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3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Transform Your Small Business

Business.com / Customers / Last Modified: August 5, 2018
Image credit: PIXA/Shutterstock

Artificial intelligence doesn't mean the end of the human interaction. AI can improve your relationships with customers and, in turn, boost your revenue.

In the not-so-distant future, artificial intelligence (AI) will be able to perform many jobs. While this is a scary concept to a lot of people, you don't have to be afraid. For instance, AI has the potential to save you time and money by automating repetitive, menial tasks like scheduling, paperwork and timesheets. This will free up your time to focus more on strategy, ideation and creative pursuits to differentiate your business from the competition.

We use artificial intelligence more than we even realize. In fact, according to a study, only 33 percent of people think they use AI when, in reality, 77 percent actually use an AI-powered service or device. It's already in much of the software we use today and has the ability to drastically improve workflow and increase your profits.

You might be under the impression that AI is only for big, multi-million dollar companies, but smaller companies are taking advantage of AI every day, and your small business can too. Here are three ways artificial intelligence can transform your small business.

1. Improve your customer service.

Customer service and support are some of the most important factors in maintaining customer satisfaction and reducing customer churn. For example, a customer can put in a support ticket and not hear back from you for hours. While this is understandable, some customers want their problem fixed now and will be dissatisfied when you take too long assisting them. You need to provide prompt customer service in order to keep your more difficult customers smiling, and AI can help you with that.

Automated chatbots for your website are a stellar way how AI can improve your customer service. Using a chatbot can reduce your response time to one second and allow customers to connect with you 24/7, which enhances your relationship with customers and leads. Various tools collect data from your website, allowing users to have interactive conversations and get answers to frequently asked questions from bots. When a user can get their questions answered in an instant, they're more likely to sign up, subscribe and buy.

2. Gain customer insight and predict behavior.

CRM software is an important tool for small businesses to manage their interactions with current and potential customers. Typically it's used to keep contact details up-to-date and track phone calls, emails and other customer interactions. But AI can take your CRM to the next level.

AI has allowed Salesforce to build the world's smartest CRM. Built into the Salesforce platform, Einstein can deliver predictions and recommendations based on your business processes and your customer data. You can then use those insights to automate responses and actions to save time for your sales team and keep customers happy. 

3. Get better results from marketing.

When you create an ad, the goal is to obviously reach as many new leads as possible, not just any leads but targeted leads. Before AI, you could create an ad on social media and hand pick the demographics of the users you want to see the ad, like their age, location, profession, etc. But what if you could do even better than that and create a more successful ad campaign with AI? Luckily, you can.

Facebook ads are now more effective than ever with the addition of artificial intelligence. Facebook's Lookalike Audience allows marketers and business owners to upload information about their best customers from their website. Then Facebook's AI builds similar audiences for your ad based on the data that includes demographics and interests. This way, you're more likely to reach an abundance of new target users who are interested in what you have to say, because they're almost identical to your best existing customers.

AI is no longer just for self-driving cars. Businesses of any size can use it to transform their sales, marketing and customer service and without spending a fortune either. Don't be scared of this futuristic technology. Embrace it, and you'll see that your revenue will soar to new heights.

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