We’ve shared some of our thoughts about using artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of chatbots and replacing the human element in customer service. However, this is not to say we’re entirely opposed to using AI tools for business. At Chameleon Group, we simply believe that AI is a tool, not the solution.
The impact of AI on the customer experience is backed by data. The Forbes Advisor survey found that 55% of companies use AI for personalized services, like product recommendations. Plus, 64% of business owners expect AI will strengthen customer relationships and boost productivity, while 60% believe it will drive sales growth.
Below, we explore ways AI can improve business and some of the tools and functions we’ve found most useful—but we also discuss why companies should avoid relying too heavily on them. Keep reading to learn more.
In our opinion, applications that improve the customer experience, help upgrade different forms of text, and enhance customer research and SEO are the best AI tools for business.
By now, everyone is familiar with ChatGPT and its ever-evolving abilities. Text generation can help you get to know your customers by typing in a prompt that will help you understand them better. For B2B companies, this means better understanding your client’s industry.
You could even use it in this way to prepare for sales calls. One study by Harvard Business Review suggested that companies can use generative AI in sales to:
For example, Chameleon’s founder, Dana, uses ChatGPT to gather niche information about each client’s industry. This helps the team better verse themselves with crucial knowledge before interacting.
Sales agents need to be able to answer two critical questions before they make a call: Who am I calling, and why do they care? As a sales and marketing tool, ChatGPT is a great starting point for our team as we brainstorm and research new industries, helping us to tailor our questions and thought processes around our clients’ customers.
Text enhancement apps like Grammarly are also great for taking any writing to the next level, such as blogs, social media content, emails, and contracts. In addition to spotting grammar and spelling errors, some of these AI tools can even help you by:
Other powerful AI tools for business include research and SEO tools, such as SurferSEO and Genei. These small business technologies are essential for researching and getting your content seen by the right people in the digital space.
SEO is vital for businesses to get found online and bring organic visitors to their websites. Key SEO strategies include identifying keywords (i.e., words and phrases your ideal customer uses to search for online content and solutions), into your content, off-page SEO (i.e., backlinking to your site from others), and local SEO (i.e., optimizing your Google My Business profile and other directory listings).
AI tools like SurferSEO can help you:
Other AI apps make research, data analysis, and organization a breeze. Some can even take notes for you and summarize background reading. For example, you can use Genei to sift through your existing documents for important information or to find new helpful sources. Others can even organize your documents and transcribe meetings and interviews.
Before diving into these resources, weighing AI benefits and risks is vital. Relying too heavily on AI tools for business can have negative consequences by eliminating much of the human element—after all, your people make your business relatable! The Forbes Advisor survey found that 43% of business owners are concerned about becoming too reliant on AI.
Although tools like ChatGPT are quickly learning, they can’t (at least not yet) replicate human emotion. Often, the content AI tools produce is missing the personal stories and experiences that consumers relate to. Because they have no emotional intelligence or empathy, they can’t establish that emotional connection or the level of personalization that humans can. Not to mention, AI can’t capture your company’s culture or brand voice like you can.
At the end of the day, AI-generated content still requires a human to edit and verify information and incorporate your desired tone. And AI-powered customer service tools still need a human to deliver, well, REAL human interactions!
Since AI tools pull from existing data, they aren’t capable of creative thinking. That means they can’t develop new ideas or innovative approaches and solutions, so they’re restricted in what they can produce. This can make AI content feel repetitive, monotonous, and dry.
While they can support your business growth strategies, AI tools lack full context and the creative and critical thinking skills of humans that fuel our unique thoughts and ideas.
In the same Forbes Advisor survey, 33% of participants reported concern that AI could reduce the workforce. Although it’s still in its early stages, AI is a robot, and many fear that it could replace professionals such as customer service representatives and writers.
While AI tools for business offer many features and abilities, they also require complex technology. This means they can be costly to operate and maintain. These apps need hardware and software updates to ensure accurate performance. Some may require outsourcing if you don’t have someone in-house who knows how to leverage and maintain these tools.
The world of AI is not yet regulated, and since these tools pull from existing content, there are significant concerns over the risks of misinformation and plagiarism. In fact, a survey found that 30% of businesses are worried about AI producing misinformation, and 24% are concerned that these issues could negatively affect customer relationships. And we know that, at the very least, duplicate content could get you in the water with Google and, at worst, in legal hot water.
The bottom line: Content from AI tools still calls for a careful human eye and fact-checking.
All that to say, even the best AI tools for small businesses are only as good as the people using them. But when incorporated effectively alongside the human touch, AI can support your company in several crucial areas.
Although many fear the threat of AI replacing certain workers, it also increases business efficiency and productivity. 59% of business leaders believe it will help save costs, and 42% think it will streamline job processes. AI business tools can save time and open up more opportunities for people to focus on higher-level work and projects they enjoy. They can complete many basic, mundane tasks and streamline others, such as:
From developing blog post topics and inspiration to marketing campaign ideas to alternative phrasing and formatting to product ideation, brainstorming support is a major benefit of using AI tools for business. They can also offer different perspectives and ways to present ideas. So, while they can’t form new, creative ideas, they can guide creativity and innovation by quickly delivering information.
Since AI tools are capable of pattern identification, they can gather and deliver data based on patterns and trends. That means they can facilitate customer research by providing information on your ideal customer’s behavior, pain points and desires, demographics, competition, and market trends. Then, you can make data-backed decisions to tailor your content, products/services, sales processes, and customer experience to your target audience.
As mentioned earlier, AI tools streamline content creation by saving time on topic and SEO research. You can use it to come up with unique ideas for content like blog posts and videos (which search engines love), find areas of opportunity (i.e., topics and questions your competition isn’t yet discussing), and perform keyword research. You can then write fresh, optimized content more efficiently and increase your chances of getting found online.
These are just a few examples of how AI helps businesses when partnered with the right level of human touch.
Remember, AI tools for business are great for assisting and speeding up processes, not ultimately generating content and creativity! However, relying too heavily on it can create issues—from generic content to inaccurate information to plagiarism concerns.
In Dana’s words, “Too much reliance on AI does not allow for a personal touch.” So, leverage it to strengthen your customer experience, sales practices, operations, and creative processes. But always maintain a human-centric approach.
If you’re looking to lighten your sales and customer service team’s workload without sacrificing the human element in your customer experience, contact Chameleon today! We’ll be happy to support your business and improve your productivity.
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