The day is not far when artificial intelligence (AI) will be able to perform a plethora of jobs. It doesn’t mean the end of human intervention required in most of the jobs. Though the entire concept of AI may sound scary, you don’t have to be afraid. For example, AI is proving out to be a boon to drive customer relationships and revenue for a good number of businesses worldwide. Good news is that AI is not just confined to big players, since loads of small and medium businesses (SMBs) too are leveraging the power of artificial intelligence. In fact, SMBs already are already aboard the AI bandwagon. Take for instance, the chatbot you just had a chat yesterday on an ecommerce site to help you find the best pick for you was an AI-powered chatbot. According to a Visage survey, more than 70% of SMBs plan to invest in AI powered tools and technologies in the near future.
Here’s how SMBs are reshaping customer service by leveraging AI on a daily basis:
- Improved customer insights
Most of the small businesses rely on budget-friendly cloud based CRM software to manage customer interactions and data. A CRM software helps a small enterprise to manage customer interactions, emails, phone calls, etc. Do you know that AI can drive your CRM to a whole new level?
Yes, AI is on its way to create smart CRM systems thus, helping small businesses to provide their customers with smooth sales journeys. Yes, an AI-powered CRM system can offer recommendations and predictions based on customer data it analyses. You can these intelligent insights to automate your actions and responses thus, saving time and efforts whilst keeping the customers content.
- Improved customer service
Customer support and service are two keystones when it comes to curbing customer retention and driving customer satisfaction levels. For instance, a customer after putting a ticket may not hear from you for days or hours. Whilst this is quite understandable, few customers would want their query to be entertained promptly and making them wait too long is a sure turn-off for such customers. This calls for prompt customer service to retain happy customers.
AI powered chatbots that work on machine learning algorithm are a fantastic way to drive customer service. Yes, having a chatbot on your website can greatly reduce the response time while allowing your customers to get in touch with your business/brand 24 x 7 and on the go. Eureka! Improved customer service and relationships! Various enterprise management systems such as CRM software helps to collect customer data from a website. Now imagine what an AI-powered CRM system can do for your business here. It will deliver customer intelligence at your fingertips allowing you to know your customers better. A global survey conducted by Pega found that a 77% of consumers unknowingly use AI than they realize.
- Improved customer experience
Ads are more effective than ever with the inception of artificial intelligence. The prime objective of creating an ad is to reach as many people as possible. Before the inception of AI, one could create social media ads followed by handpicking the demographics like profession, location, age, etc. AI has transformed this practice, since you could now create targeted ads with AI.
For a small business, marketing budget is something that requires domain expertise, which often incurs unexpected and additional expenses. Luckily, small businesses today can utilize AI based marketing solutions even when on a shoestring budget to compete with the giants. Yes, a small enterprise today can make use of AI-based marketing platforms to reach a multitude of audience across various channels and can analyze the performance of its marketing campaigns followed by coming up with informed recommendations.
Long story short, AI-powered marketing tools can help small enterprises identify the best marketing strategies thus, helping them curb their marketing costs substantially. Further, automating marketing campaigns would help save a good amount of money and time for a small business.
- Smart hiring
Small enterprises often face the unique challenge of finding and hiring the best talent. On the other hand, established companies enjoy brand recognition, networks and resources to help them fetch the best talents. In addition, large companies tend to have dedicated and well-armed HR department to get the job done.
Good news is that AI is helping small businesses compete with giants when it comes to hiring top talent. Yes, AI is making it a fair gameplay. Traditionally, a talent acquisition professional or recruiter would manually seep through tones of job applications and resumes to find the best, whereas with AI, the process becomes much easy and streamlined.
For instance, AI works on the concept of machine learning algorithms, which can help determine past recruiting practices from the past like where you searched for the candidates and how did you reach them. In addition, advanced AI based recruitment solutions can help you learn about the various types of messages that would appeal to candidates, help find leads as well as deliver a candidate’s employment history. Talk about finding the perfect fit for your small business. This is how AI is helping small enterprises compete with the industry giants when it comes to finding the best talents.
- Business intelligence
Since the startup ecosystem is highly competitive, business intelligence is something that every small enterprise craves for to stay ahead of the curve. With literally hundreds of startups operating day in day out generating pool of updates and content on a daily basis, it is quite difficult for a small business to track its competitors. Identifying your competitors is critical for a startup to survive in today’s cutthroat competition.
Fortunately, there are AI-based competitive analysis solutions that can help address this concern. Yes, these tools can help track your competitors from different channels including web apps, social media, websites, etc. This would render a small enterprise with excellent understanding of the ongoing market trends that its competitors follow. Long story short, an AI-powered competitive analysis tool is a boon when it comes to identifying your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, all without bombing your budget.
- Backend efficiency
You often come across articles and news talking about how AI will takes our jobs. However, it is not true, since AI is not here to steal our jobs, but it is here to make our tasks easier.
In fact, a Gartner study revealed that AI would create more jobs (2.3 million to be specific) than it would end by 2020.
Most of these backend tasks such as basic scheduling, accounting, etc. Now we all know that a small business tends to have limited budget and employees to take care of these critical backend tasks. This is where AI can help. Yes, AI based enterprise applications can automate these backend tasks thus, freeing up resources, who can then focus their time on other strategic tasks that call for higher degree of human touch.
AI is no longer confined to self-driving cars only, since businesses of all sizes can use the technology to transform their customer service, marketing and sales like never before. However, before you take the plunge, you ought to think as how AI could assist your small business, the tasks you would like to automate with AI, etc. There is no need to fear from this futuristic technology, embrace it with open arms and see your revenue hit new altitudes.
Since the AI landscape is booming, startups and small enterprises get more options to pick their AI strategy today. Rather than investing in data scientists and data mining, small enterprises can leverage the power of AI-based tools without bombing their budget. Workflow automation combined with competitive business intelligence will help save a great deal of money and time to a small business thus, enabling it to stay ahead of the race in today’s data-driven business landscape.
Anwar Shaikh writes about AI, machine learning, business intelligence and enterprise technology tools such as ERP and CRM software. A self-made writer and Digital Marketing Manager, Anwar writes for Sage Software Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of cost-effective and cloud based CRM system to small and mid-sized businesses in India.