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Beyond chatbots: Why AI can offer your company so much more

In recent years, the use of artificial intelligence technology has spread like wildfire. So much so that 90% of ‘big name’ companies use some form of AI in their everyday operations.

Even smaller companies are investing heavily in AI to help drive business growth and gain a competitive edge. It’s estimated that in 2023, 35% of businesses will be using AI in their operations.

But while chatbot exchanges have become the norm, AI can offer so much more – that means whether you are a stakeholder within an organisation or a company owner, by integrating AI into your workflows and processes, you not only gain efficiencies but free up valuable time to focus on critical projects that really demand your attention.

Let’s now look at some applications of AI that you might consider for your organisation – from transforming customer experiences by making them more tailored and personal, to using machine learning to foresee problems before they arise. Along the way, we’ll highlight some companies that are already making good use of AI in these areas.

Transforming customer experiences

By harnessing natural language processing, AI can enhance communication and understanding between businesses and customers. It can enable personalised interactions, efficient support, and intelligent decision-making.

AI can help analyse data with great accuracy and reveal trends that deliver actionable insights into your customers’ wants, needs and behaviour. It can help determine what customers want to buy, what type of content appeals to them, and how you can take steps to retain existing customers.

So let’s look at a couple of examples of businesses that use AI in customer interactions. First, we have Dubai-based ride-hailing app Careem that uses AI technology to enhance the customer experience based on preferences and historical behaviour – in fact, Careem have been using AI for a long time to match up drivers with customers and predict journey times. In a very different sector, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) have revolutionised their customer care centre with an integrated, interactive digital experience offering customers a seamless, hassle-free experience, enabling them to complete their transactions anytime, from anywhere.

Integrating AI into your organisation in this way can elevate customer experiences, streamline processes, and drive customer satisfaction to new levels.

Machine learning – a route to greater efficiencies

Machine learning and AI are closely linked and can work together to achieve intelligent and automated systems. Machine learning can learn and make predictions or decisions based on data, and provide valuable insights for your organisation. While huge quantities of data may be impossible for the human being to work through, machine learning algorithms can find patterns and trends. What does this mean for you? Well, it can help optimise operations and improve efficiency in your organisation.

Up in the sky, Emirates in-flight catering is leveraging AI and machine learning tools to reduce food waste in its catering operations by 35%. The AI-enabled system enables the catering department to automatically monitor and control its food production, consumption and waste through the use of cameras, smart scales and data reporting. 

Meanwhile, DEWA have used machine learning in their automated power restoration app that locates and repairs a technical fault, and restores the electricity supply to an affected network without the need for human interaction. They also use machine learning in their customer-facing apps – including high water usage alerts which send an instant notification to customers if there’s an unusual increase in their water consumption which could signify a leak.

AI-powered facial recognition

Facial recognition can help enhance security by accurately identifying individuals. This can streamline operations by automating identity verification processes. Elsewhere, it can be used to help personalise customer experiences and create greater targeting in marketing campaigns.

Currently Astra Tech is using facial recognition scanners allow customers to ‘pay with their face’ without the need for cash or cards at their B Store in Abu Dhabi’s Sky Tower. And since 2018, Emirates Airlines has been using facial and iris recognition at Dubai International Airport to allow passengers to check-in, pass immigration and board their flights without human intervention. The result is a seamless, more efficient, and enjoyable travel experience.

Employee motivation and retention

So far we have talked about customers, but what about employees? Here, AI can automate repetitive and boring tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more meaningful work – the stuff that really motivates them. But beyond that, AI can also help create personalised learning and training programs as well as providing real-time feedback on an employee’s work. All of this works together to make an employee feel more valued.

In this way, AI is central in the important work of employee retention, cutting those high recruitment and onboarding costs and fostering better teams that are there for the long-term.

How can you leverage AI to benefit your business?

Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘it’s all very well, but these are big companies with big budgets ­– they can afford to invest in cutting-edge AI solutions.’

It’s true that some AI solutions can be costly, but there are options which are more affordable. In many cases, the true value will be through the long-term benefits and savings which will come some time after the initial investment.

The key is to identify the main challenges you are facing in your organisation then assess the level to which AI can help solve those problems. Small businesses should carefully assess their requirements and explore cost-effective AI solutions that align with their budget and growth objectives.

Whether you want to enhance your customer support, automate admin and accounting, or predict ad performance, AI tools can simplify and streamline your processes, offering real value to your business operations.

AI is advancing rapidly, and to stay competitive, businesses of all sizes need to change and adapt if they don’t want to fall behind. Implementing the right type of AI where it’s needed could open the door to new opportunities and help you achieve your existing business goals.

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