Investments in AI and machine learning technologies have been increasing over the years. Last year investments in AI startups rose by 21% is expected to rise further still in 2019. Reports indicated that the funding for American AI startups and companies alone reached nearly $2.3 billion. These technologies, however, have only been accessible by large companies with millions of dollars of investments. However, as these technologies become more mainstream, smaller businesses and enterprises have also been able to invest in such systems. At the same time, it is important for SMEs to not get carried away with the hype generated around AI and ML-based technologies. However, some of the ways in which they can adequately benefit from these systems and technologies include;
Automating Business Processes
Small businesses have limited resources that they can spend. There is a restraint on how much human capital they can hire to conduct their procedures. Machine learning has proved to be a useful technology for businesses like these and has managed to automate repetitive and monotonous tasks, that would otherwise take hundreds of labor hours. Other tools have allowed SMEs to interact with customers more effectively and gain useful insights from their data. The development of customer service chatbots is now serving different purposes. The foremost is to answer customer queries within mere seconds. It can also gather data from multiple customer interactions and use that to gather actionable marketing and sales ideas, enabling them to provide value-based services. Similarly, another process that has been automated through ML includes fraud detection in real time that has enabled companies to fulfill Know Your Customer or KYC compliance requirements appropriately.
Rapid Decision-Making Process
Most businesses have to deal with a sufficient amount of customer data that has to be processed capably and with swiftness. Fortunately, ML algorithms have made the processing of data remarkably easier for smaller companies, that do not have the time and resources to do it manually. ML algorithms essentially process data and are able to learn from their past experiences. These systems have enabled businesses to gather valuable observations from customer data and detect unusual patterns in no time at all. This has allowed for a faster, yet more efficient decision-making process.
Providing Value-Based Services
One of the most valuable advantages of ML is that it has driven businesses to provide value to their customers. In this regard, machine learning systems increased the speed with which SMEs are able to provide services and support to customers. They have also enabled the adherence to regulations and rules for companies. Also, never have businesses been able to provide more customized products and services, as ML systems have provided them with valuable marketing insights.
ML has enabled enterprises to process a wide variety and volume of customer data through advanced analytical platforms. Businesses are now able to deal with hordes of customer queries and complaints within a day, without causing any lag in services. Most importantly, it has enabled the delivery of products and services centered around customer needs and requirements.
Machine learning, despite all the benefit it offers, cannot replace human intelligence. While small businesses are supposed to provide more jobs for humans, there is a widespread misconception that AI tools will soon displace jobs. While this may be true for repetitive tasks like accounting, bookkeeping and data entry, businesses still require cognitive and creative skills to make decisions and come up with solutions that require human genius rather than artificial intelligence. It can, however, make processes more efficient and work in tandem with managers and teams to assist them in making more informed decisions.