As AI technology continues to improve, more and more businesses are using bots to optimize their processes. Why? Where to begin; they allow you to automate all sorts of tasks, they never sleep, they can get you information quickly, they save you money, and, generally, save you a lot of time. Bots are enabling new levels of productivity that weren’t previously possible. But how exactly can they help your business? Here is a closer look at 5 specific use cases.

Proactively Engage Customers Online

According to Demand Gen’s 2017 B2B Buyers Survey Report, the majority of B2B buyers are now self-navigating through the early stages of the buying cycle by performing research online. Your first touch point with customers will often be through your website as 61% of respondents started their research with a broad web search while 56% started on specific vendor websites. Once on your site, 75% of respondents say it is critical you present relevant content specific to the needs of their company.

But how do you speak to each potential customer’s individual needs?

Integrating a chatbot into your website or app can help. You can provide insights, answer specific questions, and offer real-time support to ensure there are no lingering uncertainties. This will help to move more customers further into the buying cycle.

Optimize Customer Service

Next, is utilizing bots as part of your customer service strategy. “Always-on” customer service is becoming more common, and customers are starting to expect it. By integrating bots, you can be available to your customers 24 hours per day, seven days per week, without the ongoing cost of hiring additional employees. While bots may not be able to handle all customer concerns,  they can help with the frequent, basic problems.

8 out of 10 businesses have already implemented AI as part of their customer service solution or plan to do so by 2020, according to a study by Oracle. Additionally, 36% have already implemented chatbots to improve the customer experience, while 44% planned to do so by 2020. Taking this step can help your business serve more customers and free up human customer support to provide higher-quality care for the more complex problems.

Enable Employees to Focus on their Core Work

Let’s move on to the internal processes. How much time do your employees spend each day performing tasks that aren’t part of their core job responsibilities? From sending emails and digging through reports to conducting research; all the little things add up and take away from productivity.

Bots can enable all employees to have their own virtual assistant which will perform the mundane tasks for them. For example, let’s look at project managers. They spend 54% of their time on administration coordination and control, 30% on problem solving and collaboration, 10% on strategy and innovation, and 7% developing people and engaging with stakeholders, according to a survey by Harvard Business Review.

The administrative tasks are low-level duties such as managing scheduling issues and sending out updates, but they take up more than half of a project manager’s time. While necessary, these kinds of tasks don’t typically require high-level thinking, empathy, ethics, or any other uniquely human abilities. So having a project manager perform all of these tasks is kind of like buying an expensive new Calloway driver and using it to play mini golf half of the time. Further, the administrative tasks can, arguably, be done more efficiently by bots that don’t occasionally overlook a detail, get tired, or have days off.

By integrating the use of bots, project managers can gain 54% more time that can be used to invest in areas where their unique abilities can provide more value. Imagine the difference this could make for a company in which all employees had more time for their core work thanks to bots.

Enhance Communication with Employees

Bots can also be used to keep employees across a company aware of internal and external trends and updates. For example, recurring reports can be automatically sent to employees informing them on the up-to-date results such as the amount of sales closed or revenue earned per customer that week. Another example is bots automatically sending news articles on select topics to specific employees. Doing so allows a business to effortlessly ensure all team members have the up-to-date knowledge they need for their position.

Additionally, automated alerts can shorten response time to issues. They can be sent to employees when a specific trigger has occurred without any intervention from a human. For example, if a malfunction occurs with a piece of equipment, an alert can automatically be sent to the employee who is responsible along with a request for action. The benefit is companies don’t have to wait for any one person to manually identify the problem and send the alert, only for the person to respond.

These are just a few examples of the many ways bots can enhance communication.

Improve Performance Management

Lastly, is the area of performance management. Annual reviews have been an ongoing problem for businesses over the past decade. They have been deemed counter-productive and needing reform. However, companies have struggled to find an effective alternative.

Bots can potentially help to fill this space. They can analyze reports, rank performers, and send out notifications with feedback on performance. Interestingly, Gartner predicted that by 2018, more than 3 million workers in the world would be supervised by a “robo-boss” that monitors accomplishments by measuring output and customer evaluations. This bot would perform a similar function.

Bots can also be programmed to automatically collect feedback from employees, gauge their job satisfaction, and even measure praise from peers. Engazify, for example, is a bot that you can add to your company’s messaging platform. It asks you to select “appreciation” words and emojis and tracks when they occur. Then, it compiles all of the appreciations into a leaderboard so managers can review and reward top performers.

With bots, it’s possible to create a performance management system that is ongoing, low maintenance, and relevant. Feedback can be given both to and from employees to influence positive change and reduce employee turnover.

Integrating Bots into Your Business with Brightscout

Bots are in the future of business processes. AI technology is already to the point where it can take over the low-level work, freeing up human resources for higher-level tasks, and it’s only going to get more advanced.

But where should your business start the integration?

With the above in mind, look for the pain points in your current business processes. Where are employees pushed to their limits? Are there any drop-offs in your buyer’s journey? Do you have any bottlenecks? These are the places where bots can be of service.

To speak with an expert on the best approach, contact our professionals at Brightscout today. We’ll be happy to talk with you about the possibilities and how we can optimize your business processes with this innovative tech.