what they were before either. Excluding brand giants like Apple and Nike, consumers and staff no longer stick with a brand for a lifetime.

Employees and customers prioritise their experience over the brand. And for your business to keep up with that, you need to start automating a lot of your processes.

But, a lot of businesses still tend to turn away from the idea because of their perception of Artificial Intelligence (AI). They think that AI is:

  • Difficult to implement
  • Not delivering a good user experience
  • Hard to understand the first time
  • Still much like the chatbots we all had a bad experience with at some point.

Understandable; we humans do have a tendency to avoid what’s seemingly more difficult, but it’s rather short-sighted to say no to efficient processes that are rapidly and continuously improving.

To help you see its benefits, here are five reasons why AI is an advantage and not a curse to your business.

The 5 ways AI helps small to medium businesses

1. Enables staff to resolve their issues quicker and more independently

Before the dawn of AI, IT staff were flooded with calls and requests from other employees to fix issues as simple as a password reset. IT staff handle a myriad of problems, so concerns like these are not exactly the best use of their time.

In the same manner, it can be frustrating for the employees themselves to need to contact IT every time they need simple tasks done for them. Sometimes, they even have to wait a day or two, as their IT specialist already has a lot on their plate.

Also, now that working from home is becoming the norm amidst the global pandemic, it’s high time that companies start implementing automated help desks so that employees can troubleshoot on their own.

Gartner, a research company, reported that by 2021, 80% of emerging technologies will have AI foundations.

So it’s best to implement AI in your business, as arguably, it’s the future of technology. Why wait any longer for something that you can adopt and learn right now?

Doing so saves a lot of time and money and helps employees solve their problems more independently. Ultimately, this will result in a workplace that’s a lot more efficient.

2. Automates repetitive tasks to free up IT staff

It is a common misconception that “AI” automatically means “robots”. After all, the media continues to feed us with this context of AI; it’s undoubtedly the most interesting aspect of it. There’s even a movie called ‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence’ featuring a humanlike robot who develops sentience throughout the film.

While it’s true that the robots we’re familiar with from the movies we watch and the fiction books we read are a product of AI, what people often overlook is the fact that AI comes in different forms: sometimes it’s robots, other times it’s a set of tools in business software programs.

What all these types of artificial intelligence have in common is that they implement a system that completes repetitive and replicable tasks independently. That means humans don’t need to control them.

Carrying on from our first point, issues that frequently come up are better simply automated than requested for help repeatedly from the IT department, whose staff are probably busy with debugging more complex technical issues or monitoring and improving your company’s databases.

AI can automate many back end processes into easy-to-follow guides that staff can execute without the hassle of seeking the help of others.

3. Connects knowledge at the right time to the person who needs it

Remember trawling through internal databases and not finding what you’re looking for? You’re sure you saw it in this one specific folder just a few days ago. Maybe it’s been moved or deleted, how would you know without shyly badgering your IT staff?

Chatbot help desk automation is one of the AI forms with… not the best reputation. It left a bad first impression to many, and sadly, that impression stuck with them through the years.

But we can’t emphasise this enough: technology is evolving and advancing, and so are those chatbots we all used to hate.

Nowadays, users can hardly tell if they’re talking to bots or people tasked to copy-paste spiels to solve others’ problems. With the use of this technology, your employees can quickly search for the answers they need without spending too much time on it.

And, these chatbots are available to serve you 24/7.

4. Reduces call handling time

Customers hate waiting.

A survey by Click Software on customer attitude revealed that 35% of customers stopped doing business with some of their favorite brands after a single instance where they had to wait too long for their customer service representative to get to their concerns.

To remedy these kinds of problems, customer service agents are provided with more training, and yet this doesn’t seem to be enough to significantly reduce call handling time.

With new capabilities to automate knowledge discovery, handling times will be drastically reduced, and customers can quickly get the answers they need.

The graph below shows that switching to AI for customer service needs results in a massive annual cost saving:

5. Improve data quality and call assignment

How many times have you called a call centre, only to be left on hold or bounced around different departments and specialists? Unfortunately, it seems par for the course for call centres. But while it’s common, does that mean we should settle for that kind of service?

Of course not.

There are always ways to improve flawed processes, routine as they are. Automating service centres can improve data quality and help direct a call to the person or department that can actually resolve your enquiry.

“By using a call centre AI software, you can look at 16 months worth of data to see what the most common call-in topics were and why customers are calling. This helps you to better prepare your agents for the calls that they are most likely to receive,” said Jafar Adibi, head of AI at Talkdesk, which is a provider of cloud-based software for call centres.

The bottom line is that implementing AI vastly improves employees and customers’ experience whenever they need help.

Your IT staff don’t have to use up a bulk of their time handling concerns that other employees can learn to handle themselves, and your customers won’t have to wait forever while being transferred from one agent to another just to get an answer to a query that AI can solve in seconds.

Overall, this will help your business become more efficient, and give a good name to your brand and customer service.

Interested in automating your Service Desk using advanced AI?

Let us show you how to do more with less.

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