How AI is going to impact your business
When you hear hoofbeats, think horses. But when you hear 'artificial intelligence,' don't think 'aliens.' Small businesses the world over are benefitting from all the new things that are coming with technology and the implementation of artificial intelligence in their business can seem like a massive - an complicated - challenge. The one thing that we can assure you of is that artificial intelligence does not mean that you are going to have a bunch of aliens working for you; it simply means that you have a bigger source of technology to help your business run.
Think about it: everywhere you go now, robotics and automation are happening, and they're making life easier for people. Implementing this in business is just good business sense. It's so easy to brush it off and think that it's only for scientists and large tech-based companies, but this is incorrect and it could potentially cost your small business. Your competitors are already getting on board with artificial intelligence, so you can bet that you should be catching up if you're not up there yet!
Bigger companies may have started leading the way toward automation and robotics, but smaller businesses are taking notice of the idea that artificial intelligence is helping with efficiency and productivity. Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more popular among smaller companies, and if you can take advantage of what artificial intelligence has to offer, then it makes sense to go for it. We've got five ways for you to do just that:
#1: Helping Hand - Or Voice
'Alexa, set up my meeting.'Virtual assistance may not be new, but voice-search assistants in business are. There are so many options on the market right now for business owners who are looking for a way to cut out the time spent Googling an answer and simply want to ask a question and have it answered there and then. Siri was the first one in line, and Alexa followed on quickly after that. Voice assistants were predicted to reach the offices of 7 billion people in 2020, and these can help with reminders and information searches so that the load can be taken off of staff.
While it may seem like a ridiculous idea to ask a machine what you could search yourself, you can cut down the amount of time you spend searching for the information: the computer can just tell you instantly. This can shave up to an hour a day - and that hour could be better spent elsewhere.
#2: Employee Engagement
As a small business, you likely don't have a large team to think about. However, just because the group is small doesn't mean that you should slow down on how you engage everyone. Artificial intelligence tools can be used to monitor employee engagement and take in the feedback that you need to watch their development.
You can also allow your staff to feedback how they're feeling about certain aspects of the business, and you can then work on those. As a business owner, you need to find ways to ensure that your staff is happy and secure in their jobs. That they feel challenged and as if they are learning something and hitting their goals. Artificial intelligence can help them to do that.
#3: Gather & Analyze Data
When you are developing your product or service, you need to ensure that it fits the market of choice. You can do this with tools that are artificially intelligent, and you can tap into their ability to understand consumers and what they want from your business. You can also use the technology to work out the targeted advertising that your business needs to do online and traditionally. There are no more targeting customers blindly: you can use artificial intelligence to pinpoint the right audience and give your business a better idea of the audience you need.
#4: Customer Service Improvement
It's the aim of the game for almost every business, but the customer service is what comes first. Excellent customer service garners loyal customers, and artificial intelligence can make a massive difference to their experience with your business. It's not just the customer tickets, purchasing tools and customer engagement, either. The use of chatbots and live chat services are part of the artificial intelligence movement, and you can be a part of that.
These are the tools that allow your small business to have the right resources given to the customer in a more efficient way. All of this is hard to do when you don't have the tools to dedicate the time to the customer. With artificial intelligence, you can take the time you spend out of the equation and start focusing on the things that your customers really want and need. Using automation can also speed up the time it takes for you to deal with your customers and their comments, while simultaneously gathering data for future use. All of this works together to increase customer satisfaction.
#5: Instant Solutions - No Waiting
People will warn you about how artificial intelligence in business will snatch jobs right out from under people. The reality is the opposite. Instead, of taking positions away, artificial intelligence can enable you to utilize your staff for the jobs that they are good at, not the jobs that could be automated. Artificial intelligence should be looked at as technology that takes the mundane and time-snatching jobs and giving staff back their own time to do more and do better for you. Admin, customer service, accounting, scheduling - this can all be done automatically, saving you time. The more that you can streamline your business, the better off you will be, and the functions that artificial intelligence takes over can make a massive difference to the way that you do business.
Artificial intelligence is changing the face of business for the better. You can start to thrive, your staff can start hitting their goals without the mundane tasks dragging them back, and while the options may seem endless, you have choices to make. Do you need scheduling or reminders? Do you need to manage data or communications? The artificial intelligence that you implement is going to change the way you work, making you more efficient and responsive to the needs of the customer. That's not something you should be turning down.