American physicist Stephen Hawking had once said: “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.” The last three decades have seen the world change around us thanks to information technology. It is hard to find a facet in life that hasn’t been touched by the Internet and other digital points of contact. And if experts are to be believed the coming decades would see many revolutionary changes thanks to the development of Artificial Intelligence or AI as it is popularly called. While the possibilities of AI in facilitating growth and customer experience in the B2C segment has been well documented, very little has been said about the B2B space.
In the last few years, we have seen marketers test the waters as far as machine learning is concerned which is the fulcrum of the whole AI ecosystem. It only seems like the tip of the iceberg that we have seen till now. The possibilities of AI with predictive analytics, personalization of product and services delivery along with cutting down on overhead costs are constantly being explored by several businesses. What we already know is that AI would be a game-changer in B2B business.
It will completely transform the way brands do business, how they manage their data and reduce the turnaround time for product and service delivery. Many of the mundane functions and responsibilities that we know are likely to be automated freeing up resources for core objectives in organizations. It would lead to smarter and more productive organizations that gain a competitive edge. Let us now look at some of specifics on how AI will affect customer experience and business growth in the B2B space and why this is being seen as the greatest innovation in technology as Hawking said.
It is one of the most important ingredients for success in the world of business. Identifying and segmenting target customers allows businesses to adopt tailored marketing approach thus increasing their conversion rates and revenue. This is more important in the B2B space due to the size of the market which is small and the average revenue that businesses can earn from each client is extremely high. AI arms businesses with a set of tools that can be used to segment the audience based on their needs and past behavior. This helps in delivering products and services that are mapped around these niche demands.
Customer management and ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction has been one of the differentiators in the competitive B2B segment. However, manning a customer support team 24/7 doesn’t come cheap and is in most cases unviable for some of the smaller brands in the market. This is where Chatbots have come as a shot in the arm for businesses, especially smaller ones. You may have come across Chatbots and Voice Assistants that act as a bridge between the user and the brand. From answering questions with the natural flow of language to assisting users with their queries, Chatbots are a cost-effective means of offering customer support. Today’s Chatbots have become smarter with increased machine learning and analytics they are able to operate independently from human assistance offering round the clock assistance to users. They will reduce the workload for human operators thus improving the service experience for the end customers.
Visual & Intelligent Searches
The growth of eCommerce especially in the B2C segment has seen the constant evolution of user-interface. Being a tech-driven business they have constantly invested in improving the experience for their users thus increasing sales. Visual and Intelligent Search has been a direct by-product of this research. B2B businesses have drawn a leaf out of this book and are busy implementing this technological innovation in their business model. They have been aided by AI which has helped to remove some of the traditional obstacles that existed in this pace. Businesses that intend to buy products from other businesses can simply click an image of the product they wish to buy and they would immediately be able to find all the relevant information about those products. Intelligent searches also allow businesses to get information on the right kind of accessories and peripherals they require to get the best out of the products they intend to buy. From compatibility between two components to finding the best price, AI is pushing the envelope of customer satisfaction to a higher level.
We have already seen how Augmented Reality along with Virtual reality has completely changed the world of gaming. When AI is added to this it creates a new world of possibilities for B2B marketing. For instance, with AR & VR it has now become possible for businesses to offer a virtual demo of their product to prospective clients sitting in another corner of the world. From highlighting the features to showing the complete working mechanism of the products lot can be done embracing these technologies. It does away with the need for physical demonstration. Artificial Intelligence takes this even a step further as it is able to gauge the niche needs of the customers beforehand and thus tailored product demos can be offered which increases the odds of converting a lead into a sale.
Data Segmentation & Analytics
If there is one area where AI has become a game-changer it surely would be Analytics. It is without an inch of doubt the greatest incentive for any business in the B2B space that has embraced AI. In the past large volumes of data would need to be manually to generate actionable information out of them. Data analysts would spend days and weeks in this task but Artificial Intelligence allows businesses to generate real-time information out of the tons of data that they generate every single day. This is allowing businesses to gauge their performance in the market, study the changing aspiration of their clients and most importantly make quick decisions based on facts and figures.
Another area where AI is helping B2B businesses is the choice of marketing channels. With AI businesses are now able to choose the right channels of marketing and engage more actively with their target clients. AI keeps track of the past performances of the different marketing channels along with the customer interaction on those challenges. It gathers data from multiple sources and helps businesses choose the right one. In practical terms, sellers would know more about their prospective clients beforehand and also choose the channels that would serve best while reaching out to them.
Artificial Intelligence would truly serve as a game-changer in the world of B2B businesses. With competition increasing businesses that would adopt this technology would have a better grip over the market, can cut down on their operating cost and benefit from predictive analysis. This would also allow them to spot the emerging trends in the market much before their competitors. As we have mentioned earlier we have only seen the tip of the iceberg as far as the impact of AI on customer experience and business growth in the B2B space is concerned.
Summary – In this write-up look at some of the ways in which Artificial Intelligence would affect customer experience and business growth in the B2B business.