Have you ever used an online customer service tool outside normal business hours? Chances are, you might have been speaking with a chatbot. If you were pleasantly surprised with how much help you received, you have machine learning to thank.
Regardless of the kind of business you run, there’s likely an application of machine learning that could help you, and the five examples below could give you some ideas. Along with this article, this link explains what type of machine learning should your business have so it’ll operate more efficiently.
What Is Machine Learning?
Before we get into the examples, what exactly is machine learning?
At the most basic level, machine learning describes a process where an algorithm ‘learns’ something from a data set without the need for human intervention. It’s useful for applications where a lot of data needs to be processed. This is because the more data the algorithm sees, the more patterns it can find, resulting in better answers.
Machine learning is useful in cases where:
- The calculations would be too tough to do by hand (like facial recognition software)
- The rules are changing too quickly for a person to keep up, like in fraud detection
- The kind of data keeps changing (from predicting shopping trends to forecasts for energy demand).
There are two main subtypes of machine learning:
- Unsupervised learning – This is good for putting data together in groups that are based only on input. This approach works well if you want to understand a data set by splitting it into clusters.
- Supervised learning – This approach tries to ‘train’ a model by looking at both input data and the responses to that input data. This is the type of machine learning to use if you need your model to make predictions.
Ways Machine Learning Will Change One’s Online Experience
Here are five ways that businesses are likely to use machine learning that’ll change our experience online:
- Improve Self-Service
Going back to the example above, any customer service experience that can be done online will benefit from machine learning. Artificial intelligence tools, such as a virtual assistant or chatbot, use this technology to get better and better at answering customer questions the more they see them.
This makes consumers happy because they can get many of their questions answered easily at any time of the day or night. After all, avoiding sitting on hold is always a plus. This should make business owners happy, too, since more customers can find the answers they need without taking up the time and energy of customer service representatives.
- Helps Deal With Difficult Clients
In addition to freeing up time for your customer service team, machine learning can offer your business another benefit–it doesn’t have any day off. Even the best customer service representative will have moments where they can’t keep up the tone you’d like for them to have, especially when dealing with a difficult client.
With machine learning, the virtual assistant you use can offer a consistent, positive experience for the consumer regardless of their attitude. This can help save the psychological burden of dealing with rudeness from customers for your staff while providing a uniform, positive tone from your company for the customer.
- ‘Always On’ Customer Service
Not only does machine learning enable tools that won’t slip when it comes to tone, but they’re also always available as well.
The costs of offering support all day, every day, can be prohibitive. If, on the other hand, you could put a lot of that work on the shoulders of artificial intelligence tools that make use of machine learning, you can save money, making customers happy.
This way, you won’t get a call while you’re sitting down to enjoy some well-earned time off if a client needs an issue resolved over the weekend. Plus, they’ll be happy that they don’t have to wait for you to respond. It’s a win-win for both your business and theirs.
- More And More Personalization
Personalized content is becoming the norm in everyone’s online experience. Recommendations for everything–from music on Spotify to cat videos on YouTube–help drive our online experience more than we even know. Machine learning helps the algorithms behind this work more effectively.
Machine learning is also helping businesses do their marketing. Now, and in the years to come, marketing appeals will be more and more personalized based on our browsing history and personal data. While there are important privacy concerns, this application of machine learning and artificial intelligence could stand to benefit both businesses, who get more bang for their buck on marketing expenditures, and consumers, who’ll conveniently find the products and services they’ll like best.
- Help With More Parts Of Everyday Life
As we grow more used to interacting with smart speakers and other devices in our homes, our experience of the internet changes in important ways. Whether it’s ordering more toilet paper or asking for the forecast, we spend less time looking at a screen and more time asking questions out loud. What’s behind this success? You guessed it, machine learning helps the AI that’s powering these devices get better and better at answering our questions.
There have been questions about privacy here, too. For instance, many people were unhappy to hear that actual humans listened to recordings of interactions with Amazon’s popular digital assistant, Alexa, in order to perform quality control. Still, as these devices become more ubiquitous, we should expect our understanding and expectations around our privacy online to change as well.
Machine learning is revolutionizing the way we, as both consumers and business owners, experience the internet. For instance, service is more available than ever yet it’ll only depend on fewer people. We get better, more personalized recommendations, but without the direct interaction of a human being anywhere along the way.
As you think about ways to help your business grow in the coming years, it’s worth considering how machine learning might help you. As the world has now become more tech-savvy, one way to keep your business relevant is to use the different advancements in technology.