As buzzwords go, it’s hard to escape AI. And it’s even harder to avoid in everyday life. From the portrait mode selection on your smartphone to getting to your next meeting using a navigation app, we’re deep inside the technology.
| Are you data reliant?
‘A broad set of digital data augmented by artificial intelligence and sophisticated models can rival expertise gathered over many years of hands-on experience,’ say Deloitte. Indeed, AI is regarded as a magic bullet with which to stay competitive, but before joining the IT-crowd and adopting AI-driven technologies, you’ll need to ask yourself if you really need it?
Is your business truly data-driven? AI is brilliant at detecting patterns in data, and then using that data to make more strategic decisions – typically around sales.
Clearly, mid-sized SMEs and their CEOs are keeping an eye on its magical properties. Approximately 73% of America’s small and midsize business CEOs plan to invest in business software or business applications, and 29.5% of leaders say that of all the new technologies currently out there, AI will have the most significant impact on their business. (Vistage)
| Supporting your AI advantage
As AI becomes more accessible, it will offer SMEs huge advantages. Getting the most out of AI requires dedicated skill and knowledge, and you have to ask if it will offer you a realistic ROI right now.
It helps reduce time spent on repetitive tasks, can lower costs in certain departments and improve flexibility and responsiveness. So, if you do use data, or think you’re going to rely on data in the future, here are three areas to consider:
Through AI-driven customer-relationship management systems (better known as CRMS) you can make more informed decisions around sales and marketing. Predictive analytics can help you place ads to get the right kind of audience or help sales teams determine which leads to focus on.
You can use a chatbot to answer visitor enquiries if they land on your website while you sleep, which is a very good thing. They’re the little guys that live on the bottom right-hand corner of the website and pop up to ask if you need any extra help. AI can help create scripts and reactive answers if you don’t yet have a dedicated customer service person.
As you grow, you’ll find yourself dealing with more of your team, and therefore more human resources and employee relations issues. You can use AI to do everything from streamlining recruitment and on-boarding processes to rolling out staff surveys, performance reviews, and outlining benefits and company policies.
| Your AI future
Still not sure? Consider taking a digital audit – this will open up any gaps or areas where you can benefit. A digital audit is a personalised and thorough report designed to help your business use digital technology to meet strategic goals to enhance the customer acquisition process. It may reveal some exciting ways to incorporate AI into your business.
Sure, AI is still in its infancy, and we’re only just beginning to understand its true potential – from accounting service applications to tracking social media campaigns, but anything that can save you time and money is worth exploring. Keep on top of the technology, understand how it’s affecting your industry and whether competitors and peers are gaining any advantages.
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