What can your business automate for digital success?
What can your business automate for digital success?
Company analysts and product vendors are beating the digital business drum pretty hard, but what exactly can a typical business make digital to be more efficient and save or generate valuable revenue? With chatbots, robotic process automation and AI tools all clamoring for attention, what’s really useful for your business?
Wherever you look these days, companies are being deluged with ways to automate their activities. The advice is solid on the basis that it can save you money, free up time to work on more important issues and expand your opportunities or help provide information on your routes to growth. But how does a business take the first step, and where should it look to make those savings or gain those insights?
As ever, the practical solution is to ask your teams, departments or workers what parts of their business are the most repetitive, boring, annoying or fail to add value to their day. Many tasks such as filing, updating forms, order processing, handling the same customer questions, doing the payroll can all be automated to some extent.
Company leaders may find stress at the other end of the shop floor, just how are they supposed to plan ahead, deliver new products and predict changes in their market with so much data to wade through?
Hitting the Pain Points on the Head
Having established what can be done to make the business run more smoothly, and to improve working practices. The next question is how to automate these tasks. Fortunately, tools like robotic process automation (known as RPA) have been around for many years, helping turn drudge-work, paper-based, tasks into a rapid digital workflow.
Find an RPA company or an expert in your market, and they will be able to highlight all the ways RPA can be used. Help suggest solutions for your business, from screen scraping, data transfer, and many other examples. They can test them to ensure it works as planned, and provide the analytics to show just how much time or money is being saved.
An RPA solution used to time-consuming and costly to implement, but in the cloud era, most are simple to drop into any business process that used to involve paper or data.
Chatbots Are Businesses’ New Friend
When it comes to dealing with repeated or similar customer queries, chatbots are the current tool to help give your teams valuable time back. Even a simple scripted chatbot (one that mimics your current customer service script, company FAQ or similar dialogue) can save time spent on phone calls and answering emails.
For more advanced conversations, chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) tools like natural language processing (NLP) or deep learning can answer a wider range of questions. They can engage with customers using their account details, by remembering old chat conversations, providing in-bot access to your online store or payment service to provide a wider range of features, all making bots an indispensable tool for many companies as we move past the webpage and mobile app era.
As with RPA and most other digital services, chatbots aren’t standing still and get smarter with every iteration by developers. Here at SnatchBot we are adding new features all the time. Bots can be multilingual, which combined with their instant and 24/7 availability can help a company grow into a global one. They are also using voice through virtual assistants, emojis and other ways to communicate, seeing them used at transport hubs, hotels and business reception to help deal with any questions or provide information quickly on a wide scale.
Large companies are also using chatbots for in-house tasks, saving managers time dealing with holiday or absence requests, HR tasks, recruiting and so on. With every step forward helping the company speed up tasks and reduce the drag they have on the business.
Rise of the Robots
Software robots are fast developing way beyond RPA tools. Having spent many years helping company leaders see the “true state” or “current state” of business operations through dashboards and easy-to-consume reports, AI robots are being used in these tools to help predict future demand.
These tools can look at raw material reports, compare them with weather trends, see how your rival forecasts look and crunch that data, comparing it to historical records, to provide a set of options for how you might plan to run the business in the foreseeable future.
Robotic tools can help startups plan to scale their business when they have limited data of their own to work with. And enterprises are already relying on such services to crunch their big data to find actionable nuggets of information that no human would be able to produce in the time needed for the company to get to work on them.
Get Smart with AI Today
Whatever your company size, robots and AI tools are on the way to make work easier, help the company grow and improve the efficiency of teams. These tools are available now, often as-a-service, just like your email, cloud office, CRM and similar features.
The low cost means any business can take advantage of them, even as they struggle in the belief that only corporate giants can make use of AI, and it is being embedded into many suites and products, so every company might as well start making use of them.
If they don’t those that do will rapidly become more attractive places to work, will have better prospects and be more attractive to customers who are used to seeing chatbots on websites and on social media to instantly answer questions.
And, AI isn’t just about putting a robotic face on tasks. AI can be used to make email or marketing messages more personal and relevant to each individual. Chatbots can be trained to be flexible in how they talk to different types of customer, while virtual assistants are fast-becoming firm friends with a whole generation of users.
These bots and the tasks they help with will play a huge part in everyone’s future, so the sooner your business gets used to them, the better it will see the results.