By Peter Davidson
Don’t be a scaredy-cat about technology. It’s time to get familiar with AI. While many people think that AI is still a long way off for business, in fact, AI is everywhere. While in the past, movies have portrayed AI as an all-knowing robot who takes over people’s jobs and lives, it is in reality a marketing tool that can work to speed up business. Not only can AI work as a marketing tool, it can also work to solve problems, create new markets for business, protect businesses from fraud, increase employee satisfaction and engagement with their jobs, and help small businesses use all of the tools they have available to help the business become as successful as possible.
When business owners are able to get familiar with AI, it allows them to solve many problems that it would have taken months to untangle and hours of research, giving them time to do other things. AI specializes in tools such as finding patterns in customer data that demonstrates what type of products they are looking for. AI also allows businesses to target market specific segments of the audience through language processes and data collection through customer feedback, which nearly eliminates the time entrepreneurs have to shift through customer responses.
In addition to finding and targeting a small business’ customer base, AI can help identify problems within a marketing plan, as well as other areas of the business. For example, AI has been working to solve problems for video surveillance companies by adding facial recognition software, an AI tool to their security features, which allows the surveillance companies to identify potential threats to their business, such as former employees or customers who have criminal backgrounds, to prevent problems before they begin.
Also, in the not-too-distant future, businesses will be able to use AI not only on the Internet, but on a business phone system with voice AI to detect a customer’s readiness to purchase a product or who are needing support from a customer representative about a product they have already purchased. While this doesn’t sound like a big deal, in reality, AI is being used to predict customer behavior before the customer interacts with the business, which saves small businesses time and money.
AI can also help businesses prevent fraud, by recognizing the tools scammers use to part small businesses from their money and shutting off the pipeline before it gets from the business to the criminals. For example, there are AI programs that look both at checks coming into the business and checks leaving the business to determine whether or not they are fraudulent, which can save small businesses thousands of dollars in lost time and money. AI powered fraud detection tools such as natural language processors, language speed and video processing tools also work to keep small businesses as fraud-free as possible.
Prioritizing What is Important
Experts state that businesses can use AI technology better if they are able to prioritize those areas of their business which could really find AI helpful. First, companies should make a list of those things that might benefit from AI implementation, and begin there, throwing out places where AI wouldn’t be effective, and finding ways to use AI effectively to help with business growth.
For example, one place that AI has been found to be very successful in a small business is with improving employee engagement and development. Recent studies have demonstrated that in some businesses, there may be as many as 70% of the workforce that is not engaged in their work. One small business tried chatbots, and AI tool which works within the company to give employees a safe space to voice their concerns about policies in the office, as well as problems with employees and supervisors. One company found by giving workers the chance to talk to chatbot about issues within the HR domain, productivity increased.
AI and a Further Dive Into Technology
Many small businesses struggle with analytics, because of the sheer volume of paperwork involved with dissecting analytics, which at times makes it almost impossible to sift through in order to get needed answers. AI can work to improve business results in analytics, quickly working through marketing data and customer insights in order for a company to fine tune their sales force and use advertising that specifically targets the customers they want who are interested in their product.
The world is becoming increasingly dependent on technology for consumer purchases, fueled by giants Google and Amazon. However, small businesses don’t have to be giants to be about to take advantage of IoT technology. AI works to help small businesses further their goals by working to find ways business can optimize their products for immediate internet sales via assistant programs, such as Google Assistant and Alexa. Many small businesses have used AI on the IoT to grow their businesses from a small niche business offering a few specialized products to a medium-sized or larger business offering thousands of products to customers. In this way, AI helps small businesses target customers in the same manner as the Internet giants.
While the notion of automatic intelligence, as well as artificial intelligence may seem a bit scary, in reality, it is actually an equalizer for small businesses. It makes small businesses develop the same tools and tricks of the consumer trade that big business has, and for a fraction of the cost. Through AI, small businesses can become adept at targeting their customer market, improving customer contacts, finding niches in the market to target new consumers, looking for and finding business trends, solving problems within the business, and continuing to work with technology to find new customers and keep their employees happy and productive. More than anything else, AI can help small businesses feel like big businesses in terms of manpower with the help of computer technology.
While you might think that AI is a future technology, it is poised to improve your business in 2018.
Author Bio: Being a senior business associate, Peter Davidson strives to help different brands and start ups to make efficient business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well researched content pieces. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter.