Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way businesses operate in today’s world. In 2022, 35% of businesses worldwide used AI — a four percentage point increase from 2021. SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) are not immune to its impact. In fact, AI can be a powerful tool for SMEs to gain a competitive edge, increase efficiency, and drive growth.
In this article, we discuss 5 key areas where AI can be a major productive booster for your business.
Customer service and support
According to a report by Microsoft, 96% of consumers across the globe consider customer services vital when it comes to deciding whether to stay loyal to a business. From sentiment analysis to instant replies, and from data gathering to lead identification, Artificial intelligence is the key to revolutionizing customer support.
In fact, AI-powered chatbots enable real-time and consistent service by handling routine queries and providing customers with quick and accurate answers to their questions. They can also handle bigger volumes than human agents, which prevents operational bottlenecks and reduces waiting times for customers.
As a result, your business can save time and resources while providing a better customer experience.
Personalization matters more than ever before, especially if you want to stand out in an increasingly competitive e-commerce landscape. According to McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen.
Fortunately, AI can mine and read vast volumes of data, so you can access deeper insights to create more accurate and personalized customer journeys that offer tailored messages, targeted promotions, and product recommendations for users.
Personalization is especially effective at driving customer engagement and ultimately more sales and revenue.
Predictive analytics is another area where AI is having a significant impact on SMEs. By analyzing vast amounts of internal and external data, AI algorithms can forecast future trends, and identify risks and opportunities, which enables businesses to make data-driven decisions, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.
This kind of technology comes in very handy if your company is looking to lower costs but doesn’t know where to start. By analyzing data amounts of data, the real costs to serve become more visible, and instead of cutting costs at random, AI predictive analytics will offer insights to make strategic adjustments. As a matter, of fact, companies that can quantify gains from analyzing data report an average 8% increase in revenues and a 10% reduction in costs each year.
Your company’s marketing efforts are another that could profit from AI. In fact, AI is revolutionizing every aspect of digital marketing, as advanced algorithms are helping businesses analyze extremely detailed data on individuals, including real-time geolocation, to identify which leads are most likely to convert into customers and generate personalized marketing content based on their preferences.
When it comes to web marketing, AI can assist in upselling and cross-selling to reduce the likelihood that potential customers will abandon your shopping carts. It is also used in email marketing, as it can improve open rates by 5-10% through personalized send times, sending based on engagement to even content such as subject lines.
While AI can’t still run an entire marketing campaign or process, it’s already offering substantial benefits to marketers as its capabilities are rapidly growing.
Did you know that SMEs account for 43% of cyberattacks annually? According to Accenture’s Cybercrime study, on average, small businesses lose $25,000 due to cyberattacks.
Artificial intelligence can also be used to protect your company’s cybersecurity from attackers searching for loopholes in your IT infrastructure. Algorithms are trained using historical data to detect and prevent fraud. Through the analysis of patterns in financial transactions, AI can identify anomalies and alert businesses to potential risks, which can save your business money and safeguard it from reputational damage.
As you can see from the examples above, AI can provide SMEs with powerful tools to gain a competitive edge, increase efficiency, and drive growth. From customer service to marketing, AI is revolutionizing the way businesses operate. SMEs that embrace AI will be better positioned to succeed in the years to come.