The term artificial intelligence (AI) still feels very futuristic. It feels like it is so state of the art and cutting edge that it is completely out of the grasp of a startup or small business. However, we already have AI operating in our day-to-day lives and sometimes so subtly we don’t even realise it. While it still might feel like it is technology better suited for large scale business, it is in fact having the most impact on smaller startups to help them efficiently and quickly scale up as they grow.
We could say that the most significant shift in 2019 was seeing a bigger slice of the enterprise market begin to understand the possibilities that AI could bring to their business and how it will be a necessity moving forward in order to be competitive.
So, here are our top 5 suggestions on how you could use AI to scale up your business:
1. Customer Experience
Quick service and quick responses are paramount to customers. In a world where we are able to get something at a click of a button we have become less patient. We have come to expect 24 hr service. AI could help you become more responsive to online queries by customers. It is estimated that by 2020, over 80 percent of customer support will be handled by bots. Showing that the future is now!
Chatbots are cheap to install on your social media and website and allow you to provide a quick response to customer queries. But they also house a great deal of information such as common customer issues and customer preferences. You can also use them to offer customised offers and discounts based on consumer behaviour. Bots improve over time which means that they learn and therefore the customer experience improves also. Try having your chatbots at certain points in your sales funnel to improve your conversion.
How to add Chatbot to my website?
Most of the website platforms provide a free chatbots ("snippets") that you could add to your website in less than 5 minutes.
2. Use AI analysis to make decisions
AI provides accurate customer behaviour data. It can provide real time market trends and can give you the tools to make quick decisions. This can make you more agile, and for a startup could help drive your thinking without wasting unnecessary resources.
This data can also help you with business forecasting. As a startup you don’t have historical data to rely on to help you predict the future, however, data from your AI can provide you with enough data that you can make decisions and plan for the future.
What could I do with AI decision making tools?
AI decision making tools could be used to quickly make decisions about many different and often complex matters such as:
- Decide if an action should be taken or not
- Which next process step the employee or client has to take
- Select an employee or client for a specific task
- Select a product for specific action
- Root cause analyses, etc....the options are endless.
3. You could use AI to automate Marketing
Marketing can often be costly and as a startup you may not have the budget or time needed to successfully market your business. You can use AI tools to automate much of your digital marketing such as content generation, managing your digital campaign and re-targeting customers who have visited your website. You can even use it to automate and optimise email marketing campaigns.
What are the benefits of AI-based Marketing tools?
The benefits include: automation and improvements in engaging customers, lead nurturing, capturing information, customer retention, etc.
4. Use AI to hire the right people with the right mix of skills
In a startup you can’t afford to get the hiring process wrong. The wrong people in your business can have a lasting damaging result. You can use AI tools to help you do automated screening to filter out the best candidates. Often the best candidates are lost in the crowd but you can leverage proven performance data to identify candidates that have the right mix of skills that are essential for your business.
5. Data security is critical for a startup business
The predictive power of artificial intelligence is already reality and it has massive implications on how companies use data to predict and protect their clients. Data security is critical for business, and in fact you can now face hefty fines if you have breaches of customer data. So having a plan in place early to protect your data is critical for a startup. AI tools can even process the past data and predict an attack before it takes place!
How to find the right AI tools to help prevent data breaches?
AI and machine learning together can do a phenomenal job to prevent data breaches. Here are a few tools to explore: IBM QRadar Advisor, Sophos' Intercept X tool, Symantec's TAA tool, Vectra's Cognito, etc.
So if you are a startup think about how AI tools can help your business and how you can leverage this sophisticated but cost effective technology to help you scale efficiently and seamlessly.
Have you noticed our #FridayExpertTips... here's one that relates to #Technology
"Being a Tech Startup Founder usually means an exciting world of innovation and creativity. While it's great to do something you love, you need to make a living of it. Working with an Accountant that understands the Tech sector is a great way to master proof your growth plans.