We’ve recently been looking at how some of the largest tech companies in the world are using artificial intelligence to provide their customers with a better experience. But for the average business owner, AI can be a little overwhelming- or at least a bit tricky to understand.

Most experts agree that the role and importance of AI in business will continue to grow in the future. That’s why you first need a strategy to implement AI, and to know what it is you want to improve in order to scale.

Deep learning and machine learning will one day be a key component of every company’s core technology. One way to begin implementing AI is to encourage your team to use open source resources from companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

The next step is to examine AI opportunities within your business. This allows you to increase efficiency and productivity while support staff spend time on activities that grow your business.

Here are some ways you can use Artificial Intelligence in your business:

Chatbots

In the UK, 55% of consumers say that the most important factor in a customer experience is an effective, prompt response. And according to a Forrester survey, 77% of respondents say that the most important thing a company can do when providing them with good online customer service is valuing their time.

For businesses selling products online, 55% of adults in the US will abandon their purchase online if they can’t get a quick answer to their questions.

The generation that grew up with Google at their fingertips are known for their short attention spans and impatience. They expect instant attention when they need it, and have no loyalty to businesses that fail to meet these expectations.

That’s why AI chatbots are such a great option for many businesses. Chatbots can carry out a variety of tasks, including reporting the temperature, scheduling a meeting, answering questions, and helping users with their purchases.

In 2015, 1.4 billion people had at least one interaction with a chatbot. Unsurprisingly, more and more businesses are beginning to use chatbots to enhance their brands and engage with customers.

One of the reasons why chatbots are so popular, is because they mimic the type of intelligent conversations that users would have with another human. While chatbots are usually used for basic information, the conversations can also be combined with answers from humans if questions are complex.

Not to mention, chatbots can get smarter, learning from previous conversations to become even better at answering customers’ queries.

You can use chatbots to help sell your products and services, even when you’re sleeping. They can process payments from your customers, and monitor your customers to gain insights into their habits and purchasing patterns.

We all know that engagement is one of the most important parts of marketing- the more your prospects engage with your brand, the more likely they are to buy from you. Chatbots can also be used to give your customers a more personalised experience. They can address your customers by name, and use the information they’ve already gathered to let them know about other products they may like.

Finally, chatbots can be used to effectively qualify your leads- saving you time by asking qualifying questions to help customers find the best products for them. After prospects are qualified, chatbots can then forward them onto your sales team who will follow up.

As you can see, chatbots are a valuable AI tool, that can help you with many aspects of your business. If you’re not using chatbots yet, you’re missing out.

Analytics

The use of analytics and big data can enable faster, smarter, evidence-based decision making. It also helps businesses with process optimisation and insight generation. The companies leading the pack with AI analytics are not only improving core operations, but launching completely new business models.

Did you know that 90% of the data in the world today was only created within the last two years? But with so much data available, one of the biggest challenges for many businesses is understanding which data is relevant and actionable.

AI tools take all of the data coming in from every channel of your business, and analyse it, giving you valuable data about your customers’ demographics, behaviours, and buying patterns.

Big data analytics are now available to even the smallest companies. Getting key insight into your business is no longer about the cost, but whether you know how to use the affordable tools available to all business owners. The key is to have a roadmap for your implementation of AI and big data analytics tools, along with strong leadership to help you implement.

Security

Hackers continue to find new ways to compromise systems and computers. And it’s no longer just pranksters you need to worry about- cyber criminals are now full-fledged organisations, and sometimes even funded by foreign governments.

Instead of relying on humans to search through system and security log files, looking for evidence of a security breach, AI can protect your business for you.

Citrix System recently announced its cloud-based service Citrix Analytics, which uses analytics and machine learning to identify and fix threats and analyse performance issues. This AI tool determines what’s normal by scrutinising user behaviour. It also monitors for actions that are against policy, such as users trying to access files above their authorisation, and triggers responses based on risk scores.

Cylance is applying AI algorithms which is used to identify, predict, and stop malware in user’s systems. LogRhythm is offering analytics and threat intelligence to help businesses detect, respond to, and stop threats.

McAfee will automatically fix simple threats to your system, while passing on more complex issues to human administrators. And Darktrace uses advanced mathematics and behavioural analytics to detect any normal behaviour within your business.

These are just a few examples of the many options for AI security solutions for businesses of all sizes.

I’d love to hear how you’re using AI today, or planning to use AI in the future. What are some of your experiences? What are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch for a conversation about how we can help you get started.