Virtual PBX Featured Article

SMBs Show Optimism Around AI But Must Drive Education Around the Technology

June 01, 2023

By Greg Tavarez - Virtual PBX Editor

AI, though still in its early stages, is already revolutionizing the business world. Just think about its ability to automate tasks, analyze vast amounts of data and personalize customer experiences

By automating repetitive and mundane tasks, AI allows employees to focus on more complex and creative work, leading to heightened productivity and cost savings. AI's prowess in data analysis also enables businesses to gain valuable insights from vast datasets, helping them make informed decisions, optimize operations and identify new market opportunities.

Through AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, businesses provide round-the-clock support and personalized experiences to customers. Moreover, AI's predictive analytics capabilities enable accurate forecasting, aiding businesses in areas such as demand planning, inventory management and risk assessment.

The advent of AI has ushered in increased efficiency, reduced costs and faster decision-making, making it an indispensable tool for organizations across industries. In fact, a recent Aircall report found that 64% of employees are optimistic about AI in general — rising to 68% of those aged 25 to 34.

With that said, more work is needed to get the most value out of AI with it still being in its infancy stages. Greater education is needed around the uses of it to support the daily work of teams, and teams want to better understand it; 63% stated that there is indeed a lack of understanding, and almost three in four employees stat they would be interested in learning more about how AI can benefit them, according to the report.

Workers want improvements to training, onboarding and/or upskilling. They also want a better work/life balance. This is crucial for customer-facing teams, who face increased pressure to drive revenue in a challenging business environment.

In a challenging business environment, everyone knows that delivering impactful customer experiences brings success to businesses worldwide, even SMBs. That said, the report revealed that an average of just 4.2 hours out of the working week are spent on meaningful interactions with customers.

This explains why a higher percentage of customer-facing teams globally are particularly optimistic about AI assisting them at work, given its ability to automate the day-to-day admin of teams and return workers’ hours to meaningful, high-impact work.

“To untap its true value, businesses must see AI as a facilitator of greater human connections — not a substitute for them,” said Jonathan Anguelov, co-founder and chief sales officer at Aircall. “This is something we at Aircall have done with the launch of our own AI features taking aim at the daily work of sales and support teams. Partnering with AI empowers them to take that time back, build stronger customer relationships and human connection.”

Aircall’s AI features, for example, provide time-saving call and voicemail transcription services that improve and scale team performance and deliver a higher level of customer understanding. With Aircall’s AI features, reps maintain levels of productivity, customer insight and understanding in their daily work. The purpose of this is to help them create meaningful conversations without sacrificing all their time.

That said, Anguelov issued a word of caution when it comes to using AI for work. (And employees did show concerns in the report, with almost half of global employees fearing AI will replace them and 46% concerned it will lead to lower pay.) Again, this comes down to businesses driving education and trust around AI.

“Caution is needed of course, and businesses should spend their time investing in supervision, awareness and training,” said Anguelov. “Ultimately, this will ensure an exciting new journey for them remains one that accords to their values, model, and objectives."

Edited by Alex Passett



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