Nobody loves to work, and that’s a fact. Of course, in the beginning, the strong flow of enthusiasm can give you the strength to start your own business in your own sweat and blood, but once it has been established the only thing that enthusiasm wants to do now is to sink into a nice comfy chair and let others take over.
That’s why already in the 1930s people have been searching for ways to hand off all the ‛heavy lifting’ to the machines, although those ‛labour-saving devices’ as referred to in advertisers from that time were merely infants – electric kettles and toasters – compared to their heirs in this modern age.
People have been dreaming for centuries about a utopia in which machines would free us from the shackles of labour (of course, any man in the right mind knows that labor is something we need to be freed from) and today their prayers have finally been fulfilled in the form of artificial intelligence that can allow us to develop our creative side again.
This might sound like a cheesy sci-fi movie (and maybe a pretty intimidating one) but it has been already proven that AI is very effective when it comes to performing automative repetitive tasks – in other words, those boring ones that you need to spend countless hours every week on as a small business owner.
Okay, maybe you’re ready to give a chance to those ‛robots’ so you can get more free time on your hands in order to boost that creativity of yours that’s been locked away inside the depths of your soul with the key thrown away. You’ll be able to build more personal relationships with your customers, while smart recruiting software will efficiently filter all the job applications and employ only the promising talents.
It sounds like a dream come true, but what if those machines get tired of repetitive tasks and one day decide to take over? Isn’t it the fact that the machines can learn and that those tech giants, Amazon and Google, have created enormous machine learning platforms and libraries? Of course, it is, that’s why its called artificial intelligence – every experienced IT Company professional knows that the point is to let them take over more complicated tasks since they surely don’t have any ambitions of becoming the head of a corporation.
One thing is certain – they do require training which involves the vast volumes of not-so-cheap data and that is the reason why small companies are usually reluctant to integrate AI into the workflow of their business. But people tend to overblow things. Today turning your business into an ass-kickin’ data-driven company is quite easy, so it’s time to get rid of robot domination scenarios in your head and take a look at the benefits the future has to offer.
Your own personal spies
Let’s not kid ourselves, the process of getting the valuable feedback data form our customers can plainly be called – spying. We’re stalking their phones, emails, and social media profiles in the never-ending search for a valuable piece of feedback information. If you every watched spy movies, those realistic ones, of course, you know what that process brings – body fat around the belly, swollen red eyes and a coffee overdose. You pray to god that your shift will be over before the next pack of doughnuts arrives.
Well, with CRM systems today there is no need for this torture – they are designed to compile all this customer information from more channels than you can even handle. Besides the fact that they’ll perform the job easily, the will also do it more quickly – they’ll provide you with the integrated environment in no time so your sales forces will be able to manage interactions with prospective consumers as if they have a hidden crystal ball inside their desks. Just think about what that does to your marketing when you have all the information at your disposal – a full automated bliss.
The most popular CRM platform called the Salesforce has launched it’s precious Einstein AI which definitely deserves its pretentious name. This baby is perfect for small businesses – it analyzes the sentiments of your consumers from customer reviews, social media posts, recorded phone conversations, and emails, immediately evaluate customer feedback and adjust marketing activities according to the results. With all this consumer data insight your salespersons will know their customers like the back of their hand, turning personalized marketing campaigns into child’s play. And all this without a single doughnut.
They know what the competition did last summer
No, this paraphrase of a famous horror franchise title doesn’t indicate any bloodshed, although this subject might be a little spooky for your competition. But with those larger companies producing hundred updates and gigabytes of content each day the only way to keep track of their strategies is to have your own artificial stalker. Keep your competitors close, or in this case their data if you want to be able to react to market trends in time and stay on the saddle.
Your stalker’s name is Crayon and he’s an AI-powred tool for competitive analysis which can easily track down any competition through various channels and report back with all subtle modifications in messaging and other PR activities, along with price changes. If you didn’t get it yet, this means that you’ll be aware of all of your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, and product gaps.
The man behind the machine
Yes, that’s you. We got the sense that you’ve become a little concerned with all that spying and that an idea of machines taking over the business is still somewhere at the back of your head. But don’t worry, cause you’re still the boss. People need to put a face to the service or a product behind the brand, and that face is still human.
Everybody knows that the customers’ satisfaction is achieved mainly through the customer service and support, and every customer requires unique support experience. The artificial intelligence is not that intelligent yet, but it can get rid of repetitive tasks so you could tend to the unique needs of your customers. AI can provide you with a Digital Genius, and genius it is – this application is a secretary of your dreams (the ‛naughty’ part not included) – it classifies messages and tickets and immediately routes them to the team that is most suitable to handle them.
For those boring repetitive questions, there are always suggested or automated answers which leave enough time to deal with issues which require human engagement properly. As you can see, the AI is built by the humans for the humans, with one ultimate goal – to improve both, customer and employee satisfaction.
Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).