February 14, 2024

3 Ways Your Small Business Can Use AI to Drive Growth

Some small business owners are still trying to figure out what artificial intelligence (AI) means for them. Others are well on their way to using AI tools to improve efficiency and save money.


The range of AI tools and applications available today were made to help boost profitability and productivity. By implementing time and cost-saving AI tools, businesses are able to redirect resources to other areas. Imagine investing more time in high-value work or growth opportunities, investing in other new technologies, increasing wages and benefits, or even paying down debt.


With its capability to automate processes, personalize experiences, AI has become an invaluable asset for businesses of all sizes. For small businesses, AI offers cost-effective tools to enhance customer service, strengthen marketing and sales, and drive growth.


1. Customer Experience

As businesses focus on enhancing CX, AI is emerging as a powerful tool for customer service. Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to carry out human-like conversations and perform routine tasks. They enable small businesses to deliver prompt customer service, reducing wait times and cutting staffing costs. The coolest part: chatbots can learn from past customer interactions, continuously improving their accuracy and effectiveness.


AI-powered chatbot platforms like ChatGPT provide a customizable experience for businesses. These platforms can recognize and respond to customer inquiries effectively to ensure that customers receive personalized attention, improving overall satisfaction.


Automation is another way to use AI for customer service. Businesses can automate routine customer service tasks such as sending order confirmations and following up on support calls, saving time and resources while ensuring consistent and timely communication. Some automation tools can enable businesses to integrate with other applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, creating a more efficient and streamlined workflow.


By implementing AI for customer service, businesses can create a more efficient and satisfying CX, improving customer loyalty and driving business growth.


2. Customer Relationship Management

Small business owners can benefit from informed sales and marketing strategies that use insights mined directly from their customer data. CRM platforms with AI functionality can can perform real-time data analysis to deliver recommendations based on your company’s unique processes and customer data.


Some AI can analyze client sentiments in recorded phone conversations, social media posts and reviews. In addition to evaluating customer feedback, it can adjust marketing and lead generation activities based on insights from data analysis.


Today, AI tools can actually follow up with each lead via website chat, text, and email. They can make sure no leads fall through the cracks, and have authentic conversations to nurture and qualify them.


When the time is right, AI bots then hand off the leads to humans who can carry on the conversation.


3. Data-Driven Decision-Making

There are AI business tools that can help your business sift through the huge amounts of data that is available, to help you make decisions that will grow your business. These tools will integrate and analyze data across different channels and perform time-saving analytics and reporting, such as:


° Sentiment analysis and information extraction in Google Sheets, CSV, and Excel data

° Classification, tagging, and processing of customer support tickets and inbound emails

° Analysis of product reviews and open-ended feedback in surveys and NPS


These helpful tools will ideally provide insights that are applicable and actionable for your small business.



While AI tools are here to stay, that doesn’t mean there are no downsides:


Lack of creativity: First, pleas note that the information provided by AI writing tools can be incorrect. Further to that, because it lacks a human element, it results in a lack of creativity in its writing style. That lack of creativity is a common problem with many AI tools.


Missing an emotional element: AI also lacks the emotional element that humans bring to the table. While too much emotion in the workplace may be detrimental, empathy and decision-making based on a lifetime of experiences do matter when managing people and working as a team.


If the 3 use cases we’ve shared aren’t enough for you, consider that there are AI tools to help with everything from HR, recruitment, and accounting to email marketing, sales, and advertising. For now, you owe it to your business and your customers to explore the AI tools that might work for your needs.



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