How AI is revolutionizing growth for small businesses

How AI is revolutionizing growth for small businesses

Since the invention of the internet – and for that matter, cell phones – we have not witnessed a technological innovation so pervasive as AI. Artificial Intelligence is changing the way we live our lives and how businesses operate and interact with their customers. For small businesses who have leaner resources, AI represents a significant shift in the ability to compete on a larger scale.

Couple this with AI’s ability to use first-party data to create a more accurate picture of a customer’s needs, AI is redefining the parameters of customer experience. However, with AI products and tools popping up at every turn, it’s important to not only understand how AI is reshaping the landscape of growth, but how small businesses are managing this change.

There is no doubt we are in the transformative age of AI – so what should small businesses be thinking of as they plan for AI integration?

Identifying key customers for enhancing customer loyalty

The profound impact of AI tools on small businesses is most evident in the realm of online storefronts, where personalized customer experiences are crucial. Traditionally, smaller businesses have struggled with providing tailored experiences akin to those offered by large retailers.

Historically, only large retailers possessed the resources to analyze buying patterns and preferences of their most loyal customers. Without being able to identify these “VIPs” and tailor their experience, small businesses were missing out on the extreme revenue potential of this group.

For businesses lacking a VIP engagement strategy, AI-driven tools present a compelling solution. Integrating AI into CRM systems enables companies to identify VIP customers more effectively than ever before. AI algorithms can discern patterns and behaviors indicative of VIP status, facilitating the creation of personalized experiences. Research indicates that cultivating relationships with VIP customers not only fosters revenue growth but also enhances profitability in the long run.

Josh Kim

Founder and Co-CEO, Channel Talk.

Personalizing assistance with chatbots

AI-powered chatbots are becoming more common for businesses seeking to improve their customer service abilities and standards. More often than not, customer questions and comments are repeatable and relatively easy to solve. By automating generic interactions (like finding an order status or initiating a return), businesses can reduce their operational costs while still promoting a very personalized experience. Chatbots use the customers’ information, past engagement, and purchase history to instantaneously craft responses that are relevant at the time of need. Therefore, resources can eliminate the time spent on redundant tasks and focus on more complex customer inquiries.

Further, AI chatbots can amplify the customer experience by acting as a virtual concierge. Similar to how a hotel concierge would assist guests in fulfilling their travel needs, AI chatbots act similarly by using preferences and past interactions to offer personalized recommendations for products or services. It can facilitate the purchasing or returning processes, sparing the customer from having to navigate it independently. It can also quickly retrieve relevant information and resolve issues in real-time.

Moreover, it does this all while speaking to users in natural language conversations, offering a friendly and seamless experience.

It’s important to keep in mind that AI chatbots are not intended to completely displace the need for human-to-human interaction, but to allow a stronger focus on delivering exceptional service where it matters most.

Improving workflow

Beyond customer engagement, AI is also reshaping internal operations. Workflow automation no longer requires long hours of manual data entry. AI could automatically input data from various sources into the best CRM for small business, ensuring accuracy and consistency due to the loss of human error.

AI algorithms can also augment team management by automatically assigning tasks to sales and support staff based on predefined criteria. Automated follow-up reminders can be triggered to ensure that no customer inquiries fall through the cracks.

AI-driven CRM systems can generate reports and analytics, delving into key performance metrics such as customer satisfaction and marketing ROI. This helps make data-driven decisions much easier and faster to action.

Unlock success with AI

AI technology represents a beacon of opportunity for small businesses, offering unprecedented opportunities for advancement and the ability to compete on a much larger scale. By embracing solutions across various facets of their operations, small businesses can enhance customer loyalty, streamline processes, and offer exceptional service. As AI continues to evolve and mature, the future of small business looks brighter than ever before.

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This article was produced as part of TechRadarPro’s Expert Insights channel where we feature the best and brightest minds in the technology industry today. The views expressed here are those of the author and are not necessarily those of TechRadarPro or Future plc. If you are interested in contributing find out more here: https://www.techradar.com/news/submit-your-story-to-techradar-pro

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