For those who think AI is still in the distant future, they are greatly mistaken. AI is here and is part of so many aspects of our daily life that we do not even realize it is reshaping our lives, our work and workplaces.
Today, AI is broadly applied in 3 ways –
- Conversational bots or chatbots come equipped with thinking engines, Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Speech Recognition, context handlers, sentiment analysis and multi-channel interaction abilities and can have meaningful conversations with users.
- Process automation to increase productivity and efficiency
- Deep insights from the voluminous data available at our disposal.
Let us focus on how AI is reshaping IT, web development, marketing and sales in specific.
AI and IT
Traditionally, large volumes of support and service requests that pour into the call centers and technical help desks of IT companies (internal and external) do not need human intervention. By deploying intelligent conversational bots, IT companies are able to automate a large part of the routine and basic queries like password changes, billing details, basic troubleshooting, etc. When the bot cannot answer a question, it brings in a human agent to take the query, equipped with the full context of the conversation and the customer/ employee details. This way the support professionals are able to improve the quality of the conversation while the company is able to improve the responsiveness of their help desks and call centers, thereby improving the experiences (UX, CX, EX). The technology is highly scalable and cost-effective.
Secondly, AI has enabled IT companies to automate tedious, manual drudgery such as updating software, performing security scans, taking backups, etc. while also enabling automation of strategic pain points and administrative tasks such as resource allocation, scheduling, reviewing progress, establishing and managing workflows, creating reports, etc. So, IT employees and managers can today focus their energy on creative problem-solving, innovation, developing new products, explore opportunities by leveraging deep insights, take on complex projects from clients and so on.
Lastly, using predictive analytics, IT is able to forecast and mitigate/ remediate bottlenecks, issues and threats in their products/ services before serious damage can take place. Such quick action minimizes the disruptions and losses for clients and thereby, improve their level of satisfaction.
AI and Web development
The number of static and text-only web pages is sharply reducing. There is a growing number of dynamic websites with moving parts, animation, videos, etc. The user interface (UI) is judged by how responsive and engaging it is and how much it costs in terms of money, hassle and time to the users.
In web development, conversational bots including voice-based assistants (Alexa, Cortona, etc.) have revolutionized UI as we know it. Web developers are increasingly integrating bots and voice-based assistants on the websites to optimize search options, improve the quality and responsiveness of conversations and elevate personalized customer/ user engagement. For instance, voice bots can filter results more effectively on e-commerce websites, personalize search/ user queries and elevate the shopping experience.
AI, especially AI toolkits offered by Google, Facebook, etc. are aiding web developers by automating laborious tasks in web design and development including testing and piloting and are immensely time saving. AI techniques and algorithms that study user patterns and behavior provide tailored suggestions, ads, etc. these are incorporated today in web development to elevate personalization and user experiences on the website.
AI and marketing & sales
AI is revolutionizing marketing and sales through automation, personalization and customization, and forecasting.
In the face of the ever-increasing clutter in the marketplace, brands must find ways to stand apart from the crowd to improve sales and traditional marketing techniques. AI toolkits, through deep insights and predictive analytics, are enabling marketers to hyper-localize, personalize and customize campaigns by creating different content and campaigns that strike a chord with the different segments of customers. These insights can be used for developing marketing strategies that break the clutter. For instance, marketers can get quick and in-depth reports on levels of engagement of target audiences with the content website or emails, which point do they bounce, can they be retargeted, etc. AI toolkits are also allowing them to automate the personalization process at scale.
AI is enabling organizations to break down silos that hinder the free flow of communication and insights between different departments. Such insights from different departments are especially important for sales executives to improve conversions.
AI in sales is clearing up the manual and time-consuming tasks from the sales executives such as basic chatting, warming leads up, managing databases, etc. and reducing the time they spend on qualifying leads which they can use for converting leads. AI-based sales assistants can also mine data and insights about leads from sources across the web to enable sales executives to effectively and expeditiously close deals.