The concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has existed for some time. Government organizations and large corporations have been experimenting with this technology for decades.
The results have led to all sorts of solutions that make the world smarter and more efficient. However, the massive AI implementation in the small business sector is still relatively new.
For entrepreneurs who do not specialize in machine learning and Big Data analysis, the way to incorporate it into everyday business practices can certainly be overwhelming.
Yet ignoring the trend of AI is simply not an option for new or experienced entrepreneurs. Moreover, the skeptical state of mind and the general resistance many of them have long been subjected to have been abandoned.
Here are three attitudes that entrepreneurs must have about AI if they want to use it to improve their day-to-day operations:
1. AI can be used to improve the performance of employees.
Using AI to improve the customer journey is the concept that has gotten most of the media coverage so far. However, one of the most important things to remember about business is that providing a stellar customer experience starts from inside.
So, if your employees are not able to do their job effectively, will inevitably spill out. When you do your research on AI, a good frame of mind will turn around the question, “How can this be used to enhance the employee experience?”
Fortunately, many AI tools exist and can be game changers both to predict and improve employee performance. Some of them can even be applied before a new employee is recruited.
For example, during the hiring process, AI resources can be used to evaluate candidates with specialized assessments, to assess key skills, organization and more. From there, machine learning capabilities rely on a number of publicly available, company-specific data sets to predict how a particular employee might work at work.
In terms of using Artificial Intelligence to improve employee performance, there are a number of tools you can use to track each person’s performance metrics and compare them to your overall ROI. From there, the AI tools are equipped to identify the models that determine the average performance of a certain department and the traits of the best performers, and, of course, the sources of weak points.
These detailed overviews can then be used to create “golden standard” that employees must be kept. This may include time management, e-mail habits, multitasking approaches and other factors. In addition, these clear standards of achievement can essentially eliminate prejudices in the workplace.
According to an Accenture study, companies that successfully apply AI could increase productivity (and profitability) by up to 40%. Adopting the mentality that AI is a powerful tool for improving employee performance is one of the best things you can do for long-term growth.
2. Investment on AI can eliminate many monotonous and time-consuming tasks
One of the biggest fears of employees about AI is that it will end up taking a lot of jobs under human control. While it certainly cannot be denied, AI can also save the lives of new entrepreneurs looking to start their startups.
In summary, AI can automate many everyday tasks that in previous decades required a contractor to: a) work endless hours; or, b) increase overhead costs by hiring an employee on a restricted budget.
To put things in perspective, sales forecasting is one of AI’s most crucial roles in the current business landscape. Many of these tools rely on a broad range of data sets to predict demand peaks, identify models that could lead to declines, and create a reliable pipeline.
The ability to eliminate a lot of the steps needed to build a social presence is is essential nowadays. Manual search for social media trends and perspectives is a task that requires 24-hour attention.
But it’s no longer necessary because AI tools like Hootsuite and Brandwatch let you keep an eye on your company name, your competitors, and certain keywords on the main platforms. From there, you can identify templates that give you an idea of what topics to post, when to publish, key information to include, and more.
Takeaway: Sales forecasting and social media monitoring are just two of the cumbersome tasks that AI can streamline. Simplicity and Simplicity: If you want to “face the future” in your business, you need to look for ways to automate tedious work. This is a state of mind that many large companies (Amazon in particular) have fully embraced.
3. AI can be used to provide granular information about customer service
Customer service is one of the last frontiers of AI. In addition, this is one of the most skeptical areas of technology use. Opponents point to the mindset that customer service is purely an interpersonal entity and should remain so.
Now, if you are firmly behind this ideology, more power for you. However, it is important that at least be informed about how the AI can be used in this area. If you are not familiar with chatbots for example, you should consider what they can do and how they can help your business.
Due to the fact that they are powered by a machine, robots can be used to provide 24/7 instant customer service, and this is only the tip of the spear in terms of chatbots’ abilities. Many of these applications use machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to measure client requests and identify common threads.
For example, if you use a tool like ManyChat or Chatfuel , you can get detailed demographics of people who interact with your chatbots, the common phraseology they use, and the solutions that answer their questions.
The best part of chatbots powered by AI is that each customer interaction granular previews that can be used to enhance the next. In other words, chatbots are constantly working to improve the accuracy of your customer service.
At a deeper level, these robots can be programmed to go beyond the level of the FAQ. They can be used to make upsells and cross sells at the most opportune moments of a conversation.
For example, suppose you run a SaaS company for project management. If someone invites you to chat to ask about the file storage feature, you can insert an upsell for an upgrade that offers more space and versatility.
The take Away: long shot. However, approaching this function with the mindset that AI robots could handle the routine demands of your business could do wonders in terms of faster support and free up time for customer service representatives to resolve bigger problems.
Adopting an AI-friendly mindset for business operations is a bit more complex than a quick change of attitude. Knowing where and how to invest in AI is a task that requires a lot of research and critical analysis of the structure of your business.
From a general perspective, however, you should consider AI as part of the view that your business is a constant work in progress. Yesterday’s successes and failures must have a strong influence on what you do today and tomorrow. In a nutshell, the future is what AI is all about.