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AI For Small Business is Here — Get Ready With These Tips 

A small business owner uses technology and AI to prepare her inventory of boxes all around her in her office home.
Preparing your business for AI doesn’t have to be difficult, here are a few tips to get you started. [Getty | simplehappyart]

Understanding how AI for small business can improve your operations and customer experience doesn’t have to be hard.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to redefine the tech world, poised to revolutionize small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) through optimizing operations and enhancing employee efficiency. Although originally explored by large enterprises, AI is now also transforming the way small businesses work. 

While it might seem daunting, getting started with AI for small business is actually much simpler than it seems. But what is it and why is there so much chatter around it? Let’s discuss why AI is taking the world by storm and how your SMB can begin exploring its potential. 

Let’s talk AI – Understanding what it is and why it’s important 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as decision-making, automation, and trivial tasks. But AI isn’t necessarily a new technology, yet its growth and applications have gained undeniable momentum in the past year. 

AI is quickly revamping the way businesses operate and is here to stay, so it shouldn’t be treated as “just a phase.” The earlier you start planning for it, the better positioned your company can be.

Some have gotten off on the wrong foot with AI and feel wary of its usage and personal impacts. But, it’s is not here to replace humans, instead, it is meant to accelerate the work of your employees and augment your customer experience. In fact, you might be surprised to see the ways AI is already present in your life. 

You may have noticed personalized recommendations on Netflix – a prime example of predictive AI. Or maybe you have tried asking ChatGPT a question — that’s generative AI at your service. AI makes everything internally more seamless and streamlined while also providing a connected and personalized experience for your customers. 

Build an AI strategy for your SMB 

Learn how AI can be incorporated into your every area of your business with this comprehensive guide. 

Set up for success with AI by prioritizing data and trust

There is currently a clear trust gap between customers and companies when it comes to AI. But just like with any technology, establishing policies and guidelines in advance is essential. If customers know that your SMB practices ethical usage and exercises transparency, they are more likely to trust AI within your company. Learn tactics and create a plan for building trust into your strategy with The Guide to AI for Small Businesses.

Since AI cannot exist without data, and AI’s success is dependent upon trust, cleaning and filtering data upfront should be the first step when beginning to explore AI functionality. The more refined your data is, the higher your small business’s chances are of having a successful AI integration. 

AI at work – Small business AI applications and use cases 

Introducing AI into your SMB might feel intimidating, but transforming your business doesn’t necessarily mean upending your operations. You can start small and still see significant results. Additionally, you can implement AI internally first so that your employees can adjust without impacting your customers. To determine where you could benefit the most from small business AI, analyze your departments’ tasks and processes to see if there is an opportunity for improvement. 

Here are some examples of small business AI in action, and be sure to check out the success stories from Trailblazers Wonolo and PaySauce in The Guide to AI for Small Businesses

Wonolo improves agent efficiency, confidence and consistency using AI-generated chat replies. As a result, the company has decreased average handle times by 20%.

PaySauce easily segments lists to send more targeted communication and builds out automations and journeys. Their open rate of newsletters has increased from 37% to 52%.

The ultimate customer experience is AI, data, and CRM

Meeting the needs of customers is always the goal for SMBs, but it is easier said than done. With the dream team of AI, data, and CRM, creating an experience that makes your customers feel known and prioritized becomes more attainable. 

AI-enabled CRM provides the best of both worlds by combining generative AI with your customer data to create an intelligent, 360 degree view of your customers – leaving both the customer and company happy.

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