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– 18.05.2023.

AI for Business: The Future is Now

The benefits of AI for business is a hot topic – and with good reason. The world right now is experiencing a shift comparable to historical events like the Industrial Revolution and Digital Revolution. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are no longer fringe technologies – they are a growing daily reality. Businesses that ignore opportunities…

Jennifer Brown

South Africa

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The benefits of AI for business is a hot topic – and with good reason. The world right now is experiencing a shift comparable to historical events like the Industrial Revolution and Digital Revolution. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are no longer fringe technologies – they are a growing daily reality.

Businesses that ignore opportunities presented by AI, and fail to understand machine learning benefits, will likely struggle to stay competitive. So, why is AI such a gamechanger?

First, it enables enormous speed of iteration and scaling. It allows for far more accurate analytics and adaptation response. And as we all know, speed to market and data accuracy are key elements of market domination.

The influence of AI for business also allows for the ability to radically transform customer expectations and behavior. Businesses will be compelled to keep pace with these changes – or lose market share to those who do.

Personalization is the Key

Increasingly, business trust and customer loyalty is built on relationship rather than just the mechanics of a formulaic sales process. In fact, any truly effective sales process should place focus on personalizing customer engagement at every stage of a marketing campaign or sales funnel.

Traditionally, this takes time. It requires customer segmentation, monitoring, and analysis. Done manually, this can be costly – and is not always accurate. However, the advent of AI for business means that this process is faster, more cost effective, and more scalable.

Machine learning benefits include better personalization, which has a profound impact on customer satisfaction:

  • It strengthens brand loyalty, which in turn stimulates repeat business.
  • AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are able to generate much faster and more efficient customer responses – which in turn creates a better customer experience.
  • With instant access to relevant interrelated data, an AI-driven customer interface can generate real-time tailored offers or suggestions, vastly increasing the likelihood of a sale, with less resistance, in less time.

Fast, Accurate Analytics

Imagine being able to gain instant insight into a customer’s history, buying behavior, biases, and preferences – before the first customer engagement even takes place. Now imagine being able to accurately predict that individual’s responses, buying triggers, and potential dollar value to your brand at the same time.

This is just one of the facets of customer analytics enabled by AI. Think of artificial intelligence as a lightning-fast collator of meaningful data, with machine learning that relentlessly refines and better interprets the meaning and impact of that data.

One of the greatest benefits of AI for business, and machine learning benefits, is that they do an amazing job of analyzing and extracting meaningful insights from large datasets. AI tools can spot subtle patterns, associations, and trends that are non-obvious to human analysts.

By doing so, artificial intelligence enables better informed, data-driven business decisions. This equips a business to quickly identify (or create!) shifts in the market, gain deeper insight into target audiences, and deploy precisely tailored marketing or brand perception campaigns.

Real Time Decision Making

With the ability to process and interpret data more accurately, businesses instantly become more competitive, on a number of levels:

  • They can quickly respond to changing market conditions and better anticipate trends.
  • They can implement product or service offering iterations more speedily.
  • They can perform competitor monitoring and analysis more speedily and efficiently, using this information to offer customers better pricing or alternative products more quickly.

In this case, AI for business helps level the playing field against larger or more well established competitors.

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Leaner Operating Models

AI and machine learning can create more streamlined operational models on two levels. Firstly, the sheer speed and adaptability of AI and ML technology means that human resources can be better deployed, where humans can no longer compete with emerging technology.

For example, UK-based energy company Octopus Energy has recently used AI to replace 250 people in their customer relationship division. This has led to a much higher customer satisfaction index and quicker, more efficient customer engagement.

Secondly, AI for business can play a key role in production planning and operations strategy. By using machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics, machine learning benefits include the ability to radically redesign process flows.

  • It can forecast demand and predict trends.
  • It can accurately optimize inventory levels and reduce dead stock or wastage.
  • It can eliminate unnecessary or redundant links in the supply chain.
  • It can better predict breakdown intervals, reduce downtime, and optimize production cycles.

The result? Far greater efficiency, cost reduction, and profitability for those willing to embrace the benefits of AI for business.

Intelligent, Data Driven Innovation

At the heart of AI and machine learning is the capacity for rapid, exponential innovation.

In the past decade alone, machine learning benefits have included advances like:

  • Self-driving vehicles.
  • Personalized healthcare evaluations on phones and other devices.
  • Customer chatbots that are almost indistinguishable from a human.
  • The proliferation of text-to-speech technology and hyperrealistic image manipulation.
  • Video and voice avatars that mimic natural human patterns of speech and behavior.

The next logical wave of innovation has already begun: AI is reaching the point where it is able to improve on its own design and operating capacity without human intervention. There are far-reaching implications of AI for businesses – and these also include evolving risks.

Improved Business Cybersecurity

In the hands of bad actors, AI is also a tool that can potentially be used across the business landscape to inflict harm, both financially and operationally.

Criminals may use AI as a tool to aid their activities, ranging from increasingly complex customer fraud to the creation and deployment of ransomware that could cripple a business.

Because of this, businesses will have to enlist AI-powered resources to protect against these and other operational risks. By using AI for business as a tool that can effectively counter such threats, businesses can take a proactive approach to risk mitigation.

There are already many areas in which AI easily outperforms static cybersecurity products:

  • It can analyze and interpret vast amounts of data in real time, detecting changes that might indicate a security threat.
  • It can detect anomalies and pre-emptively initiate protocols to prevent possible security breaches.
  • It can better shield customer privacy and safeguard sensitive corporate data.

By virtue of the fact that it is dynamic and interactive, AI can also facilitate more sophisticated checks and balances. These machine learning benefits include being able to better evaluate the authenticity of financial transactions, conduct due diligence more thoroughly, and flag questionable activities in real time.

So, Why Would I Need a Virtual Assistant?

Despite the rapid advances in AI for business, and machine learning benefits, there are still tasks that require authentic human discernment and interactivity. There are many day to day tasks that an AI cannot practically accomplish for you. Consider just some of these necessities:

  • Communication and liaison with business partners, suppliers, and clients.
  • Social media or marketing content creation and management.
  • Administrative, executive, and marketing functions.
  • Error-free and copyright-free graphic design and content creation.
  • Multifaceted client or project management.
  • Travel coordination or assistance with social and family events.
  • Market research, interviews, and brand outreach.

Although there are many benefits of AI for business, there is still no substitute for the human element. At myVA360, we’ll ensure you’re matched with an experienced, suitably skilled VA to suit your business requirements.

Book a Virtual Assistant Today

Book a free trial today and discover how a virtual assistant can save you time, reduce costs, and benefit your business.

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Talk to one of our team members about the tasks consuming your time, and your goals. Going forward, your virtual assistant can work with minimum input from you.

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