The 21st  century has brought so many incredible new technologies that were once imagined about in old sci-fi epics, and even a few technologies we never saw coming. However, artificial intelligence — sometimes called machine intelligence or just AI — is demonstrating to be one of the most problematic of all. It’s already being applied by businesses across the globe in a variety of ways, from automating a portion of customer communications to determining product/market fit.

A survey of CEOs from small and medium-sized businesses led by executive coaching company Vistage found that AI is rapidly turning into an important part of business processes. In the survey, 29.5% of leaders said that of new technologies, AI will have the best impact on their business in the coming year.

But you don’t have to look to the future to see what AI may be able to do for your business now. Tools have been created for virtually every task, with AI-based tools offering a few benefits including:

  • Reducing the time spent on tasks
  • Lowering costs
  • Increasing results
  • Improving flexibility and responsiveness
  • Reducing risk

Whether you’ve already begun using AI technology to grow your business or not, you may not be aware of all the benefits artificial intelligence offers. Here are four different ways AI can help your small business.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Even though this may seem like new technology, artificial intelligence goes back to the 1950s. It has taken on different forms and uses—you might hear AI referred to as machine learning, deep learning, or cognitive computing depending on the frame of reference.

Since you know a brief history and a couple of AI aliases, let’s take the next 15 seconds to define it.

We’re going to put aside the chatter about self-driving vehicles and robots replacing humans to focus on a simpler definition brought to us by Merriam-Webster, which defines AI as “the ability of a machine to imitate intelligent human perform.”

It’s an approach to program machines or computers to complete tasks or respond to inquiries with human intelligence. By taking a huge amount of data points and setting rules for the problem-solving procedure modeled on human neural networks, AI can give human-like responses.

 How AI can help you run a 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 instance, a customer can put in a support ticket and not hear back from you for quite a long time. While this is understandable, some customers want their problem fixed now and will be dissatisfied when you take too long assisting them. You have to provide prompt customer service to keep your more difficult customers smiling, and AI can assist you with that.

Automated chatbots for your website are a stellar way of 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. Different tools collect data from your site, enabling users to have interactive discussions and find out 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.

  1. Improve Sales And Marketing With An AI-Infused CRM

Customer-relationship management (CRM) systems are designed to gather customer data across communication channels such as email, phone and social to help improve and even automate the sales process. Platforms like Salesforce have started executing AI that enables entrepreneurs to examine customer feedback from those communication channels and then consequently adjusts marketing and lead generation activities dependent on that information.

AI-infused CRMs can not only maximize lead generation results, allowing you to generate more leads for an equivalent amount of marketing dollars, but they’ve begun to show how AI can be utilized to secure marketing- and sales-relevant insights, streamlining nearly the entire customer acquisition process.

  1. Streamline Human Resource Tasks

One of the more surprising areas AI has started to creep into is HR. AI tools have been developed that not only help streamline the hiring and onboarding process but also acquire feedback from new employees about how HR can improve those processes, both of which can have a real impact on a company’s bottom line.

AI can be used to automatically wade through hundreds of applicants to find those that most closely match the criteria you’re looking for, not only increasing the likelihood that you find the best candidate available but saving you valuable time and resources. Furthermore, once the candidate is brought on board, the software can serve as a knowledge base for employees with questions on things such as benefits and company policy.

This not only helps reduce the time spent during the hiring process; it can also increase the number of quality applicants you receive and save HR time on the back end by cutting down on answering new employee questions.

  1. Get Better Results from Marketing

When you create an advertisement, the objective is to reach as many new leads as allowed, not just any leads but targeted leads. Before AI, you could make an ad on social media and hand-pick the demographics of the users you need to see the advertisement, like their age, profession, location, etc. However what if you could show improvement over that and create a more successful ad campaign with AI? Fortunately, you can.

Facebook ads are currently more powerful than ever with the addition of AI. Facebook’s target users who are keen on what you need to say since they’re practically identical to your best existing customers.

AI has just started to enter the workplace. However, it already indicates incredible promise as a valuable tool that can not only save you time and money but improve nearly every facet of your day to day processes.

Try not to be scared of this futuristic technology. Embrace it, and you’ll see that your revenue will reach new heights.

Get in touch with ti Technologies (RCG India) – a leading software development company helping small businesses to grow through innovative technologies and tools.

Arun is one of the senior software developers at ti Technologies.