How AI Can Change the Way Small Businesses Operate

By October 1, 2020

If we look back to 30 years ago, we would have thought that a machine simulating our actions was a sci-fi situation. However, that’s our current technological scope right now. So many tasks are being automated right now and people still don’t realize how much ground artificial intelligence covers. The company Pega conducted a customer service survey to measure the impact of AI-driven tools on customers. In the survey, only 33% of customers believed they were using artificial intelligence in their daily lives. The fun part is that 77% of those customers were using AI at some point.

But, it’s very simple to prove that you’re using artificial intelligence even just now. Does your keyboard automatically suggest phrases or words? This is a machine simulating human behavior. There are so many things being automated through machine learning and artificial intelligence, from automated cars to self-service cashiers.

This has surely moved into the business arena. Companies use AI at so many levels and in almost every department. According to this report run by Gartner, 37% of organizations have implemented AI in any form. This is what makes several people worried – they think that AI will make them lose their jobs. And this is true to some extent. AI will surely change the future of work, and some jobs that were used to be done by humans will no longer be necessary. AI is not here to replace humans but to complement them and make their work easier. Although, the human workforce will surely migrate to a technological environment. According to a recent study conducted by PwC, artificial intelligence will displace seven million jobs, but it’ll also generate another 7.2 million jobs. 

But this isn’t the only way that artificial intelligence has transformed business. Here, we’ve created a guide to show you some of the most outstanding ways that AI has changed the way businesses operate.

How AI Helps Companies to Optimize Their Processes

Artificial intelligence can help any company boost its productivity levels. The whole point of AI is to make processes easier. If you look at all the activities in your company, you’ll notice that several tasks could be automated. AI-driven tools can be very expensive at first. However, they’ll save companies a lot of money that could be spent on a larger team or tasks that could otherwise be done by devices. Here are some of the ways that companies could benefit from artificial intelligence.

Email Marketing

Mailchimp and point of sale systems are changing the way companies communicate with customers. Both tools are AI-driven and work to automate processes and make the customer service dynamic easier. If you’ve ever received a message from your favorite clothing store saying that they’ll host an event in your city, this could be a sign that they’re using artificial intelligence. POS systems can segment the company’s contact list by region or interests. This way, companies can send emails to people based on these aspects, creating a more personalized relationship with the company.

Another thing that companies can do thanks to AI is to be able to automatically identify emails by subject. This way, you’ll be working more organized and it’ll save hours of work for the customer service team.

Reduce Repetitive, Mundane Tasks

From accounting tasks to replying to emails, there’s a ton of activities that can be automated thanks to artificial intelligence. According to a recent Gartner report, AI embedded in analytics will take a huge weight off the shoulders of the marketing team by 2022. Data analysts won’t have to spend too much time on anomaly detection and marketing performance. Instead, teams will be able to focus on other tasks that are a priority to hit business goals.

Another thing that companies are leveraging from AI is inventory management. By simply syncing their eCommerce website with their inventory system, companies will be able to monitor their sales. This also provides an improved customer experience. There’s nothing more tedious to a customer than receiving the wrong item due to an inventory management issue. Either you didn’t get the size you wanted or they had to return your money because they actually ran out of the product. AI technology creates an error-free experience and companies will avoid having these types of misunderstandings

Hyper-Personalized Experiences

Have you ever browsed through a website and find the exact items you like in a matter of seconds? This is thanks to AI and machine learning. When companies create a dataset with customers’ preferences, these companies can display items based on customer interest. This is done by using sentiment analysis and machine learning.

But this won’t stop here. Although this is a great tool for companies to generate brand engagement, the systems are still not perfect, prompting the need for AI engineers for maintenance. 

“The challenge will be focused on designing an Artificial Intelligence system capable of responding, interacting, and making decisions in a human way. Fortunately, you have companies working on that,” said ElMejorTrato CEO Sophie Miles.

Customer Service Automation

According to a recent report published on Forbes, 40% of the AI-driven activities at a company rely on the digital marketing department. Customer service, despite what most people think, is not a separate concept from digital marketing; and most customer-service tasks are being automated.

AI revolutionizes the way businesses communicate with customers. In the past, there was a huge customer service team attending customer calls. Today, this is a bit different. In addition to humans, we now also utilize bots. Actually… Chatbots. This trend is taking over and most companies find this more convenient than hiring a huge customer service team. Although they still need a human touch, there’s no need to assign many workers to a task that a bot could do. In the end, chatbots don’t rest, so they’re available for customers every day and at every hour.

Chatbots and automated voice systems work with machine learning technology and AI. They have a large dataset with responses and when they can’t answer a particular request, they’ll just redirect the customer to the customer service team.

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