3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Business with AI Personal Assistants

By Natalie Severt

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Artificial intelligence is changing the way we work.  

For example, major players are using AI technology to enhance products or manage complex supply chains. Smaller businesses are using AI technology to streamline workflows, cut costs, and eliminate excesses.

Either way, businesses are finding that AI solutions free people up to focus on impactful things and do the things that matter most.

So, how can you unlock the benefits of AI?

For smaller businesses, using AI personal assistants is an easy way to tap into the value of AI and automation. Want to learn how? Here are three ways AI personal assistants can optimize your business processes: 

1. Use AI Personal Assistants to Automate Aspects of Workflow

One of the main benefits of AI technology for small businesses is its ability to streamline workflows. A report by McKinsey found that 60% of all occupations comprise at least 30% automatable activities.

In the office, such activities might include:  

  • Emailing and Texting
  • Scheduling Meetings
  • Making Travel Arrangements
  • Taking Notes and Making Lists
  • Finding Facts and Information

By allowing AI personal assistants to automate such tasks, employees effectively streamline workflows so they can focus on other things. Essentially, the best solutions do work that humans find impossible or wasteful. The idea is that AI should assists workers without replacing them.

Mundane office tasks can be wasteful. The good news? There are several out-of-the-box solutions for small businesses. Here are a few examples:

  • Mezi:  An AI app that automates the process of making travel arrangements.
  • X.ai / Sally:  AI personal assistants that schedule meetings through email.
  • Butleroy: A personal calendar AI assistant that automates scheduling.
  • Alexa for Business: Amazon’s AI personal assistant for businesses.
  • Hound: An AI personal assistant that helps you find facts and information.

 

Of course, the list is not exhaustive. There are many other apps that do much of the same thing including Siri and Cortana.

2. Use AI Assistants or Chatbots to Reduce Time to Hire  

We can all agree that it’s important for businesses to reduce time to hire. That’s because it costs businesses $4,000 and 24 days on average to make a hire.

Reducing that time cuts costs and increases the odds you hire talent. And it’s crucial to hire well because employee turnover is expensive, costing you 33% of a worker’s annual salary.

One way to reduce time to hire is to introduce AI personal assistants or chatbots to your recruitment process. Now, there are several clever ways to integrate with AI, but using chatbots to engage with potential hires is one of the easiest.

A chatbot can engage with flagged candidates right away and serve them preliminary screening questions. Chatbots can also reach out to people who engage with your website or social media page, giving you much more reach.

Your chatbot starts with a series of basic opening questions. Then it uses natural language processing (NLP) to read and respond to candidates answers and queries. Later, your bot will use machine learning to learn the best responses to candidate input.

Now, if you pair that with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you also automate the task of scanning resumes. Your recruiters now have all the information they need to move forward with interviews, drastically reducing your time to hire.

 

3. Use AI Personal Assistants to Improve Sales and Customer Service Processes

Okay, so you’re using AI personal assistants to schedule meetings. You’ve decided to streamline your recruitment process with a chatbot. But are there any other ways AI assistants can boost your business?

Why, yes! Both sales and customer service processes can benefit from the use of AI personal assistants. Let’s start with sales.

If your business needs to process a lot of leads, AI is the answer. A report by Gartner shows that 30% of all B2B companies will use AI to boost one of their primary sales processes by 2020. That’s because using AI leads to an increase in conversion rates by 30%.

So, what solutions should you consider? Here’s a list of three possibilities to get you started:

  • Conversica: An AI assistant that integrates with Salesforce.
  • Drift: An AI assistant that vets leads through conversational marketing.
  • Intercom: An AI assistant that acquires and retains customer and sales leads.

 

Have your sales leads under control? Perhaps you need a more efficient customer service solution? Again, AI personal assistants can help.

While it holds true that customers like to talk to real people, recent research by Facebook shows that there is a growing interest in chatbots. The social media giant revealed that conversations about chatbots grew 5.6X in a year in the US. Plus, more people are reaching out to businesses via messaging first.

And businesses are responding.

More businesses are integrating with an AI customer assistant or chatbot to accommodate customers. By 2020, Gartner expects that to be true for 25% of customer service operations, which is up from less than 2% in 2017.

Chatbots are useful because they can do what humans can’t by providing 24/7, real-time customer service. Plus, chatbots save time and money by allocating time-consuming tasks to the bots. Gartner reports that chatbots reduce inquiries by 70% while increasing customer satisfaction. There’s also a 33% increase in savings per engagement.

Here are some ways to use customer service chatbots:  

  • Integrate your website with an existing chatbot service.
  • Integrate your social media pages with chatbots - e.g., Facebook and Twitter.
  • Build a custom chatbot for your website that handles customer service or sales leads.

 

Here are some examples of existing customer service chatbots to get you started:   

  • Nina: An AI personal assistant for customer service using voice and text.
  • VoiceSell: An AI solution that provides you with a voice navigation interface for your mobile or e-commerce website using NLP.
  • Dialogflow: An AI personal assistant that connects with your website, app, Google Assistant, Alexa, Facebook Messenger, and other platforms to give you full coverage.
  • LiveChat: A customer service chat platform that allows you to integrate with a chatbot.

   

Conclusion

Using an AI personal assistant for one or more aspects of your business is an easy way to cut costs and streamline business processes. The more wasteful or impossible tasks you automate with AI, the freer your employees are to focus on the things that really make a difference.

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