Artificial Intelligence

How technology is changing the way businesses communicate

Keeping up with the latest trends and technology for businesses can be tricky as new advancements are being made every day. We could soon see a real shift in the way we communicate in business, both internally and externally.

To better understand what the future might have in store for business communication,  experts TollFreeForwarding carried out research and enlisted the help of industry experts to look into new technologies affecting the industry, and what difference tech could make in the coming years.

Artificial intelligence

One of the most notable technologies to emerge in recent years is AI. We were first introduced to Siri back in 2010, and since then we have seen AI become a prominent part of business communication but is nowhere near reaching its full potential.

Chatbots

Chatbots are a modern example of how AI is currently being effectively used in business. These are automated services that can provide human-like responses to business queries, as well as help customers navigate websites.

This technology is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to deal with a high volume of customer requests simultaneously. A working example is KLM Royal Dutch Airline’s Bluebot. According to a report, KLM has recorded over 1.7 million messages to Bluebot.

Ketan Kapoor, CEO, and founder of Mettl says: “The humble chatbot will turn out to be a competitive advantage in turning time in favor of businesses. You will be able to connect to customers in a relatively shorter time reducing the chances of customer’s indecisions or loss of interest.”

According to research done by Getapp, the biggest obstacle chatbots face is that people still don’t trust them and would prefer to speak to a human counterpart. But with machine learning becoming ever more intelligent, chatbots can offer increasingly human-like responses. So, we could see chatbots play an even bigger role in the future of business communication.

Personal assistants

Following Siri, we had Amazon’s Alexa, and most recently, Google released their ‘Duplex’. In a demonstration, the Duplex was used to call and book an appointment at a hair salon, with the receiver having no idea they were speaking to AI. This showcased AI’s ability to become a prominent fixture of internal communication.

Soon companies could be using technology such as the Duplex to run all internal affairs. Managing everyday operations, creating meetings, transcribing discussion and more.

Gabriel Shaoolian, Founder and Executive of DesignRush supports this trend: “Looking past these consumer pathways, AI will radically transform how internal teams communicate and function. It will eliminate the menial tasks around the office, leaving more time for employees to perform productive work.”

With the opportunity to free employees up for more important business and eliminate the risk of human error from internal affairs, it’s likely we will see AI fulfilling this role in business communication very soon.

Hyper personalized experiences

AI is also being used by businesses to help cater external communication to specific individuals. Hyper-personalization is using automated services to analyze human engagement with marketing strategies or adverts – and target people with content it thinks they’ll be interested in.

This is done through machine learning and sentiment analysis, and we’ll all have encountered it at some point, even if it’s as simple as an advert for a product we have recently searched for appearing on our desktops.

With all the developments being made in machine learning and sentiment analysis, hyper-personalization is still in its junior years and could have a lot more to offer businesses in the future.

Sophie Miles, Co-founder of elMajorTrato believes the next step is for AI to adopt a more human-like approach to hyper-personalization:

“The challenge will be focused on designing an Artificial Intelligence system capable of responding, interacting and making decisions in a human way. Fortunately, you have companies working on that.”

Marketing and advertising are expensive, so if AI can help improve strategies, making them more efficient and successful, it won’t be long until we see more advanced forms of hyper-personalization.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a little further off than of AI but has the potential to completely transform business communication. Blockchain has emerged since the creation of cryptocurrencies and will be the driving force behind the introduction of cryptocurrency into business transactions.

Allowing digital information to be distributed and not copied will mean each individual piece of data can only have one owner. Working like a database that’s constantly updated and stored in multiple locations, Blockchain will simplify the huge expense behind ensuring business transactions happen as they should.

Transactions take up a lot of money, time and effort for coordination, synchronization, messaging and checking everything is working. With Blockchain, rather than two disparate databases, there will be a single version of records both parties have access too, simplifying coordination and validation.

Braden Perry, a Blockchain Attorney for a financial firm believes Blockchain will have a big role to play in future business communication:

“Blockchain in industry, like Blockchain technology itself, is in its infancy, but on the peak of rapid expansion. Businesses that see the potential and are proactive in its adoption will likely be the frontrunners in innovation and ahead of the curve when the benefits are fully realized.”

The hope for Blockchain is once it’s developed, it will keep a record of far more than just currency and transactions. Despite being a bit further behind than the likes of AI, it won’t be long until Blockchain becomes a more familiar part of business communications.

Virtual and augmented reality

Allowing people to immerse themselves in a virtual environment using real-time 3D vision, sounds, haptics, location data is going to become a valuable asset for businesses. We are starting to see the early stages of Virtual and Augmented Reality’s introduction into the business world, and it is another technology showing great potential when it comes to communication.

Gatwick has introduced an Augmented Reality app that allows passengers to explore the airport through their phone, saving them from walking aimlessly trying to find their terminal or a shop in duty-free.

Rachel Henderson, Vice President of Warschawski understands its potential, but believes there is still work to be done, she said:

“Virtual and augmented reality is the most immersive communications technology to come along since the movies, but unless there is a 360-communications strategy behind it, brands are missing a huge opportunity for success.”

Many believe that non-profit organizations such as charities have the most to gain from Virtual and Augmented reality, profiting from the ability to deliver more powerful messages to people. At its infancy, we are already seeing this technology being successfully deployed in business, so as companies work to perfect Virtual and Augmented Reality, it’s likely to become a more prominent feature of business communication.

We have already seen these technologies having an impact on modern business communication, but as they’re all so far off reaching their full capabilities, it’s likely that this trend will continue. Who’s to say there won’t be new emergences that have an equally telling impact? The future is bright for business communication, and its important businesses keep up with the latest technology if they want to beat out competitors.

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