There is a misconception that artificial intelligence will replace humans. But what it’ll actually do is make humans better at their jobs.
We all waste time in our jobs somehow (checked Facebook today, anyone?). But aside from the moments of downtime that everyone needs, there are actual work tasks we devote time to every day that we need not, thanks to artificial intelligence.
Great marketers, for instance, spend a great amount of time creating content strategies. They plan the message they’re going to base their campaigns on each month. They agonise over the channels they should use for best performance. They constantly think about how they segment their audience and whether they have the balance right.
Ultimately, these activities are a waste of time. The marketers are attempting to guess how to divide a population into demographics, when the people in that population have countless different preferences and behaviours – there is no right answer. Their strategies work on a crowd but are not particularly relevant to anybody.
Instead of spending so much time deliberating, marketers could be using artificial intelligence to do the job. A machine can look at every individual’s behaviour and use reliable and proven data to inform the marketers of the right content and channel for specific individuals, at the right time. This is an example of how artificial intelligence can solve a problem in a way that’s much more effective than the way a human would tackle it.
A sales role is a classic environment where artificial intelligence can’t replace a person. Many products can be difficult to purchase, and their complexity means that human interaction and assistance is absolutely necessary – customers are after human interaction, real relationships and a trusted adviser.
To give you a clearer picture, imagine walking into a mattress shop – you are faced with hundreds of choices, each with a slightly different value proposition, from price to engineering to colour and comfort. The salesperson points you towards a mattress they think you might like, but you find it a bit too hard.
Ultimately, the sale comes down to the skill of the salesperson in appropriately assessing your feelings about the products you’re faced with and using that information to adjust their ideas of what you want, and in building a rapport with you so that when they offer you the mattress that’s just right you want, you buy it from them instead of going away to see what else is out there.
Good salespeople build trust, they help inform you of specific characteristics and point you towards a product they think is the best possible match. That’s something a machine will struggle with.
Artificial intelligence can make everyone more effective. In a salesperson’s inbox, it can listen to all of the emails coming in and learn what customers need. It does simple things, like alerting you if a customer has opened an important email that you sent to them – a quote, for example.
It will also go a step further to tell you if you need to follow up, or if a customer has asked you a question and you haven’t responded. It prioritises your emails to help improve your productivity.
In the future, there will be a lot of low-value but essential tasks that we simply don't do any more because machines are better at them, and there will be a bunch of high-margin tasks that we do more of because we're empowered to do them by artificial intelligence.
Judgements that can be based on data will be replaced by machines. What won’t be replaced is anything that involves empathy.
To find out more about how artificial intelligence can improve your efficiency, check out our ebook AI for CRM: Everything You Need To Know
Learn about how AI can change the way you work, watch Einstein: AI in the Salesforce Platform, recorded live at Salesforce World Tour Sydney.