- The smartest companies right now are actually using AI to enhance and personalize client interactions, not cut them off, through streamlined data collection and processing.
You might think of artificial intelligence (AI) as a strange, futuristic technology that will make your business seem cold and impersonal. And you might be right. Used indelicately, AI can be a tool to show off how high-tech you are without really doing anything significant to build your customer base. But, it doesn't have to be that way. The smartest companies right now are actually using AI to enhance and personalize client interactions, not cut them off, through streamlined data collection and processing.
What AI Is
Lately, the term "artificial intelligence" has started to become used very loosely to describe just about any rapid computerized function. However, there is a key difference between regular processing software and AI. While traditional programs tend to simply collect and sort information, AI programs are able to make informed judgements and decisions by recognizing patterns in data.
One known example of AI is Sophia the Robot, a machine who can adeptly impersonate human facial expressions and hold regular conversations. As she continues to talk to people, she becomes even better at emulating humans by picking up on their speech and body language patterns in various situations.
Although Sophia the Robot is mostly used now for publicity purposes, similar humanoid robots could soon be playing an important role in customer service. From helping clients check in and collecting their information for an appointment to allowing employees to practice sales conversations, AI has great potential.
Improving The Employee Experience
Many job-seekers majorly factor the quality of growth and learning opportunities at a company into their decision to take a job. By using AI for training and development, you can stay ahead of the curve and attract employees who want to improve their skills in an inventive and efficient way.
Interacting with AI technology can be a solid way for new employees to practice skills they'll need to work with your business, like decision-making and navigating sales conversations. If they spend time talking to a responsive machine or playing an interactive business game, they can improve their abilities quickly without forcing other employees to set aside as much time to train them.
AI can also help employees to accurately self-evaluate. When sales employees spend the day making calls and meetings and don't immediately have data to support their perception of how those interactions went, they can often lean toward confirmation bias, assuming that the strategies they prefer are the ones that work best. If their calls are monitored with AI technology and processed to deliver quantitative data on actual best practices, your salespeople will be more accountable and responsive when it comes to sharpening their techniques.
Improving The Client Experience
Of course, the most important application of AI is helping to make your customers' lives easier. People interested in your company's products or services don't care that much whether your AI technology looks sleek and high-tech. They care about whether it will actually make your business more efficient and help them have a better experience once they walk in your door.
When you use AI to monitor sales conversations (with the client's consent, of course) and improve your team's tactics, the other side of that coin is hopefully improving the client's response to the interactions they have with your employees. If your employees have learned to use a certain word or phrase during a sale because your AI program has determined that it elicits a better reaction on aggregate, you can feel reasonably confident that hearing those words will make your client feel more comfortable and satisfied with how the sale is going.
AI doesn't only improve aggregate experiences -- it can also make client interactions highly personalized before they even get the chance to talk to an actual human. Robot "receptionists" may not seem as warm as a person at the front desk, but when they collect data and information and can recognize repeat customers by their voice or face and recall facts about them, they can begin to feel very friendly and personal. It's all about using the correct programs for your company to streamline your client's experience and make them feel valued as soon as they enter your business.
It's Your Turn
AI technology in the workplace can be a positive or negative development. If used poorly, it can be a waste of money that only changes the image of your business without providing sincere value. If used well, it can drastically improve your employee training and customer interactions and provide value to everyone involved.
Do you use AI at your company? In your experience, what separates a good use of AI from a bad use? What do you believe are the best ways to apply AI to sales?