While reading about the City of L.A.'s Security Operations Center's use of artificial intelligence, I became intrigued by the beneficial analogs that sales organizations can derive by implementing chatbots.   The ComputerWorld article that I reference is not directly sales and marketing related.  However, it does demonstrate the value of having artificial intelligence ala chatbots when trying to meet customer demand at scale for your sales, support, and customer service inquiries.

100 million cyber-attacks per month for the City of Los Angeles? That seems like an overwhelmingly large number, especially when you read that their command center is staffed with only eight cyber threat analysts per shift in their around the clock operations to handle threats in realtime.

While they don't go into detail about their A.I. system, I can appreciate the huge uplift that A.I. gives to their threat assessment and response in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.

What are the opportunities of enhancing your business that chatbots can bring to your company's customer facing organizations?

1) Always On. A.I. and chatbots can work for you 24 hours a day. As seen in the article, the command center is a 24-hour operation where the analysts are complemented by their A.I. system. Or maybe it's the other way around.

2) Scalability. Chatbots allow you to scale and easily manage peaks in your customer service demands without the need for immediate additional staffing. You can use chatbots to handle routine inquiries while reserving more complex and delicate matters for your people to manage.

3) Customer Engagement. Your customers are increasingly using mobile to initiate research before making a purchase decision. In addition, websites, apps, and social media are giving way to consumers increasing preference for messaging. Chatbots and messaging are made for each other when it comes to live interaction. Make sure you are ready when they reach out to you.

Businesses using chatbots and A.I. when integrated properly will have a competitive edge over those that don't have it. There are many more issues you'll need to consider beyond those highlighted here. Given that, chatbots are worthy of consideration as the next big thing to be competitive in marketplace and grow your business.