5 smart ways small businesses are using AI & automation

Artificial Intelligence and automation are changing the landscape of business world. All the big market players in different industries are using AI and automation to get ahead in business and increase their overall revenues. As the technology has evolved over the past few years, the usefulness, efficiency, and affordability of AI based solutions has improved a lot and become available to more and smaller players. This has allowed the small businesses to adopt AI and automation for various purposes.

It is critical for the small businesses to realize the importance and benefits of AI and automation. Implementation of artificial intelligence based solutions is now much easier and cheaper than many of the small business owners think. Although there are endless options for using AI in a small business environment, there are some options that provide the most benefit and are a must have for any small business. Here are 5 ways small businesses can use AI and automation in 2019.

#1. Finding and hiring the right people

Attracting and retaining great employees is one of the most important things for a business. However, as small businesses do not have the same HR resources of bigger companies, it can be difficult to find the right people. It is often difficult for small business owners to hire people with the required skill set in their own networks that are usually smaller. Even when the small businesses do get plenty of applications for a job, the screening of the candidates can be quite difficult and time consuming.

By using artificial intelligence, small businesses can reach out and identify the individuals that they might not have access to without the use of AI. They can also get individuals who are more likely to stay at their company. The screening process of applications can be streamlined and made much quicker by using various automation tools. Also, small businesses can save a lot of time and energy by automating employee analytics, calculation of wages, and performance measurement.

#2. Using chatbots for effective and fun customer service

Chatbots seem to be quite a trend these days. They are efficient, get the required job done, and are very cost effective. By using chatbots small businesses are able to provide 24/7 customer service. Small business owners who have experience with handling customer service would realize that majority of the customer queries are quite repetitive. And by using chatbots, one can easily provide instant answers to some of the most asked questions.

Other than providing speedy customer service, you can also use chatbots for engaging customers and even getting orders. Some world famous restaurant chains like Pizza Hut and Burger King are already using chatbots to engage their customers on Facebook and to get orders directly from Facebook. Chatbots can beneficial for both, product and service based businesses.

#3. Using ready-made solutions to automate repetitive tasks

There are a number of dedicated AI tools available to streamline or automate many day-to-day tasks and processes. Small businesses can utilize these tools to improve their efficiency and get rid of small day-to-day tasks, especially in their office spaces. This provides them with the opportunity to focus on their core business without having to worry about things like facility management and employee analytics.

#4. Improving sales and marketing with an AI infused CRM

Many small businesses use different customer-relationship management (CRM) systems to gather customer data across different communication channels like social media, phone, and email. The purpose is to help improve sales and sometimes even automate sales. Salesforce, HubSpot, and other CRM companies are now using AI to improve the effectiveness of these systems.

AI-infused CRMs maximize the lead generation results, allowing the small business owners to generate more leads for equivalent amount of marketing budget. Small businesses can also benefit by getting better insights related to marketing and sales. Using this data they can optimize their marketing campaigns and the entire customer acquisition process.

#5. Providing better customer experience

Providing better customer experience is one of the most important elements of online business. Almost all the small businesses these days have an online element to their business. And many small businesses are very much dependent on the performance of their online assets. It is a general consensus among the successful online brands that a strong and positive customer experience can be one of the biggest competitive advantages for any brand.

AI allows the small business owners to acquire advanced customer insights, analyze them and then use them to enhance the overall customer experience of their website or other online assets. There is also a growing trend of providing a personalized experience to the customers visiting the website. This increases the chances of a customer making a purchase by several folds.

Many of the big companies like Amazon and Facebook have been using AI for giving the users a personalized experience since many years now. However, with the advancements in AI technology and the availability of different cost effective solutions, small businesses can also use artificial intelligence in order to provide a personalized experience to their customers.

AI tools allow small businesses to thrive in an ever-changing world, giving them an opportunity to revolutionize their business processes and compete against the big players. With the high adoption rates of AI and automation among small business owners, the days of taking AI and automation as an option are over. Any business that does not utilize these modern tools will be left behind in the highly competitive world of today.

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