How Can MSMEs Leverage AI for Increased Efficiency?
Are you looking to improve the efficiency of your business processes and make it cost effective? Do you know about the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Are you aware that AI can be used to automate your operations? What are the areas where AI can be implemented to enhance business processes? Read on to know more about the ways you can use AI to run your business with greater operational efficiency.
What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables computers/machines to perform tasks that otherwise require human intelligence. For example, AI deployed in a self-driving vehicle can recognise objects around the car and drive accordingly. Similarly, AI on an e-Commerce platform can suggest products based on previous purchases. The same technology is deployed on your mobile phone to recognise your face. Such intelligence in machines is achieved through computer programming languages like Python, Lisp, Java, etc. Machine learning and data science are subsets of AI.
How Can You Use AI in Your Business?
- For customer service: Chatbots use natural language processing (a subset of AI) to recognise words and respond to customers queries based on their programming. It is a highly efficient way to offer customer support on your website because it is error-free and available 24/7. A chatbot is usually used to solve customer doubts, increase customer retention, convert leads, and support internal teams with queries. All you need is a script for different scenarios the customer would call you for, and then feed it in a program that will answer customer requests.
- For cyber security: If you have an online business, you may need to store sensitive data like bank information, customer phone numbers, customer addresses, product information, etc. on online servers. AI tools and anti-virus software can help keep all your information safe online. You can get software professionals to install tools that can track suspicious activities and keep your data safe.
- For quality lead generation: On an average, only 10% of marketing qualified leads are eligible to be converted into sales qualified leads. This is because not all leads generated by marketing activities are potential customers. AI can help you generate quality leads. Online software programs can automate your digital marketing activities, bring lead scoring into the system, perform A/B testing for emails/messages and optimise social media ads for better results.
- For consumer research: You can use AI and content management tools to get information of the people who are interacting or interested in your business. AI-based tools can help you make a list of leads generated online and offline. The detailed list could help you identify the customers’ age, gender, the products purchased, the number of visits to your website/store, etc. The details can also include if a customer has clicked on your ad or liked and shared it online. You can then use this information to change your product to suit your customers’ needs or change your marketing strategy.
- For competitor analysis: With AI, you can keep track of what your competitors are doing. You can get details of new products listed, their price range, and the types of photographs uploaded. Instead of manually tracking each step that your competitors are taking, you can implement an AI tool and get all the details in a structured format such as graphs or Excel sheets.
What Are the Benefits of AI?
- Apart from getting information real time in a pre-defined output, digitisation, and business automation, AI helps in cost efficiency. Freeing up your employee’s time from monotonous and repetitive tasks to do other important duties will help you save money as well as nurture a more creative and motivated force. You can save costs on monitoring processes and instead use data analytics, forecasting and risk mitigation through AI.
- AI can help you keep your data secure and at the same time use it for many purposes. You can improve you daily operations, make more informed business decisions and learn about your customers.
- Customer service is another area where AI can deeply benefit. Chatbots can offer all day service to your customers, increase interaction quality and speed of response. Similarly, marketing algorithms can help you keep your existing customer base loyal and get new customers.
How Can You Start Using these AI Tools?
- Analyse your operations and processes before deploying any tool. Narrow down on processes where you need help the most.
- Assess each task and find out which task is most repetitive in nature. You can implement AI tool for that task and use your human resources for better jobs.
- Utilise the trial period offered by AI software tools to explore the software and see if it has the features you need.
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