We get asked all the time if we use AI, almost as if it’s a confession meant for secrecy or an admission of guilt. Would it surprise you that 35% of companies are already using AI, another 42% plan to, and 92% of leading businesses consistently invest in AI?
There’s no shame in AI. In fact, we believe AI is an enabler and is allowing us to spend more time nurturing client relationships. It will never replace the talent and skills of our people, and as we join everyone around the world in learning how to leverage it in a positive way, we have high expectations of its potential.
The Excitement…and the Fear of AI
In recent years, there has been a meteoric rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across all industries. This trend symbolizes a new dawn of technological advancement, bringing an evolutionary leap in the way we observe industries interacting and evolving. 82% of companies believe that AI will provide a competitive advantage, but no one is certain of how far it will go.
Despite the widespread optimism about AI’s potential to revolutionize industries, there is also a level of trepidation surrounding its use. This apprehension is primarily rooted in a few common concerns:
Lack of Understanding
Many people are unfamiliar with AI and the way it functions. Though it is used in many everyday technologies, deeper comprehension of AI remains limited. In the absence of understanding, fear often prevails.
As AI continues to advance and automation becomes more prevalent, some worry about the risk of job displacement. Despite reassurances that AI will create new roles even as it automates others, the fear of unemployment persists.
AI systems operate by processing vast amounts of data. This raises concerns about privacy and data protection, specifically in the context of potential misuse or unauthorized access.
Finally, there are fears related to ethical dilemmas associated with AI. These could range from biases in decision-making to issues concerning accountability and regulation.
But AI is already proving itself across industries, such as:
- Healthcare: AI in healthcare has witnessed tremendous growth. It offers solutions ranging from predictive analytics for patient monitoring to automating administrative tasks.
- Automotive: The world of autonomous driving, underpinned by AI, is revolutionizing the automotive industry. It’s not just about self-driving cars; AI is also optimizing everything from supply chain operations to after-sales customer service.
- Finance: AI has been transforming the financial sector, aiding in mitigating risks, enhancing efficiency, improving customer experience, and enabling innovative services and offerings.
- Retail: By applying AI, the retail industry now has the capability of personalizing customer experience on a large scale, predicting and fulfilling demand, and streamlining supply chain management.
- Recruiting: From sifting through resumes to conducting initial candidate screenings and even contributing to hiring decisions, AI has brought considerable advancements to the recruiting process.
- Marketing: AI enables marketers to dive into analytics typically impossible or laborious to find otherwise, such as trends and consumer behavior predictions. It can also be quite potent for creative ideation.
The list goes on and only continues to grow. However, most experts still agree that AI and humans can peacefully coexist. In Deloitte’s 2023 Global Human Capital Trends report, they say, “Now, we’re seeing technologies emerge that aren’t just a substitute or supplement for workers but actually help them improve who they are – enabling humans to become better humans and teams to become better teams.”
We couldn’t agree more.
It’s important to remember that AI is relatively new, so all of the new platforms offering AI “miracles” are, well, new themselves and still working out the kinks and training their AI. AI is built to get smarter over time by adding new data. It’s easy to see why most platforms still have a ways to go before they fix all the bugs and train their AI software to be more accurate, helpful and reliable.
And while AI is a true game-changer, it lacks one of the most vital human attributes: the ability to build relationships.
AI Hasn’t Figured Out Relationships
In an era already inundated with content and inauthenticity, AI promises to only add more to the chaos. The significance of real, genuine relationships in sales, marketing and recruiting will only be heightened.
AI is, without a doubt, formidable in its abilities to streamline processes and deliver valuable data-driven insights, yet it lacks the human touch – the ability to understand and interpret nuanced human emotions, empathize, and build trust-based relationships.
Rolling Stone says it beautifully: “What AI can’t do, and quite honestly will never be able to do in a real way, is build human connection. If you look at other technological revolutions like the birth of the internet or social media, you’ll find that although people were able to connect more easily, such connections largely did not yield the meaningful social interactions humans crave.”
