This guest column is authored by Fred Schebesta, CEO and Co-Founder, Finder.com
Forget the artificial intelligence doomsday storylines you’ve seen in Terminator or The Matrix – AI is gaining traction and is here to help you in ways you couldn’t have dreamed of. It’s time to move past Siri and find out how AI can help you with your business.
If you haven’t already begun integrating it into your everyday life, you’re falling behind the curve.
You might have already had contact with AI without realizing. Faisal Khan, a cross-border money transfer specialist, has a story about chatting with a CEO and telling him he’d like to send his secretary something for New Year’s Eve. The CEO replied, saying, “Uh, Amy’s a bot. You know that, right?”. It turned out Amy was a chatbot that planned the CEO’s calendar but was so advanced, he hadn’t realised the difference between AI and a real person.
It’s easy enough to start leveraging AI for your own business, even if you start off small and work your way up. Here are some of the newest advancements that can help streamline your business and get your focus off the small things and towards getting that off-the-charts growth.
Even if you have a great product, if you don’t have effective sales tools to back it up, your business won’t thrive. Having AI that can learn and get smarter, while helping your sales team, is a golden opportunity.
Salesforce’s newest product, Einstein, is a step towards integrating their customer relationship management software with AI. Einstein is built into your Salesforce product and learns your data to then come up with predictions and recommendations, based on the way you conduct business. It can predict how likely the customer is to buy, and bugs you to keep chasing up your most likely leads, all while intelligently updating your records. It helps to make you more productive and your customers happier.
Conversica uses AI to create engaging, realistic dialogue with potential leads. It uses chat and email and can be integrated seamlessly within your sales team, to alert them when a customer feels like buying the product. The conversations come across as natural and two-way, and add a ‘human touch’. The usual detraction of chatbots is that they come across as static and inhuman, but Conversica claims to have fixed this problem.
Relating to Khan’s aforementioned story, AI can be easily used as a personal assistant and calendar booking bot. X.ai offers a free trial of their software, which intelligently schedules meetings with your clients simply by cc-ing ‘Amy’ into your email. Clara is an alternative to this, also capable of organizing your calendar, while also allowing you to set your preferences for time and meeting location. Gluru acts in a different way, by sending you to-do lists of deadlines and appointments, predicting answers and actions, and automatically bringing up all the information you’ll need during each event.
Social media marketing is a big part of any business and can be used in a variety of ways. Post Intelligence is a social media assistant, using an AI called Pi. Pi offers suggestions based on what your followers have liked before, what time is best to post, and also provides audience insights and uses deep learning to recommend the best sponsored content. The best part? It’s all personalized to you!
When AI is mentioned, legal matters aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind, but the software is out there! Intraspexion is a deep learning platform that stops litigation before it happens, bringing up liability risks to help you avoid lawsuits. It can scan your company’s internal emails daily and flag significant risks for review.
Legal Robot is another tool available today. It helps you to understand complex legal language in contracts and spot problems before you sign, which means avoiding potential stress and money down the road. The algorithms assess the fairness and risk, and evaluate the contract against industry standards. If your company is one that often deals with complex legal jargon, this could be a lifesaver.
Networking is one of the biggest stressors of business. It’s something I’ve come to enjoy doing, but it’s not always the easiest feat. Now there is even AI to help with that! Crystal imports your contacts from any social media channel and gives you personality reports, letting you know the best ways to communicate with them. Its tools are based on the DISC assessment to analyze the behavior of the person, and provides advice. This means that you’ll know exactly how to talk to someone without extra time spent on research their communicative style. Imagine being able to nail networking every time?
These are just some of the bigger AI tools out there – and there are so many areas of business that I haven’t even covered! Whether you’re working online or in a physical store, AI tools can help you to unlock the true potential of your business.