In the last hundred years or so, the only people taking the notion of artificial intelligence seriously were computer scientists and sf writers. However, if you fast-forward a couple of decades, you will find that suddenly AI is on everyone’s lips. This dramatic shift in the way AI is perceived by the public was caused in part by an increase in the availability of commercial-grade AI solutions on the market.
Today, an increasing number of companies and individuals are using software and devices powered by embedded AI systems on a regular basis. AI’s advanced data-crunching and automation capabilities make them perfectly suited for performing a variety of business-related tasks. The main advantage of AI is how cost-effective it is – even small businesses can now harness the power of AI without breaking the bank.
If you want to find out more about how AI is being used in the commercial sector, please take a look at our guide on how small businesses have been benefiting from AI tech in the past few years.
Enhancing Customer Management
Customer relationship management is an essential part of running a modern business, but smaller companies often don’t have enough time and resources to give it adequate attention. This is where AI-powered CRM systems come in to play. Software suites of this sort can be used to collate customer information from several different channels, including email, phone, and social media.
Customers are as never as important today
Sales departments can then use this information to manage interactions with prospective and existing customers. CRM platforms such as SalesForce enable small businesses to utilize this kind of AI functionality. The embedded AI system called Einstein can perform sentiment analysis on phone conversations, social media posts, emails, or customer reviews, and it can even automatically adjust marketing activities based on this information. This allows sales people to acquire a deeper understanding of customer intent, allowing them to make more informed tactical and strategical choices.
Automating Customer Service
One of the things that small businesses can do to improve customer satisfaction and retention rate, is to provide an outstanding customer support experience. Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult to accomplish due to the fact that support agents have to perform a number repetitive tasks on a regular basis, leaving them with little time to work on each individual customer.
To alleviate this issue, small businesses can utilize AI-powered customer service software. These applications can give automatic answers to common queries, classify support tickets, and reroute messages between different departments, leaving service reps with more time to deal with issues that require creativity and engagement. With this kind of setup, a small business can drastically reduce the time it takes to handle each customer, in addition to reducing the tedium which often associated with doing this kind of work.
Small businesses often have trouble managing their marketing budget efficiently. There are a lot of factors to consider when running a digital marketing campaign, and taking them all into account is likely to incur many additional costs. In order to get the most out of their marketing budget, small businesses have started experimenting with AI marketing solutions.
Systems such as Albert AI can take marketing data from channels such as AdWords or Facebook Insights, analyze it for performance, and then offer suggestions on where to increase or lower spending for the best return on investment. The advantage of using such an AI system is that you will never be spending more on customer acquisition than it is absolutely necessary, thus ensuring you never go overboard on your marketing budget. Additionally, these systems ensure that each additional dollar you spend on marketing will get the best possible ROI.
The fact that the economy has been slowly migrating to the online space means that small businesses now have a lot more competition to deal with. It’s hard to keep up with the strategies your competitors are using when there is a countless number of them online, each producing numerous marketing content updates by the hour. And without an adequate grasp of what your competitors are doing, you are bound to fall behind eventually.
Fortunately, this difficult problem finally has a solution, and it comes in the form of competitor analysis AI. These AI-powered systems work by monitoring your competitors across multiple channels, including their websites, blogs, social media profiles, and apps, in order to find subtle changes in their marketing activities. This info can then be further processed by AI-based analytics tools, thus giving you a more detailed picture of your competitor’s marketing strategy.
Running generic ads no longer works on audiences that are constantly being exposed to marketing both online and in the real world. As a result, marketing departments now have to rely on personalized content and ads for creating leads and conversions. However, catering to individual tastes can be a time-consuming task, especially when marketing resources are stretched thin, as is the case for most small businesses.
Today data is the key to the successful business
Fortunately, with the right AI tools, personalized targeting can be conducted automatically. By leveraging behavior data and predictive analytics, AI systems can produce personalized product and service suggestions, and send them to their targets according to algorithms. This gives marketing experts in trusted digital agencies the opportunity to work on more creative aspects of the job, while leaving the boring, repetitive work to AI.
Streamlining the Interview Process
The most important asset a small business has are its employees – a tightly-knit team of professionals can solve problems that can’t be tackled simply by spending more money. However, finding the right people for the job can be a difficult and time-consuming task, especially for businesses without a dedicated HR department.
Once again, this is where AI-powered systems come into play. What they can offer is a way for businesses to streamline the hiring process through automation, as well as enable management to make informed hiring decisions. AI software can scan applicant resumes and documents for relevant keywords, combine contact data and add it to databases, and even do rudimentary profiling based on the data thanks to its natural language processing capabilities. These systems can also be set up to send out automated email responses to candidates, keeping them constantly updated regarding the status of their application.
Onboarding and Engagement
The usefulness of AI for small business HR doesn’t stop once the interviewing process is over. AI solutions can also be used during the onboarding process, and more generally for increasing employee engagement and workplace morale. A common implementation of such a solution would be a chatbot. These automated conversation systems can give HR experts a means for delivering relevant information to team members, as well as for soliciting feedback from them.
Chatbots are the great example of modern interaction techniques
Another advantage using chatbots for business is the fact that once you set them up, they can be kept running 24/7 without additional input, so each employee can access them whenever they need to without having to schedule appointments with HR. Even If a chatbot fails to address some problem an employee is having, it can still reroute the query to someone in the company who can, whether it be a technician, an HR representative, or a fellow team member.
AI-powered software solutions are rapidly changing the way small businesses operate. With its ability to automate tasks that previously required manual handling, as well as the power provide accurate data-based insights at record speed, AI is enabling small businesses to remain competitive in today’s data-centric economy.
If you own or manage the small business and want to boot its performance with custom automation techniques and artificial intelligence – drop us the line, call +1 (973) 597-1000 or fill the form below.