Tech companies offer small businesses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning opportunities to help solve all sorts of problems. These tools not only help them to compete with leading brands in their respective industries, but they also ensure that they stay ahead of new competitors.
And for good reason. From automating tedious tasks to pinpointing precise data, there are many advantages to using this technology. But what are the main ways to implement it?
Here are 5 ways small businesses can use artificial intelligence today.
1. Finding And Keeping Top Talent
All small businesses must bring in the best possible people to grow. That said, it can be really tough to do this without a HR team or anyone in the business solely responsible for keeping on top of talent. It’s a lot of work, especially if it’s just for a single individual.
However, thanks to AI, HR and recruitment has evolved to a point where all the manual work can be handed over to the technology to speed up the required processes.
For example, AI applicant tracking systems can speed up recruitment by scanning through CVs and matching them to the job advertisement. AI can also contact these applicants and automatically schedule interviews with the right fits.
This example also ensures that all biases are removed from recruitment.
Of course, it’s not just bringing in more people that’s important; it’s also vital to keep existing talent engaged and happy. AI can help here too by the use of retention solutions.
2. Streamlining Marketing Efforts
AI and machine learning can have a huge impact on small business marketing. The modern consumer is only interested in a personalized customer experience – and artificial intelligence can help to deliver this expectation.
For example, small businesses can implement the technology into their email marketing campaigns for A/B testing the best headlines and subject matters, identify the best times to send out the emails, automate content production and notifications and a whole lot more.
Don’t forget social media either. AI can help to personalize the content for followers or prospects to increase engagement and trust in the brand.
It goes beyond the customer too. AI can improve marketing and advertising spend within the businesses itself. There are all sorts of platforms available that can help to improve on ad spend, such as WordStream and Acquisio.
3. Improving The Customer Experience
This was touched on above but it’s customer experience is important enough to get its own section. You don’t need to bring in more people anymore to handle an increase in customers. Thanks to the likes of AI chatbots, your small website can be the hub to solve all their problems and provide quick answers to any of their questions.
There are a plethora of chatbots installed on your website, from the likes of Answer Bot to Zendesk. In the latter’s case, they have AI ticketing solutions to solve your customer’s solutions pretty much instantly.
When the ticketing solution understands the best way to solve their problem is with a human response, either on the phone or through the live chat, they can direct where their user should go, shortening the time between realizing the problem and finding the solution.
4. Increasing Sales Efficiency
Whether it’s a small local deal or you’re competing with an established brand, sales is not always a walk in a park. Thanks to AI, you and your sales teams can now take advantage of several solutions that can give you an edge over the competition.
Online chatbots like the ones noted above can help to start a conversation with the prospect. Some solutions can even target visitors based on some preset criteria to help smooth the transition from viewer to consumer.
Chatbots can pop up a welcoming message to begin the conversation, before handing them over to the sales team or booking an appointment with a representative at a more appropriate time. At their most basic levels, they take care of all the monotonous tasks so that the human sales team doesn’t have to, such as opting prospects out of email marketing campaigns.
Of course, increasing sales efficiency goes beyond chatbots. CRM solutions have also started to implement AI and machine learning techniques. They have all sorts of capabilities such as following up with qualified leads, nurturing existing clients and guiding sales reps in real-time by analyzing the prospect’s emotional state.
Other tools can help sales reps build rapport with the prospect they’re talking to and start to form a relationship. They may use their social media profile and previous communication to estimate their personality, while others may prompt the rep to contact the prospective again and find the best time for a meeting.
5. Enhancing Decision-Making
Many AI solutions center around the marketing and sales industries. But small businesses can use artificial intelligence today to enhance their decision-making processes across multiple areas in the organization.
Here are just some of the many uses small businesses can benefit:
- Analyzing the supply chain to ensure optimum efficiency, from the warehouse and shipping to improving the inventory itself and more.
- Reducing the risk of human error by collecting data and creating a safer environment for staff to work.
- Saving time with scheduling assistants, freeing up resources to spend on other areas of the business.
- Automating finance, accounting and tax tasks to save the budget on specialist services.
- Ensuring projects stay on time and within budget.
No business is too big or too small to benefit from artificial intelligence. It doesn’t mean you have to employ data scientists or tech specialists to reap the rewards either. There are lots of solutions that won’t rack up the costs of expensive talent or high-ticket investments.
It’s all part of being a small business owner. This is seconded in this article by Digital Authority Partners which explores artificial intelligence from a business point of view in further detail.
Research, plan and prepare your small business for artificial intelligence to make smarter decisions and transform your organization for the better.