Embracing innovations in technology is less of an option and more of a necessity for businesses in this day and age. One such innovation that has rapidly taken hold and aroused the interest of industry leaders is artificial intelligence or AI.
AI has now become widespread and seamlessly integrated into various real-world solutions, so much so that a lot of people do not even realize that they are using AI daily. While large corporations are very much on board and already reaping rich rewards, there can be many ways to make AI applications work for small businesses as well.
For your small business, using AI applications to simplify and automate tasks can lead to a more efficient workflow. Recent studies have shown that more than 70% of business executives consider AI applications a “business advantage” and these can certainly be put to good use in the context of a small business.
Let us take a look at some potential applications you can consider
Customer Service Applications
The main goals of customer service for small businesses involve:
- Engaging customers and identifying concerns quickly
- Following up with comprehensive communication
- Satisfying customer concerns with speed and transparency
These aspects of customer service can be streamlined to a great deal with the use of AI. Natural language chatbots are making their way into more and more business websites and providing speedy resolutions to customer queries and concerns.
Implementing specialized bots of this kind using solutions provided by companies like LivePerson on your business website can help your customer service team in many ways. You can program these to furnish a range of responses, ranging from providing simple account information to detailed troubleshooting, depending on key terms of customer queries.
Cash flow can be an important priority for small businesses. However, most of the regular tasks of tracking expenditures and bank records, carrying out due diligence, and maintaining documentation can be mundane and repetitive. This can increase customer waiting time, add to labor costs, and significantly prolong the receivables cycle of your small business.
Countering this inefficiency in your accounting process using machine learning and artificial intelligence can help you streamline regular tasks like calculations, risk assessments, and expense submissions to a great degree. Here are some examples of solutions you can investigate:
- QuickBooks can utilize machine learning to automate mileage tracking and invoice categorization.
- Xero can help you categorize invoices through automation.
- Pegg is a chatbot that can help you get quick answers for basic accounting questions.
Finding and hiring the right all-rounders can be instrumental for the success of any small business. Market leaders tend to sweep in and take away talented workers in large numbers. With the help of AI-powered recruitment tools, you can create automated recruitment campaigns that can help your business find the right talent at the right time.
Tools such as eightfold.ai can help you find the right hires by leveraging AI to create a talent intelligence platform. With such tools, you would be able to:
- Create a talent strategy that is comprehensive and recognizes current and future needs
- Use potential-based hiring to create a diverse, efficient workforce
- Use AI insights for training, onboarding, and employee growth, thereby addressing issues such as attrition and turnover
Intelligence and Analytic Applications
The right strategies for market intelligence and analytics can foster a deep, insightful understanding of your customer base. With the right AI solutions, you can understand your existing customers, review all your customer interactions, and create automatically generated marketing campaigns based on customer behavior patterns.
Artificial intelligence can also be used in predictive analysis. With a close look at existing data, you can understand key customer metrics that can help you with competitive pricing and marketing campaign strategies. Solutions like Tamr and Albert can help you automatically test your campaigns across multiple channels while optimizing your keywords and ads.
Cyber attacks can be dangerous for small businesses in many ways. With incidents of cyber attacks, especially those employing ransomware, on the rise, small businesses can wake up to a serious lack of capital to invest in cybersecurity. For this reason, small businesses might be considered easy targets by those with bad intent.
This is where solutions that improve cybersecurity with artificial intelligence and machine learning can really help. Solutions like Hunters.ai and CrowdStrike move away from threat databases towards more intensive threat intelligence. Real-time security insights can help you identify attacks, understand how they work, and respond accordingly.
With more and more small businesses waking up to the charm of AI, rich opportunities are waiting to be leveraged if you look around. Automating basic tasks can help you keep your employees engaged and productive, bring down costs, and improve efficiency. Going into the future, embracing AI applications can be a vital cog in the wheel for your business.