Artificial intelligence, known generally as AI, is rapidly transforming our world. How it will ultimately affect humanity is unknown. However, half of AI researchers believe there is a 10 per cent or greater chance that humans will go extinct from our inability to control AI.
Setting aside the existential question around AI, what we do know is it’s changing everything, even though there’s uncertainty about what that change will ultimately look like. With that in mind, let’s explore how flooring retailers can engage with AI and use it to benefit their business.
Ignorance is Not Bliss
The flooring industry is notoriously slow at adopting new technology. Don’t follow that particular trend. This doesn’t mean you need to become an AI expert. Simply stay informed about AI and be willing to adopt AI tools when it makes sense to do so.
There are numerous high-quality, free resources available to help you stay up-to-date without being overwhelmed. For instance, AI podcasts provide the opportunity to learn a lot about the technology on your work commute, turning wasted driving time into learning time.
You can also subscribe to AI newsletters to stay in the know on evolving trends, tools, and political and social developments around AI. Now, because there is so much to read on AI, I recommend taking a two-fold approach. First, scan all headlines to gain a 30,000-foot view of the AI landscape. Then, take a deeper dive into a handful of topics you think are most relevant to your business.
Be Strategic, Not Impulsive
While it’s essential to be informed, it’s equally important not to dive into every AI tool that comes your way. After all, not all AI solutions will fit your flooring business’s needs.
Before investing time or money into a new AI-powered tool, ask yourself: How will this directly benefit my clients? How will it streamline my operations? What’s the potential return on investment? Will it directly help me reach my business’s objectives?
(The last question is especially important. If you don’t have a clear picture of where you are, where you want to be and how you intend to get there, then you’ll never attain your goals.)
When you do adopt an AI tool, it’s best to take a test and learn approach. The world of AI is evolving rapidly, so what works today might not be as effective tomorrow.
A Transformative Approach
While the world of AI is vast and sometimes intimidating, it offers many opportunities for flooring retailers. By approaching AI strategically and with an open mind, focusing on client benefits and a commitment to preserving the human touch, and adopting only what will directly benefit your long-term objectives, you can position your business for continued success in an increasingly digital world.
In Part 2 of this series, I’ll cover AI tools that you might consider implementing into your flooring business.
Jim Augustus Armstrong is founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. To obtain a free copy of Jim’s groundbreaking flooring industry report, Stop Leaving Millions on the Table, visit FloorMillions.com. Jim can be reached at 530-790-6720 or [email protected].