Upskilling is Key to Unlocking the Cost-Saving Potential of AI  

Adam Maudar - 4 min read

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At its most effective, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be deployed to cut operational overheads in several key areas, while concurrently boosting people’s productivity. However, the cost-saving potential of AI is in large dependent on teams’ ability to confidently work alongside AI tools, integrate AI into their daily workflows, and troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

In fact, a recent Forbes Advisor survey found almost 97% of business owners believe ChatGPT will help their business, and 64% believe AI will improve customer relationships. While businesses are increasingly seeing AI as a ‘must have’ feature of digital transformations and their plans for the future, they must be equally aware of the importance of upskilling their teams to be able to use AI properly and unlock its cost-saving potential. 

Redefining the Customer Experience  

One way AI is being utilized to cut operational overheads is through automated customer service systems. Companies are deploying AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to handle customer inquiries and support – and to great effect. As customer service teams don’t typically fall under the umbrella of IT or tech departments, they are often not trained sufficiently in digital skills. However, it is vital that you provide your customer service professionals with the training necessary to work alongside AI.

AI chatbots have made significant progress in recent times, and with this progress, their ability to save a business money has really come to the forefront. These intelligent systems can now understand and respond to customer queries in real time, providing accurate and efficient assistance. As a result, AI-driven chatbots can handle routine customer service tasks, such as providing basic product information or order status updates, freeing up customer service teams to focus on more complex interactions. As we support businesses struggling to source skilled tech support talent, we often note that this is a highly beneficial use of AI. 

Nonetheless, whilst AI customer service tools are increasingly sophisticated, they are not infallible, and human oversight may still be required to ensure they are functioning as intended. Moreover, if a chatbot is providing inaccurate advice or poor-quality service, this can be hugely frustrating for customers and needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. This is where the value of having an AI-skilled customer service team really shows, as those working directly to resolve customer issues will be best placed to intervene and correct the advice given by an AI chatbot. Provided they have the knowledge and understanding of how AI works, they will also be best placed to quickly fix the problem with the tool and ensure it functions properly moving forward.    

Predicting Problems with AI  

Another highly valuable capability of AI is its ability to analyze huge amounts of historical data and identify patterns that would be very difficult for human analysts to spot or interpret. As a result, businesses can use AI-driven predictive algorithms to gain insights more easily on what areas of the business may be vulnerable, or what trends in business operations may become a problem in the near future. 

Having this insight and being able to anticipate potential problems with revenue or operational costs can enable business leaders to refine their strategy, and overall empower them to better mitigate risks to the business.

However, predictive AI is only as good as the data it is provided with, so it requires, analysts, strategists and executives to have a sound understanding of what good data looks like. Investing in AI upskilling for teams can help ensure that data is properly “cleaned” before being inputted into an AI tool is equally as important as investing in AI itself. Moreover, when relying on AI insights to influence important business strategies, it is vital that executives have a foundational understanding of how AI arrives at its conclusions, so that they can identify any unusual or potentially inaccurate results that could indicate an error in the data set, ensuring strategic decisions remain aligned with actual risks or trends. 

Backed by the confidence that teams have a strong understanding of how AI works, and that predictive AI tools are working with high quality data inputs, businesses can then strategize to safeguard against these risks, significantly reducing potential damage to the bottom line.  

Responding to Disruptions 

Even with predictive AI insights, no business can be completely invulnerable to a service disruption. These are frustrating to a business and its customers, and the costs attached to loss of revenue due to a disruption, as well as the costs of responding to and fixing the issue, can be high.

AI capabilities can reduce these costs. In terms of incident response time, AI tools can prove to be a hugely valuable assistant to IT teams or outsourced tech support in detecting a disruption, flagging it to the relevant team, coordinating a response, and finding the root cause of the incident. Where it may take an IT professional even only minutes longer to detect an incident, these are precious moments where revenue may be being lost. Similarly, as AI is often able to lead IT teams more quickly to the problem, they can begin fixing it sooner.

However, this function of AI can be made even more effective if teams outside of IT are trained and equipped with skills to integrate AI into service disruption detection into their department. It is hugely valuable if people working in the team affected by a service disruption are upskilled to be able respond to the disruption caught by AI and play an active role in resolving the issue, rather than relying solely on IT support. As with customer support teams, those working directly in the relevant area of the business will have the best understanding of the nature of the disruption, the issues it’s causing, and how best to rectify the situation. 

Overall, a combination of AI and AI-skilled teams is the best means to ensure that disruptions are reduced to the greatest extent possible, saving a business from prolonged periods where revenue may be impacted.

AI is fast becoming a mainstay of business operations, but undertaking an AI transformation can be a daunting experience. Confidence is key to using AI effectively, and investing in AI training for teams is an essential part of building this confidence and ensuring that AI is being used as effectively as possible. If you’re interested in learning more about how Elev8’s training solutions can support your teams – get in touch