AI Changing Business Communications
Customers have high expectations for business communication from the brands that they use. They want communication that is fast yet personalized. They want to be able to speak to a company from any device, at any time of day. Businesses have done their best to keep up with this demand, but a communication budget only stretches so far. Employees can only get so many emails written, calls made, or respond to so many social media posts in one day.
This is where artificial intelligence comes in. It is the future of business communications, and it is already transforming the process from beginning to end. The following provides just a few examples of how companies are harnessing the power of AI in their communications strategy.
The use of automation in business communication is nothing new. It has been around for the better part of two decades. When it was first released, it was more painful than helpful. For many, it conjures images of customers shouting into their phones over and over, putting emphasis on different parts of the requested service option. Recently, however, customer service phone automation has improved dramatically. AI has enabled it to better understand different volumes of voices, various accents, and a much longer list of alternate wording.
Currently, customer service phone automation allows individuals to find out basic information without having to wait on hold for long periods of time. In the future, this technology is only going to get better. These virtual agents will be able to handle more complex scenarios, and customers will be able to ask questions while receiving valuable responses. This will enable customer service agents to handle only the more complicated and difficult situations.
This type of service is already being employed through chatbots, and will soon make the transition to Interactive Voice Response (IVR). In the end, it will be more cost effective for businesses, who will also be able to provide 24/7 customer support to reserve their human agents for higher value work.
2. Natural Language Processing
A larger and larger proportion of business communication is moving to apps. Companies interact with their customers through this software. Unfortunately, as the software is able to provide more feature-rich functionality, it can also be more difficult for the average user to navigate. Many companies are looking into implementing natural language processing into their apps to help customers fully harness the power of the app. This AI technology will significantly reduce customer frustration while increasing customer app engagement. Instead of having to learn each new tool, customers can simply speak to the app to request different functions to be performed. The complex function is then completed and the customer is better served.
3. Machine Learning
Traditionally, all aspects of business communication have been decided based on management intuition or their interpretation of data. They make guesses about how to route calls, emails, and social media posts. They estimate how many times sales and marketing should reach out to a lead. They provide customer service representatives with a ratio of how much they should speak and how much they should listen. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are not.
Soon, though, most of these precision decisions will be overseen by machine learning. It will be able to quickly analyze data, optimize a system, monitor the outcome, and improve everything. This will reduce human error, as well as the learning curve. Various communication channels will be continuously optimized in real-time. When the market or customer preferences change, so do aspects of the communication channels.
4. Business Intelligence
While it may seem like AI could take over the job of business communication, it will not. Customers still find it vital to be able to communicate with another human to feel an emotional connection. Robots and machines cannot provide this. Therefore, it is more accurate to view the future of AI in business communications as an assistive device. It will take care of lower value tasks and support the workforce in their business communications.
One way AI will do this is through providing unparalleled business intelligence. It will analyze consumer behavior and report to a business just how close they should get to a customer to optimize the customer experience. AI can track customer movements and interactions—what they do on the website, the content of their email interactions with the brand, their social media presence, and much more. It can then analyze the data and provide valuable insights to guide customer service, marketing, and advertising on ways to customize communications to best fit consumer needs and wants.
6. Sentiment Analysis
AI can take call analysis a step further than just analyzing text in real-time. It can also analyze the voice call with sentiment analysis. During the conversation, based on repetition of words, the volume used, tone, and pitch, the technology can help to prioritize what should be addressed with the customer, stop a business from going down the wrong conversational path, and empower the professional to provide a customized experience that will increase customer satisfaction.
AI is already integrated with some aspects of business communication and, over the next few years, it will only start to take on a bigger role. It will enable companies to provide excellent service and enhance engagement across the board. To accomplish this, though, businesses must be open to embracing the implementation of the technology in every nook and cranny of business communications.