Four Ways AI Can Help Small Businesses
The world we are living-in today is witnessing new technologies that were once dreamed about in old sci-fi epics, and even some technologies we never saw coming. However, artificial intelligence sometimes called machine intelligence or just AI is proving to be one of the most disruptive of all. Do you ever wonder how your phone auto completes words as you type a text message? Or how digital assistants on a website chat service respond to your message so quickly? The answer is artificial intelligence. AI is everywhere these days, and is rapidly gaining momentum.
Over the years, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has fundamentally transformed the very meaning of ideas, innovation, and inventions. AI applications and adoption are offering each business entity as many new opportunities as it does challenges.
AI has leveled the playing field for countries and brought their businesses a unique possibility to move forward and grow. A survey of CEOs from small and medium-sized businesses shows that AI is quickly becoming an important part of business processes. In the survey, 29.5% of leaders said that AI will have the greatest impact on their business in the next year.
Let’s get to know what AI may be able to do for your business now. It is necessary to understand what the other parameters are that will help define individual and collective success in developing AI capabilities for businesses.
• Getting your tasks done faster by saving time
• Reducing costs & increase profitability
• Achieving more efficient with better results
• Becoming more responsive with improved flexibility
• Cutting-down risk
In the finance industry, some lenders have started using (and my company has begun testing) machine learning AI to improve the risk assessment process.
Whether you’ve already begun using AI technology to grow your business or not, you may not be aware of all the benefits artificial intelligence offers.
Here are four ways artificial intelligence can help your small business:
1. An AI-Infused CRM improves Sales and Marketing
Customer-relationship management (CRM) systems are designed to gather customer data across communication channels such as email, phone and social with the purpose of helping improve and even automate the sales process. Given the humongous and differentiated types of information churned out by a business daily, it may be difficult for a person to draw correlation from the data and come up with something meaningful. An ERP/CRM solution equipped with AI could do that in a matter of minutes and give business valuable insights and help decision making. For example, AI can collect customer data from different touch points and combine it with CRM to come up with meaningful information.
If you already run Customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, you would know its utility, but traditional software comes with limitations. This is especially true for the fast paced digital world. An AI-based ERP and CRM solution can be a great statistical tool for small business.
2. Use Chatbots to Automate Communications with Customer
Chatbots on their websites used everywhere to initiate customer communication and help answer questions regarding their product and services. Think of it as a sales and customer service rep that works for you 24/7, even when you sleep.
Chatbot applications streamline interactions between people and services, enhancing customer experience. At the same time, they offer companies new opportunities to improve the customer’s engagement process and operational efficiency by reducing the typical cost of customer service.
Many small businesses don’t have dedicated customer service or sales teams yet. If that’s you, chatbot AI can help alleviate the pressure and allow you to focus your time on the tasks that matter most.
3. AI for efficient Human Resources Management
AI has started to creep into is human resources field. AI tools have been developed in such a way that not only help streamline the hiring and onboarding process but also acquire feedback from new employees about how HR can improve those processes, both of which can have a real impact on a company’s bottom line.
Cognitive solutions can help organizations tap into multiple data sources and reveal new insights for better candidate profiles, improving the hiring and recruiting process.
AI presents an opportunity for HR to automate repetitive, low value tasks and to increase focus on more strategic work. In general HR services include a large amount of time spent on standard onboarding processes for new employees, triaging common questions and employee requests, and basic benefits management. Saving time in those areas can help HR teams do more creative and strategic work for the success of the company.
4. Understand Your Competitors Better
AI can analyze every bit of digital information your competitors produce — from written and video content to social media posts. Tools have been developed to keep tabs on everything your competitors do online, gather the data and then distill it into easy-to-read reports.
Artificial intelligence accelerates the process of gathering data and putting it to work. More specifically, machine learning, as an application of artificial intelligence, uses algorithms to recognize patterns and trends to learn on its own. The machine has no explicit programming (i.e., expectations, pre-conceived ideas…) for what to find.
For instance, AI-powered competitive analysis tool, Crayon can help track your competitor’s activities across different channels like websites, social media, and web applications. This functionality enables small businesses to get a better understanding of ongoing changes in the competitor’s strategy.
So, in addition to faster processing, the output of an AI-based system does some of the interpretive work for you. It is not just a quantitative report of, say, a competitor’s profits and losses or a list of patents. Artificial intelligence unlocks insight into the movement of markets and players in those markets. It quickly goes from information gathering to automated analysis. When you can see its significance, the data has more value.
These types of AI competitive intelligence tools let you gather much more detailed information faster, allowing you to respond faster and more efficiently to changes in your industry that could affect your business.
While some small businesses have been quick to embrace the influence and changes brought by artificial intelligence, others are a little more cautious. Whichever way you lean, the reality is AI is here to stay. AI has only begun to enter the workplace. However, it already shows great promise as a valuable tool that can not only save you time and money but improve nearly every facet of your daily processes. It might already be helping you save time and resources. It has the potential to make our lives simpler and our businesses more efficient and profitable.
As the saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them,” and embrace the benefits of artificial intelligence.