In advance of the Applied AI Summit in Houston this November 29 - 30, we're taking a look a how different businesses can benefit from AI in their workplace. How can you use AI to help decrease employees workloads whilst making the company run more efficiently with better results? We're taking a look at chatbots, customer journey, HR, sales & marketing and more. Where should you be using AI?

The recent advancements in artificial intelligence only highlight its profound applications cutting across every industry. AI is transforming the way enterprises are operating their businesses. AI and machine learning are providing tools to organizations that can significantly improve efficiency, productivity, and management. The fact is large companies are not the only ones tapping the potential of AI, it can also disrupt small business in a big way. According to a report, the AI market was valued $1.36 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a rate of 52% from 2017 to 2025.

Today’s tech giants like Google and Amazon are relentlessly working toward making AI more effective and inclusive. At the core of AI are powerful algorithms and innumerable data points gathered through massive databases, online footprints, and web cookies. Machines powered by AI can perform various tasks, such as recognizing patterns, synthesizing information, drawing conclusion, and forecasting. Since AI solutions are becoming more ubiquitous, small businesses need to focus on their implications – that is, what benefits can it bring to their organizations? Moreover, the daily advances in AI research are making it more cost-effective and feasible.

Here are 5 key areas where small businesses can immensely benefit from AI:

1. Chatbots for Customer Journey and UX

Chatbots are increasingly becoming effective tools that can assist small businesses in terms dispensing better customer service and consumer support. AI-powered chatbots can instantly reply to customers based on previous complaints and provide useful solutions to their problems.

Businesses can create their own dedicated chatbot program just like Facebook Messenger. All they need to do is predict what kinds of things customers are going to ask about and then develop script for the bot to assist them. In view of this, Facebook has just made it easier for small businesses to deploy their own chatbots over the Facebook Messenger platform.

The successful deployment of chatbots also depends upon a reliable webhosting so that the interaction is seamless and productive. In addition to being virtual customer representatives, chatbots can also help small businesses mine data from customers. With each interaction, chatbots are able to learn and retain information, which will be useful for a similar situation in the future.

2. Market Research

Market research is a critical area that needs data to be broken down into useful insights and usable graphs, which result into accurate, consistent, and timely information. Thus artificial intelligence can enable market researchers to process data so that efficient, effective, and enhanced results are achieved. AI can automatically create reports and cut down much of the time spent in traditional research environments. According to Gartner, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions in retail will be managed by AI. So in terms of market research, AI can reduce time and efforts spent on carrying out studies. AI-based market research tools let researchers choose from pre-designed models. With a lightening speed, they can select the right kind of survey questions and identify ideal respondents.

In terms of effectiveness, small businesses can successfully use AI-managed interactive surveys that can change based on how the respondent answers. As AI systems are designed to keep improving their performance, businesses can expect AI to become more sophisticated, to move faster and analyze in greater depth.

3. Training

Small businesses can implement AI based systems that can play a vital role in training and coaching of the workforce, and help improve forecasting. The hallmark of a successful training program is its ability to respond to its individual needs. Each person has a different learning style, and an adaptive program would be able to adjust a training program to those learning styles. So using AI-powered tools in this scenario could convert a segment of written coursework into visuals to understand better.

The training programs should be updated with regards to the nature of industry. An A.I. program could feasibly handle this by gathering information about employee engagement or failure points within the program. It can also automatically test new variations to try and solve the problem on its own. The effectiveness of an AI-based corporate training is its ability to achieve a measurable return for the business. It does so by evaluating how employees are learning and what impact will it have on their future ability to work. Furthermore, tests and quizzes developed with AI will help trainees adapt themselves based on individual progressions and needs.

4. Sales and Marketing

As we discussed, AI can process huge amounts of data more quickly and effectively. Not just that, AI-powered tools can make decisions based on that data. So what’s in it for sales and marketing? Data is the bread and butter pf sales teams and AI is perfect for them to make sense of it. Sales is all about developing a personal rapport with customers and AI can power those personal connections by feeding the information needed for a cordial conversation. With AI, small businesses can predict how similar leads have acted earlier by tapping into big data.

Marketing needs a significant amount of budget and its management needs a deep domain expertise. In light of that, small businesses can use budget-friendly AI solutions for managing marketing operations across multiple channels. Using AI-powered algorithms that analyze customer engagements, small businesses can find SEO and dramatically reduce their budget. AI-powered marketing strategies can help small businesses disseminate personalized content in the form of blog articles, case studies, white papers, e-books, videos, etc. Thus, marketing engagement platform powered by AI technologies equips marketers with data-driven intelligence that aligns sales and marketing.

5. HR Automation

HR department is the new meeting place for human and machine-based intelligence. This synergy is impacting in a big way on daily recruiting, assessment, onboarding, and management practices in small businesses. In addition to that, AI in the HR automation can reduce human bias, increase efficiency in candidate assessment, improve relationships with employees, and improve compliance. AI technology narrows down candidates based on experience and relevance, giving businesses skill assessment opportunity, aptitude measurement, and personality qualities. Talent acquisition is one of the key responsibilities of HR departments and AI promises to streamline this process by relying more on the analytical processing huge amounts of data instead of on individual observations.

Final Thoughts

The boom in artificial intelligence has made way for small businesses to grab the opportunity and implement AI strategies in certain critical areas. Rather than splurging huge sum of money on marketing strategies, small and medium companies can use AI tools with easy-to-use interfaces to make most of the big data.