Artificial intelligence (AI) is fast becoming a big part of businesses; and it offers vast array of benefits that help to increase the chances of success. AI is a scary prospect for many people; some imagine that it means robots will control our lives and reduce the number of jobs, but this isn’t the case (so don’t worry).
AI is a tool that saves businesses around the world time, money, and human effort—making daily operations a lot easier. This is what every business owner wants, right? This is particularly true in the COVID-19 era, where business owners and employees have been greatly restricted.
Now, as a small-business owner, you’re probably asking yourself: How do I possibly introduce AI into my business? You’ll be happy to know that it’s relatively easy and low cost. Here’s a short guide filled with useful tips on how you can do it.
Introduce Chatbots To Your Customer Communications
AI is quickly evolving and is changing different industries for the better. For example, the pension industry with artificial intelligence is evolving fast.
One of the key features in the current wave of AI is chatbots (sometimes referred to as virtual assistants). These are software applications that interact with customers through text; aiming to replicate the way in which a human employee talks to customers. You’ve likely experienced a chatbot yourself when visiting a company website, perhaps to buy a product. If you need help, usually a little chatbot icon will appear in the bottom corner for you to interact with, prompting you with a question along the lines of: “How can I help you today?”
Chatbots are an incredibly efficient and tidy way to provide customer service. They save time and money; and can be made available 24/7—which is what modern customers want (and need!). Chatbots are not just exclusively used on company websites, either. Some providers enable you to deploy your chatbots through their services. Here are a couple of examples:
- Facebook messenger
- Apple (Siri)
So, let’s say your small business prefers to provide customer service through Facebook Messenger opposed to your website (you might be experiencing higher rates of engagement on Facebook). You can incorporate your chatbot into your messenger customer service, so customers can simply load up your Facebook page and speak to a chatbot within seconds.
Here are some of the other great features of chatbots:
- Taking care of manual tasks
- Fixing complicated customer problems
Automate Where Possible
In addition to chatbots, small and large businesses are using AI to automate in other areas, too: it’s smart. Automating is massively benefiting marketing and sales, with 79% of businesses stating that their marketing and sales departments experienced significant revenue increases because of using AI for tasks such as pricing.
Here are some other areas where you can automate:
- Email responses
- Messages and alerts sent to customers
- Social media posts
- Scheduling appointments
Use Analytics To Make Improvements And Increase Profits
As a small-business owner, you likely have a decent amount of data that you need to analyze (not as much as large corporations, but still enough to work with). The data can range from sales numbers to social media followers and service subscriptions—the list is essentially endless. AI systems can take this data and produce trends, patterns, and insights that you likely would never have noticed before—meaning you can then make excellent, well-informed decisions from them.
For example, AI can answer big questions that data poses; such as the likelihood of customers buying a new product.
Improve Your Cybersecurity
As technology continues to evolve, the responsibility of cybersecurity is transferring from the hands of human employees to AI. AI can automatically detect cybersecurity problems (or potential problems) and put an immediate stop to them. Right now, there are thousands of companies who provide AI cybersecurity services; and this is only going to grow as a market moving into the future. Therefore, it’s recommended that you invest in AI security for your small business sooner rather than later; as it’s an excellent long-term investment and will protect you from potential cyberattacks – which keeps your data safe.
This short guide on how you can use AI for your business has hopefully illustrated to you the large benefits that come with it. It is important to remember that AI is the future; it makes much more sense to modernize and improve your business with AI now than 10 years down the line when the benefits won’t be as instantaneous.