Why AI is a small business’s best friend

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Artificial intelligence is rapidly entering the small-and-medium business (SMB) level of the economy, with the same promises and difficulties that it has brought to large organizations.

In both the cloud and the traditional data center, new services and software releases are bringing advanced AI tools to a low-cost, easy-to-use format that requires rare and expensive skills to operate. .

While these tools provide the ability to push numerous SMB processes into fast lanes, providing a lifeline to businesses that need all the help they can get when competing against ecommerce giants, they are still just like any other technology: a right. . The way to use it and the wrong way.

But development is happening so fast and the use of AI for SMBs is still unclear, how can small business owners choose a platform with the highest potential? And how easy would it be to change direction if needed?

AI ready

Mihai-Alexandru Cristia of Romania’s Business Review recently published a number of AI features on the SMB stage. Applications ranging from CRM and HR to web and logo design are readily available, allowing organizations to quickly adapt to changing business situations. In some cases, these tools are built on a low-code / no-code architecture, allowing non-technical staff to simply power it up and start using it. At the same time, the chatbot platform allows workers to deliver with a drag-and-drop menu and other artifacts of the traditional user interface in favor of a more traditional communication approach.

While the help AI brings to employees is commendable, most small businesses are expected to take advantage of technology to improve the customer experience. Grace Lau, director of growth content at communications platform DialPad, recently noted that AI can help SMBs quickly increase their CX capabilities without breaking the budget.

AI-backed chatbots and self-help solutions operate 24/7 and have proven to be extremely adept at addressing most customer interactions or quickly directing callers to the right expert or decision maker. As well, AI outperforms traditional solutions in terms of speed, accuracy and overall satisfaction, leading to better brand loyalty, more efficient processes and increased sales.

To achieve this level of success, however, the AI ​​platform must be properly designed and trained. This requires a clear implementation strategy, which includes efficient means to track well-mapped-out user journeys and performance and improve processes that result in poor results. At the basic level, one of the main advantages that AI provides over traditional software is the ability to learn from its mistakes and constantly optimize processes in search of better, more personalized experiences.

AI suitable for small business

Small business owners should also understand that there are different types of AI, and not all of them suit the needs of a normal enterprise. In most cases, says tech consultant Xavier Finch, SMBs will deploy certain versions of narrow AI, taken from highly specialized programs designed to accomplish specific tasks. These are systems that save time and money for tedious, time-consuming operations and also help identify new markets and new business opportunities. General AI, on the other hand, is the technology behind thinking machines that attempt to mimic electro-chemical processes in the human brain. These are many more headaches and are still under development in various forms. At the moment, this type of AI is best left to the experts.

Because small businesses generally lack the resources and skills to handle a fully developed AI ecosystem, most will turn to out-of-the-box solutions as a locally hosted platform with cloud-based services or extensive cloud support. While this may not provide a level of customization and flexibility as a custom system, time-tracking software developer Timely points out that they provide quick and easy implementation to get small businesses on the path to automation. In many cases, these tools are available at as low as 10 per user per month on subscriptions, with more feature-rich options available for less than $ 20 / m / u, and allow these organizations to scale deployments at their own pace.

The good news for SMBs is that it’s not too late to get started with AI. In fact, those who operate now are still considered to be on the cutting edge of this technology wave when compared to most others at this economic level. And for any small organization that hopes to one day become a giant, failing to use AI as soon as possible is probably the biggest mistake in business planning.

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