How Small Businesses Can Integrate AI Tools And Empower Their Team

By Tyler Bray, CEO, Owner and Founder of The Trailer Parts Outlet.

Your designers and copywriters might be sweating for their future job security now that AI tools have made great strides in their quality and availability.

As entrepreneurs, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and not ignore emerging technologies that can give us a competitive edge. At the same time, we must prioritize the care of our people. Here are my thoughts on how to integrate AI into your small business in a responsible way.

Balancing AI with human interaction

Let’s start with the basic facts. AI is still new. Even the best work we’ve seen with these tools now is nothing compared to what it will be capable of in the coming years. AI tools come from a vast body of human-created written and designed work that is much broader than even the most talented and educated person could ever hope to consume and study.

AI also works faster than people and doesn’t require health insurance. Now let’s balance all these points with the most important truth: your customers are people, not computers. And people like to deal with other people.

I think that no matter how good AI is, there’s not going to be one tool that allows you to push a button and do all your marketing. If you try this route, you may end up with a website full of inaccurate information with graphics that may seem acceptable at times, but disturbing and misleading in other contexts.

In other words, text or layout generators are unlikely to make common sense. If bots can’t click a button that verifies they’re not bots, how can they make people feel heard, welcomed, understood, and confident in their purchasing choice?

My driving value as an entrepreneur has been empathy since the day I started my business. Empathy has turned angry customers into long-time supporters of my business. I don’t trust a chatbot to negotiate an emotional challenge of this nature. I believe that an angry customer will log out and write a bad review for my business the moment it becomes clear that they are dealing with a robot, not a person.

Leveraging AI to support and empower your team

However, I believe AI tools can support the talented people I have hired. I want my people to learn everything these tools are capable of. This doesn’t necessarily mean hosting big conferences, but encouraging your people to play with the programs.

After all, AI work, if usable, must be reviewed for quality. No one is more qualified to review or edit AI-generated work than people who have been writing and designing on behalf of companies throughout their careers. Keep your lines of communication open with marketing, customer service, and anyone using AI. In my experience, when new technology emerges, we learn to use it together as a team.

Social media

A great place AI can support your marketing team is on social media. While you’ll need a human to monitor the styles, trends, and evolutions of your favorite content, AI can probably help generate captions or simulate simple layouts that can serve as a first draft. Small businesses often feel like they don’t have enough hands on deck, so if AI can alleviate that, that’s a good thing.

Customer service

For another example, AI customer support can give you a better night desk. You may not have the budget to answer people after hours, but new AI tools can be a huge improvement on your current chatbot. However, I recommend that you do this with careful monitoring and extreme caution, as dealing with people is an art, not a science.

Identification of opportunities for efficiency and automation

After letting your team learn about the AI ​​tools for a while, ask them if they’re really making their lives easier. Then let the AI ​​take care of anything that could be interpreted as busy work.

After all, you’re paying people for their time, and that alone should show you how valuable it is. Trust your people to tell you which jobs are best handled by the programs. Personally, I see data entry and organization as one of AI’s strongest and most actionable offerings. However, it is still up to entrepreneurs and business leaders to see this data visualized and make policy decisions based on it.

Finally, we cannot fully know what the future of digital work will look like because we do not know how far these tools will develop. You may need to prepare for real-life conversations with employees who want to cross-train or develop new skills to prepare for the future.

Take these concerns seriously. It shows that you have team members who are in it for the long haul. Encourage their interests and talents. It will likely yield results far greater than the sum of your investment.

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Small businesses are often limited in their resources and capabilities, which can make it difficult to compete with larger competitors. However, with the right use of technology, small businesses can still remain competitive and successful. One technology that is becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI provides the ability to automate processes, make data-driven decisions, save time and money, and create new solutions that weren’t possible before. For small businesses, AI can be incredibly helpful in creating the competitive edge that is needed to thrive—but how can it be implemented?

The key to integrating AI tools and empowering small businesses is to start simple and take steps that are easily achievable. There are a number of AI solutions available, from voice recognition software to real-time customer insights tools. Small businesses should consider the data they collect and the tasks they commonly undertake. For example, if you have numerous customer inquiries, AI could be useful in managing customer service inquiries, allowing your team to focus on larger tasks while the AI handles basic inquiries.

It may seem daunting to integrate AI into your operations, but if done correctly it can revolutionise the way your business functions. At Ikaroa, we provide a holistic software platform that enables small businesses to build custom AI applications quickly and easily. Our powerful yet intuitive technology combines artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and data visualisation so that businesses can create and deploy custom AI experiences that can help optimize workflows, improve customer service, and automate complex tasks – all with no coding required.

Using AI solutions to empower and enable small businesses opens up doors that weren’t available in the past. With AI, small businesses can identify opportunities for growth, automate laborious and mundane tasks, and provide more personalised customer experiences. Furthermore, AI assists with data-driven decisions and reduces the risk of human errors, resulting in better decision-making and improved efficiency.

The world of AI is rapidly evolving, meaning that there is plenty of opportunity for small companies to benefit from AI. However, the key is to find the solutions that make sense for your business and start integrating slowly, building up to more complex applications over time. With the right AI tools available, small businesses can stay ahead of their competition and succeed in the long-term.


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