Tech companies of all kinds have integrated artificial intelligence into their solutions and made lofty predictions about what AI will do as it develops over the years. However, many businesses don’t fully understand what AI can do for them now, and are missing out on opportunities to transform business processes.
AI is positioned to transform various aspects of business this year, including digital paperwork, customer service, and the human resources department. Specifically, AI can organize and analyze data that previously would not be taken into consideration such as images, videos, and audio, helping employees work more efficiently and find valuable answers and insights from disparate data sources.
Here are a few ways that AI solutions such as intelligent analytics and insight engines will change the way we do business, work collaboratively, and interact with businesses as consumers in 2019.
Document and Data Organization
Employees looking to access corporate data relevant to their daily business need a tool that allows them to do this seamlessly and effectively. AI technologies like insight engines offer tailored support to employees across departments and are able to optimize all kinds of internal processes, regardless of the industry sector and size of the organization.
For example, AI can do away with file naming conventions that employees often neglect to follow, making it easier for businesses to sort through documents, incoming mail, and inquiries from various sources. While file naming guidelines are meant to help employees work more efficiently and make their lives easier in the long run, they are usually one of the first things to be overlooked when time is of the essence. Fortunately, AI technology can now automate the organization and classification of documents, making these digital paperwork processes obsolete.
Since companies today receive inquiries in a wide variety of formats such as PDFs, documents, images, and videos via mail, social media, e-mail and other channels, organization and agility are key. AI streamlines this whole process, eliminating the time-consuming task of distributing the right documents and information to the right people and departments.
Relevant data that employees need to do their everyday jobs should be available to the right person at the right time in the right context. AI solutions like insight engines make this possible by giving employees direct access to the information and answers they need but also take it a step further by linking information from an array of data sources to provide the user with a proactive 360-degree view of the required information. In this sense, AI can give employees time back in their day by completing some basic organizational tasks for them, but in most applications, the insights delivered from AI also augment the work humans are doing and allow them to focus on the actual job at hand.
Customers increasingly require more individualized service and, at the same time, the fastest possible turnaround time. Not only can AI automate the process of connecting a customer with the correct department or staff member to solve their issue based on keywords and other context gathered during the interaction, but it can even solve some customer inquiries automatically. Chatbots and AI assistants are well-suited to handle customer interactions that have a very clear resolution and that only require a few steps to complete, while still using background knowledge to make the interaction feel personal for the customer. However, more complex customer service situations still require a human touch.
The goal of AI is not to replace customer service representatives, which would not make sense given the increasing demand for personalized service. But, by gathering data from previous interactions with customers, AI can still help employees offer a better customer experience overall. AI can help guide a customer service agent through an interaction by bringing up a customer’s history or proactively suggesting the next step, allowing the representative to focus on being a human and delivering the best service possible, without following a robotic script.
Similarly, most HR tasks depend on some level of human-to-human interaction, so AI cannot successfully run this department without employee intervention. For example, when interviewing new job candidates, there are certain red flags that potential employees can raise that only a human can detect by following their gut instinct. Further, many delicate HR situations require a certain level of empathy and human emotion to handle appropriately, so AI is not able to resolve these issues on its own.
Nevertheless, AI-powered analytics can help HR departments quickly filter through unqualified job candidates to then pursue the leads that are a better fit. An insight engine driven by AI can also enable HR managers to quickly establish an overview of which employees are considered experts on a particular topic and which employees can provide valuable input. If a human resource manager is searching for a specific skill, for instance, “Which of my employees speaks Russian?”, an insight engine can be used to instantly extract anyone who fulfills the requirement from the knowledge database.
Successful companies are often made up of employees from different backgrounds and with different career histories. In most cases, information about previous employers, lines of business, areas of responsibility and the like is buried somewhere in each employee’s personnel file. But when combined with a myriad of other data and fed into a system powered by AI, this information can provide the company with enormous added value.
Don’t Be Afraid of AI
While many fictional stories have raised concerns about robots or artificial intelligence taking over our jobs, AI will never fully replace human employees. However, it can augment employees‘ abilities and cut out many tedious, time-consuming tasks and paperwork. By automating some back end tasks and connecting the dots between different types of files and data sources buried deep in databases, AI allows for more time and brainpower to be devoted to the more complex or emotional tasks that require a human touch. Ultimately, it’s time that businesses realize that AI is a tool that can be added to their arsenal to improve the digital employee experience and offer a better customer experience today, not in the distant future.
Daniel Fallmann, CEO at Mindbreeze authored this article.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends and HR&DigitalTrends.