Artificial Intelligence has been one of the hottest topics inthe field of technology in the past couple of years. The debate has beencentered on its usability and the type of benefits it can offer. It’s a knownfact that the big players such as Amazon and Microsoft have already investedsubstantially in developing the technology. However, what needs to be seen, if these benefits could alsohelp small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Discussed below are some of theareas in which small businesses could benefit from AI.OptimalResource-UtilizationOne of the significant issues faced by small businesses isthe lack of sufficient resources.
This scarcity of resources in criticalverticals such as Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, etc., can be a huge setback,especially if they have to compete with big players in the market. Properutilization of available resources could well be the difference betweenprofitability and extermination for SMBs. Here is where AI can help, byensuring optimal use of resources across various verticals.· Marketing: When it comes to Marketing, SMBsusually work on spreadsheets to collect and collate customers’ data. Runningmarketing campaigns and processing leads by manually tracking thesespreadsheets can be a monotonous task that results in depletion of considerableresources. However, by automating the task through AI tools, small companiescould be able to add efficiency and value to their marketing initiatives.
For instance, identifying the rightsegments of target audience providing maximum return on investment can be donemuch more easily by integrating the CRM with AI. Similarly, quarterly andannual sales forecasts, as well as predictions on weekly or monthly salesleads, could get much more accurate, which could help the management in optimaldeployment of the marketing and sales resources.· Customer Service: Most queries from the prospects andcustomers are simple questions that are frequently asked. However, thesetrivial calls could add an extra burden on the call volume being handled by asmall company’s contact center.
Subsequently, there could be a shortage ofresources when it comes to handling critical issues, which could leave thecustomers with a bad experience. However, by deploying AI tools andchatbots, SMBs can track the type of query coming in through IVRs, and directthe simpler issues to the chatbots. On the other hand, issues those arecomplicated or require the expertise of qualified service personnel can behandled accordingly.
Moreover, machine learning techniques can also be used to predictthe time and duration having maximum and minimum call volumes, which could helpin the optimal use of available resources. · Lead generation: Artificial Intelligence can be usedto nurture and capture new leads through social media. The AI algorithms can beused to track prospects through their social networking activity.
Personalizedcontent can be targeted at them at a specific time to ensure they do not missthe new offers and discounts. Once their details are captured through simpleforms, the new leads can be followed up by providing relevant comparisons withcompeting offerings, which would eventually convert them into customers.Further opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling can also be createdthrough constant engagement. AI algorithms can also be used todefine the detailed buyer personas with much more accuracy. By taking thesepersonas into account, unique product features can be used to generate targetedcontent that could encourage leads to respond positively. Analytical toolsequipped with machine learning capabilities can be used to identify the rightchannels to match the content.
Minimizing CostAI can be highly helpful in crunching huge volumes of dataand derive valuable information from it. If performed manually, these taskscould require a considerable amount of resources, which in turn would increasethe cost for the small business, and bring down the ROI. In the micro businessenvironment, where even a minor decrease in returns can be disastrous, AI canprove to be a game changer. The technology would not only help in bringing downthe overall cost of the process but could also add extra efficiency to it.
Also, the valuable resources can be diverted towards more critical tasks suchas innovation and improvements, which could help the SMBs in maximizing theirgrowth and profitability.Thus, AI can help small business face the usual challenges ofoptimally using their scant resources and budget while improving theircomputing capabilities. By helping them identify the right insights, they canalso improve their chances of sustaining in the market and achieving continuousgrowth. Key Takeaways· Oneof the significant issues faced by small businesses is the lack of sufficientresources, and it is the area in which AI can play a significant role.· Byhelping in optimizing the usage of resources, AI can bring down the overallcost of the process and also add maximize the efficiency.