A.I. can sound scary, or it can seem like it’s only something large companies can afford to use. Thankfully, it can be for your small business as well. Artificial intelligence is becoming the answer to everything, but it can be a powerful tool if you know how–and when–you use it. We’d like to share the story of Cary and how the use of A.I. solutions helped his business.
Thinking about making changes to your business? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.
What Is A.I.?
In simple terms, artificial intelligence uses the power of computers to recognize patterns in data that might not be obvious or discernable to the naked eye. By quickly spotting patterns that correlate to desired outcomes, A.I. can help optimize our efforts by telling us where to put our resources. For example, a program like this can tell us what content drives more people to click or buy on our websites. However, it is important to realize that A.I. is driven by mathematics, not by compassion. It’s important to make sure your A.I.–optimized message is what you want your brand to be. The program and the intention might not be the same thing.
How Cary Uses A.I.
Help improve HR functions and HR automation
Cary runs a large events and catering business. His temporary and full-time employees manage the company’s training, reviews, and payroll. Most of his staff works hourly, and turnover is high, just by the nature that this is second job for most of his staff. We worked with him to identify 3 areas where HR automation made sense.
- Hiring – While it may seem a bit odd to have a bot interview and screen people, it’s not a crazy as it seems if you are using it for simple entry-level jobs. Tools like Entelo can help you to find which behaviors correlate to strong job performance. Armed with that data, you can more effectively screen candidate so you can spend more time interviewing the best candidates instead of scouring of hundreds of resumes that would never make the cut.
- Turnover risk – there are a number of products that conduct automated engagement surveys. We used Qualtrics, but Hyphen is good as well. By taking these regular pulse checks, Cary could see which parts of the organization were less engaged and therefore higher turnover risk.
In all honesty, A.I. is further along in B2Cs than B2B small businesses. A.I. is also more powerful in categories with higher concentration (few players, large market shares) than fragmented (many players, low market shares). In concentrated categories, there is more data on each company, making the correlations more obvious and powerful.
Cary used tools like Crayon to monitor his competitors across multiple channels: their websites, social media and mobile apps. This monitoring provides valuable insights into our competitors’ strategies by flagging changes in price, product mix, and messaging. These insights can help you build effective strategies by leveraging the right target(s) where he had a competitive advantage. He also used Brandwatch to help provide insights into his consumer segmentation. He also used AI to help with messaging and targeting as discussed above.
The most valuable tool for Cary was automating his small details. He used Marketo, which allowed him to launch your pre-planned digital ads, social media posts, and email and mobile notifications so that they reach the right targets at the right time and continuously nurture a relationship with customers.
Improving customer service
One of the more effective ways that Cary’s small business used A.I. was in customer service. By leveraging past behavior, he was able to serve up the product and services that his customers were most likely to want based on what they searched or purchased in the past. As well as helping through optimized offerings, he used chatbots to engage his customers with the FAQs. This provided immediate feedback rather than wait for an e-mail or voice mail. While chatbots don’t replace people, and their overuse can have negative impact on customer perception, they are most useful when they can quickly guide customers to the information that they need.
How A.I. Helped Cary's Small Business
A.I. helped Cary’s small business in three many ways. First, it helped him reduce the time he and his team spent screening resumes by 45%. He was able to recruit new candidates many weeks faster than before A.I. was used. Second, he was also able to reduce turn-over rate by 20%. Second marketing automation helped him do more with his current staff, saving himself the cost of a marketing intern. Finally, customer service was able to connect with potential customers to direct them through his website.