We should never underestimate the force of human connection. It’s critical inside and outside of the business. For instance, Forbes reports that 94% of employees are more productive and satisfied with their jobs when they feel connected to their colleagues, saying, “Human connection is essential to business success.”
Harvard Business Review found human connection to be “one of the most effective yet undervalued retention strategies.”
Research also shows that 70% of vendors who provide good service personally know their customers, whereas only 33% of vendors with poor service can say the same.
The Power of Our Humanness
While AI has indeed delivered unparalleled benefits, the fundamental human element – relationships – still holds a predominant place in business. We predict people will seek it even more, and companies that build strong relationships with customers will reap the rewards. Here’s why:
- Trust Building: When businesses invest in relationships, they become trust architects. With trust, clients are more willing to engage, share sensitive information and keep returning.
- Longevity: Businesses that prioritize relationships enjoy the bliss of customer loyalty and repeated transactions. This recurring revenue can then be reinvested into business growth.
- Word of Mouth: Satisfied clients tend to share their positive experiences with their network, delivering credible and free marketing for businesses.
- Understanding Needs: Maintaining relationships helps businesses understand the unique needs, wants and patterns of their clients. This understanding results in customer-centered solutions that keep clients happy.
From Zilker Partners’ perspective, relationships are not just considered a part of the business operations equation, but they remain at the very core of who we are. Relationships and connections drive business. Tools and technologies, however sophisticated they may be, are ultimately meant to support this process, not replace it.
The Power of AI: How Zilker Partners Utilizes Technology
There is a prevailing apprehension among numerous organizations when it comes to embracing AI in their daily operations. Despite the promising benefits such as increased efficiencies and optimized processes, many firms find themselves on the fence, adopting a cautious or “wait and see” stance towards this technological tour de force.
Related: Will ChatGPT Replace Human Writing?
Not at Zilker Partners. We believe AI is here to stay and will likely be as ubiquitous as the internet sooner rather than later. Our stance is to get in front of it and test different platforms for various tasks to see which ones offer benefits and which are still too young to provide much value. For us, it is a balancing act, merging cutting-edge technology with a steadfast commitment to building authentic human connections.
Our recruiting team leverages AI for research, content, and automation. Here’s how:
- Researching technologies as they relate to a specific job description or company we are supporting
- Getting market data on companies or candidate saturation based on a specific skill set or technology
- Compiling market data for salary ranges
- Discovering which universities are teaching certain types of skill sets
- Developing business by researching specific industries and sector types in a market
- Identifying competitors when searching for talent for our clients
- Assisting in rewriting job descriptions or crafting job descriptions
- Developing creative messaging ideas to contact candidates
- Helping create technical interview content for a specific technology
- Assisting in writing boolean search strings
- Matching candidate resumes to job descriptions
Our digital marketing agency uses AI for research and data analysis, ideation and automation. Here’s how:
Research and data analysis
- Conducting more comprehensive research and faster data analysis
- Identifying trends
- Monitoring client metrics across digital channels
- Comparing each client’s performance to its competitors
- Generating creative ideas to build upon
- Finding research to substantiate claims and boost SEO value
- Simplifying complex, technical content
- Automating repetitive tasks to increase efficiencies and scalability across
- Bid management
- Competitor research
Innovation Driven Through Collaboration and Relationships
AI is helping Zilker Partners do more for our clients without wasting time on tasks that don’t necessarily need the human touch. With extra time back, we can focus more on our clients, exploring opportunities and delivering the expertise we uniquely provide. For us, AI is just another awesome tool in our arsenal. The reason we believe our clients trust us is because we spend so much time working alongside them to understand their needs, create value and grow with them. While we utilize multiple technologies to empower our teams, it’s that personal connection that gets us excited to do what do. Contact us to learn more.