In countless ways, artificial intelligence has become a fixed part of our everyday lives. From YouTube suggestions curated by AI, to algorithms that show you the fastest way to work on your morning commute.
In 2021 and beyond, AI is also transforming business communication.
Most modern business communication channels already work via the cloud – from hosted contact center phone systems to live chat.
Consequently, they can harness a multitude of AI and machine learning (ML) tools to make communication more efficient.
For businesses, this is a major advantage. It helps them save time and resources for internal communication processes, as well as communication with customers.
Here are four of the most useful AI tools for business communication.
One of the most time-consuming areas of business communication is documentation. Whether it’s typing up the notes of a three-hour board meeting or summarizing a sales call with a high-profile client – a lot of time is spent on routine tasks.
AI can fully automate these workflows. Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms, AI can automatically transcribe entire conversations word by word.
Additionally, advanced AI can also quickly generate summaries of important points made during conversations.
Such extensive, detailed documentation comes in handy in many situations. For example, if a customer is facing an issue and calls a business repeatedly, the agents won’t have to ask what solutions were proposed in previous calls. With the call summaries at their fingertips, they’ll be able to exceed the customer’s expectations by moving straight on to alternative suggestions to resolve the issue.
The majority of business conversations are routine. Especially when it comes to customer conversations about issues such as scheduling or cancelling appointments, requests for refunds, or checking up on the status of an order.
Fortunately, AI can completely take over these routine conversations.
Cloud-based business phone systems often include IVR tools. IVR stands for interactive voice response. Thanks to these tools, your customers will be able to state the purpose of their call directly, rather than having to listen to a long menu of choices. Then, the IVR system can either route them to a qualified agent who’s currently available. Or it can treat routine requests directly.
The text-based pendant to IVR are AI chatbots. These are already widely deployed by companies in their live chat systems and are so adept at answering questions that customers often don’t notice (or don’t care) that they are not talking to a human agent.
How often do you think your team members have longed for their very own personal assistant? Someone to hand them exactly what they need, when they need it?
Thanks to AI, this dream can become reality.
Virtual PAs can complete a variety of routine tasks – not least of them pulling information from existing databases and winnowing it down to what your team members actually need.
For example, they can provide real-time assistance during sales calls.
Through NLP algorithms, they can follow the conversation and provide any information an agent may need. Data such as sales records and summaries of previous interactions will be provided to the agent.
In addition, virtual PAs can also keep track of the mood of a conversation and offer assistance if it turns sour. In a process called sentiment analysis, they track the inflection, volume, and content of a callers’ conversation. If they detect that a caller is becoming aggressive or frustrated, and the agent is at a loss for words, they will then offer company-approved talking points and avenues to resolve the tension.
A final huge advantage of AI for business communication is the depth of the insights it can yield.
Nowadays, most businesses are dealing with a huge volume of interactions, both internally among employees and externally with customers. These range from social media posts and emails to voice and video calls.
It’s all too easy to lose sight of the overall picture, and to fail to identify important trends.
To prevent this, AI- and ML-based analysis tools are a godsend.
They can easily sort through massive amounts of data from disparate channels and unearth significant patterns. For example, you can centralize all your business communication records in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Then, you can deploy algorithms to better understand your customers, whether as individuals or as a group.
Effective communication is one of the cornerstones of successful businesses.
However, in today’s business world, it can be hard to keep on top of communication, due to the sheer volume of interactions and the multitude of channels customers expect.
To help you, AI offers a variety of tools to automate routine tasks, provide human agents with invaluable support, and gain in-depth insights.