The world is changing faster than ever before. Your business needs to adapt quickly to stay competitive. Consumers and employees have growing expectations for how a company should function and the services it should provide. Despite this fact, many businesses continue to fall behind. They simply can't keep up with our ever-changing world.
Unfortunately, for many of them, this inability to "future-proof" means they are forced to close their doors. But it doesn't have to be this way. There are measures that businesses can take right now to boost their chances of thriving in the future.
What's Future-proofing a Business?
The process of anticipating change and creating strategies to prepare for, mitigate, and avoid undesirable consequences as well as taking advantage of forthcoming changes is called future-proofing.
Why is Future-proofing a Business Important?
The simple answer is so you don't go bankrupt. However, failure isn't what always happens to businesses that don't progress quickly enough, at least not immediately. Instead, they just cease to thrive and begin gradually eroding over time. The sad truth for those who don't adapt and optimise is that there is nothing worse than this unavoidable conclusion.
Future-proofing may appear to be a simple concept, but many business leaders and organizations aren't quite up to speed with it. They aren't even aware that they're in a continuous grind. If a company's leadership isn't sure why they need to adapt and change, it's unlikely that they will. Or, worse still, they realise they need to change but don't want to, leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy. That of course is never beneficial for any business.
Every leader should be aware of new technologies' potential to help them accomplish their goals and objectives more efficiently. Automating many aspects of your business with new systems of collaborative intelligence opens up a once-in-a-generation opportunity to alter the cost structure of your company while also improving operational efficiency and quality.
The services you provide need to deliver engaging experiences to the user, design must fit the way your customers, partners, and employees wish to use them during their activities, without any user training or owner manuals. The interface has to be simple and intuitive, elegantly embedded into the context of the user's needs. Essential components of such a system include not only software that constantly learns, but more importantly - people. The success lies in combining the best of what humans do with what computers do best.
What's a System of Collaborative Intelligence?
A system of collaborative intelligence is an interconnected network of people and intelligent robots, collectively called agents, where each agent is autonomously contributing to the problem-solving. In a system like this intelligence is distributed, and enables independent evolution of all parties involved.
These systems will streamline manual processes, and when this happens whole industries will be revolutionised. Humans alone won't be able to compete with systems like these for some tasks unless skilled employees and associates are enhanced by new technologies.
Systems of intelligence will allow us to do things at a rate of efficiency and profitability that even a few years ago seemed impossible. Our tools have been at the heart of our success thus far and will continue to be there as we move forward. The bar will continue to rise for each of us in every business and nation on earth as we pursue human enhancement.
How to Leverage AI-powered Chatbots to Future-proof Your Business
You can use artificial intelligence to redefine your business and adapt for the future. Investing in AI — particularly chatbot technology is low-hanging fruit for companies nurturing customer relationships. AI chatbots will redefine companies for the better and in the long term. Collaborative autonomy of these systems enables humans to perform more work they’re good at, like reasoning and complex problem solving, and leaves the simple yet mundane tasks to their automated helpers. Here’s how the future of business will look like.
With roughly four decades of e-commerce under the belt, consumers now expect a personalised, highly engaging, and intuitive customer experience from companies who want to earn their loyalty. Artificial intelligence is the most impactful way companies can win in the experience economy, creating a foundation for engaging and memorable experiences customers seek out again and again. Chatbot conversation can be enhanced with cognitive intelligence, which gives your customers highly engaging and useful conversations.
Seamless Omnichannel Experiences
The internet makes it more convenient for consumers to reach a business, but it has created nightmares for the customer experience teams. Customers don’t care how difficult it is to connect channels; they want to put down and pick up seamlessly no matter where they choose to interact. Big brands showed them that it's possible, and now, they expect the same from other businesses.
AI will let you augment all-digital user touches. Imagine creating avatars to represent your business in virtual reality (VR). Consumers will be able to interact with these avatars much like human agents to ask questions, match with relevant service providers based on needs such as their availability and location. They will then talk to all avatars, compare their services and ultimately make a purchase decision. This unified experience is on the horizon.
Cross-Device User Interaction
Cross-device user interaction is the future of chatbot technology. Imagine that your customers begin their day by reaching out to a local business with their mobile device. They can access a messaging service from the business's Facebook page to ask some initial questions and receive an answer instantly. Later, they use a virtual assistant to ask a follow-up question while on their way to work.
At work, they check in using their work desktop, and later, they connect through a smart speaker while getting dinner on the table and unwind. Now that they've gotten all the answers they need, a VR headset provides a way to interact more deeply with the business in the evening, completing the cycle of engagement. The business gathers all the data so that each time your customers interact, the chatbot learns their needs and responds with ever-increasing depth and personalisation.
Chatbots can understand user needs based on real-time information and historical data. Thanks to developments in both language understanding and sentiment analysis, chatbots can respond with relevant, tailored answers at scale and across multiple channels.
Before chatbots, there was no efficient way to scale customer service. Now a chatbot can access short and long-term memory to provide relevant advice and answers based not only on the current conversation but also past interactions with that customer across channels and combine them with other relevant data sources to create real-time personalised user experiences faster at scale.
Even more exciting, AI-enabled chatbots can extract data from anonymised interactions to learn more about how to interact with customers in the future. When it sees similarities to past conversations, whether from that customer or not, an AI-driven chatbot can come to mind-blowing conclusions and predict the user's needs even before the user realises them.
Why Is Chatbot Technology Worth an Early Investment?
Chatbot technology is one way to future-proof your business operations. It easily adapts to new channel needs, so the time and money invested don't go to waste with each new technology update. Plus, customers respond well to enabling chatbot technology in omnichannel touchpoints.Insider intelligence notes that 40% of retail consumers prefer chatbots to virtual agents, thanks to years of development in natural language processing. AI can respond quickly and realistically, so much so that fewer than half of consumers feel confident that they can distinguish AI from human interactions.
Even better, it's a future-proof investment because adding channels later doesn't require changes to existing chatbots. As you expand to new channels, chatbots will have another target to service customers wherever they happen to be. Future-proofing customer experience with AI is a slam-dunk business strategy because the benefits will get bigger and bigger with time. Imagine a technology that can handle all current channels, plus ones that haven't been invented yet.
No matter what wild and wonderful technologies connect people in the future, chatbots are going to adapt quickly – they'll be an iterative addition to the portfolio of channels businesses are already using with the potential to connect to the virtual world far into the future.
It’s not a matter of if your company needs an AI-powered chatbot; the shift is already happening and you probably don’t want to miss out and pay the laggard penalty. Like it or not, your competitor across the street will soon gain the massive benefit of digital automation of core processes. If you don’t keep up, your cost structure will soon be unsustainable. Finally, the savings generated through automation are what will then pay for these digital innovations.