Many Australian business owners are yet to invest in artificial intelligence technology (AI). This is likely because the technology is perceived to be too complex, expensive and confusing. However, while the technology itself is advanced, most of the AI applications designed for small businesses are simple to use, cost effective, and more efficient than manual processes. Here’s how to turn AI into your business’s trump card.
If you don’t have an assistant, why not use an AI-assisted virtual one? Similar to Siri, Google Now, and Echo, this software has been designed specifically to help small business owners manage their day-to-day administration.
For example, Fin — using a combination of machine and human intelligence — is on the end of the phone 24/7 to help you find answers, send emails and texts, book meetings and travel, and even make purchases using the company credit card. Or, if you’re just after some educated business advice, BRiN is an AI-powered business advisor and coach.
Sales and marketing
Getting your name out there is crucial when you’re running a small business, but the time and resources needed to do it effectively aren’t always there. By using AI, you can boost your sales and marketing efforts without having to employ more staff.
AI-enabled chatbots, such as Chatfuel or Botsify, are easily added to your website to engage customers in conversation, answer questions, and direct them to products or services. But that’s not all – there is a range of AI-powered tools available to support your small business’s marketing. Acquisio, for example, analyses ad performance and suggests the best allocation of budget, while Crayon can help you track your competitors.
Customer relationship management
Customer relationship management (CRM) is critical to small business success. If you fail to make every interaction you have with your customers a great one, they’ll likely go elsewhere. Thanks to AI, making this a priority is a lot more achievable. There are plenty of AI-powered CRM platforms on the market for you to choose from.
One example is Einstein AI by Salesforce, which takes all of your existing customer data, interprets it, and turns it into actionable insights. It can pinpoint exactly what customers want, when they want it, as well as which leads to follow up on. You can then use this data to help inform your sales and marketing strategy.
Not everyone has a head for figures, but machines do. So, let them crunch the numbers for you. Online accounting tools, such as QuickBooks Online, use AI capabilities to alleviate your workload by limiting repetitive tasks, and can help you make smarter financial decisions. For example, the software uses machine learning to recognise and categorise transactions in your bank feeds for you, improving its performance each time.
And that’s not all – other exciting AI features are on the horizon, including QuickBooks Assistant (available in x), a chatbot that answers all your finance-related questions. AI helps to solve a lot of the day-to-day challenges encountered when running a small business. It enables you to work better, smarter, and more efficiently in so many ways – and is now more accessible than ever.