The future is AI
The potential of AI is limitless for small and medium-scale businesses. Although limitless, business owners must find a healthy balance between automation, and tasks that shouldn’t be outsourced. Sadly, the reality is that many business owners still need to leverage AI in their business processes. They have chosen monotonous work and hectic business processes over AI.
Artificial intelligence simulates human intelligence through computer systems. The idea behind AI is that routine, and monotonous work performed by humans can be automated through computer systems. This helps human intelligence to be deployed to more technical or complex tasks that cannot be automated.
Over the years, there’s been significant digital and tech transformation. One of the key drivers of the technological advancement we see is a better way of doing things and an easier life for all. For SMBs to explore and exploit the potential of AI, they must come to terms with the fact that AI has come to make their lives easier—ultimately their business processes.
There’s no doubt that big businesses use AI. Research available online has shown that they use AI more than small and medium-scale businesses. Some big businesses even try to monopolize AI solutions to gain a competitive advantage.
AI is extensive, and specific applications for business processes have more to do with AI software. This software ranges from AI platforms to ChatBots and Deep and Machine learning. Deep learning covers AI tools like image recognition, speech recognition, NLP, etc.
AI amplifies customer experience across digital channels. Even better, your employees devote their attention to more complex tasks that cannot be automated. Overall it saves time, energy and boosts productivity at the workplace by aiding employees.
SMBs that adopt AI to their business processes are doing themselves a lot of good. Statistics say up to 29% of small businesses have started using AI. These entrepreneurs assert that AI has had the most effect on their businesses since its adoption. The global market for AI is expected to hit $15.7 trillion by 2030 –AI will keep seeing better days with or without small and medium-scale businesses.
Eleven things small and medium-scale businesses can achieve with AI include:
- Automate mundane tasks: repetitive, monotonous, and cliche tasks that humans still handle can be replaced with AI. This will not only improve the rate at which these tasks are done but allow staff to focus on other complex tasks that cannot be automated.
- Decision-making: With AI, you can achieve more precision and accuracy from data available to your business. The insights from predictive and analytic AI can help SMBs make intelligent decisions. Even better, businesses can make these decisions from concrete and realistic facts from an unbiased sources.
- Personalization: AI can customize individual experiences across digital channels through machine learning software. It does this by obtaining information across the internet and using the information to customize the customer experience. This is one of the many jobs that human employees can never perform optimally.
- Engaging and interacting with customers: Through AI, businesses can now achieve machine-aided conversations with their clients across multiple digital marketing channels.
Several AI software facilitates conversation between humans and machines (like Siri and Alexa). Businesses now use voice recognition to simplify and improve their customer’s experience on their sites.
For example, leveraging inbound call centres helps you use a blend of AI and human support to amplify customer experience. Customer care service agents have automated responses for basic support calls, and use human interaction for only complex issues that need virtual interaction with the customers. Statistics show that customers prefer automated responses through self-service options. They only want to put calls through when it’s necessary.
Many SMBs admit they lack the requisite understanding to adopt AI into their business processes. Nonetheless, there are more deeply seated issues hindering SMBs from optimizing AI. Some of these issues are:
The myth is that AI is about machines. The earliest representation of AI to many people was robots (gigantic, sluggishly moving machines). Somehow, we have attached AI to our earliest perceptions of machines and robots depicted in movies. Robotics and machines are an aspect of AI. Robots are no longer gigantic. The overall mechanics of these machines has significantly improved in recent years.
AI seeks to replace humans. AI isn’t out to replace the labour market. Again, this notion is founded on the myth that AI is all about machines. AI seeks to save time and energy used on tasks that can be automated. Through AI, developers hope to collaborate with the labour market to improve efficiency, precision, accuracy, and apt decision-making in the workplace. Research and AI studies show that by leveraging AI, 85 million jobs will be obsolete, but 97 million new jobs will be created by 2025.
Scarcity of AI talents and their bespoke nature. There’s a relative scarcity of AI talent; bigger companies hire the available talent. Nonetheless, the pandemic disrupted the AI talent pool as there was more demand for automated business processes. AI is bespoke, often needing integration into your business system. This is often a significant challenge for most SMBs seeking to adopt new AI.
One of these issues is the cost of adopting AI. AI can sometimes be expensive for SMBs. It’s easy for big businesses to take on AI because they have the funds and technical staff to ensure smooth adoption. The case is different from SMBs; they are often torn between the cost of AI and its necessity.
The truth is SMBs can leverage AI by outsourcing to third-party firms offering AI automated services for SMBs. These companies help SMBs leverage AI services without breaking the bank. Ultimately, SMBs that use this service gain a competitive advantage and focus on more important business processes that cannot be automated.
SMBs can never go wrong when they apply AI to customer experience across digital channels and customer support. AI also finds easy applications in areas that require capturing and managing data. Contact us today to help you set up seamless AI for customer support/experience or management of data.