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5 AI Tools for Small Businesses to Streamline Customer Service

Learn more about how AI tools and technology can help enhance your small business.

illustration of the “Generative AI symbol” and a symbol representing “customer service” with a bunch of checks sprinkled around
March 14, 2024
Chloe Mulliner
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Reading time about 8 min

Artificial intelligence (AI) transforms how we do business, from how we make decisions to how we interact with our customers. It allows us to mine and analyze data quickly, gather insights about our customers’ sentiments toward our businesses, and even problem-solve without human intervention. This technology is also helping businesses save time and money while reducing inefficiencies and improving their customer service experience.

Yes, AI-powered tools benefit, but how do you know what kinds are right for your small business?

Understanding the Best AI Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Below, we discuss how AI tools can enhance your small business and call out some of the best AI tools on the market. Follow along to discover how your small business can hop on the AI train.

 

Benefits of Using AI Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Before we dive into some of the best AI tools for small businesses, let’s discuss why they’re so beneficial in the first place. So, how can small businesses benefit from artificial intelligence? Small businesses can benefit from artificial intelligence because it can save them time and money, improve their decision-making, pinpoint inefficiencies, enhance their customer service experience, and help them collect customer feedback.

 

Save Time and Money

The best AI marketing tools for small businesses save them time and money because they can perform tedious and time-intensive tasks in much less time than a human would. This helps free up your employees for more creative, insightful, and meaningful work.

 

Improve Decision-Making

Another benefit of using the top AI tools is that they can help small businesses make better, more informed decisions. This is because AI technology can sort through your business data to identify trends and analyze patterns to make forecasts and generate actionable insights.

 

Pinpoint Inefficiencies

While analyzing data, AI technology can also call out inefficiencies to help your small business run more smoothly. For instance, it might identify redundancies or broken processes that are slowly down or ruining your workflow.

 

Enhance the Customer Service Experience

The best AI tools can transform your customer service experience. So, why should small businesses consider using AI for customer service? Small businesses should consider using AI for customer service because it can help reduce response times, offer real-time support, provide personalized assistance, and even highlight ways to improve the customer experience.

 

Collect Customer Feedback

How do you know what your customers really feel about your business without requesting feedback? You don’t. If you want to create a positive customer experience, listening to your customers is critical. AI can help you collect and analyze your customers’ feedback to help enhance their overall experiences with your brand.

The 5 Best AI Tools for Small Businesses

With a better understanding of how AI can benefit your small business, let’s look into some of the top AI tools associated with virtual assistants, data analytics platforms, inventory management systems, customer feedback tools, and cybersecurity.

 

1. AI-Powered Virtual Assistants

The AI-powered assistant feature is easily one of the top AI tools because it has many applications. An AI-powered assistant is software that can process and interpret human language and generate responses.

AI Compose in-action shot

For instance, the AI Compose feature is an example of this tool, as it can predict what you want to write and offer autocomplete suggestions. So, writing an email or composing a text will autofill words and phrases that match your intent and complete the sentence, cutting down on how long it takes to craft a message.

AI Reply is another way to incorporate AI-powered assistance into your workflow. AI Reply refers to the preset responses or questions that are generated after the tool “reads” and interprets your incoming message. For instance, if you receive an email, text, or LinkedIn message that says, “Let’s meet at 4 p.m.,” the AI Reply might suggest a response that says, “Sounds great, “See you then,” or “Let’s reschedule,” that you can easily click without manually writing it out yourself.

 

2. AI-Powered Data Analytics Platforms

Data analytics might seem like an obvious application of AI because AI technology drives these insights in the first place. It’s still an important feature for small businesses because it helps them quickly and efficiently collect, sort, and analyze data.

Using AI, data analytic platforms can identify efficiencies, call out errors, explain insights, generate reports, and fact check, helping small businesses interpret large data sets without human intervention.

 

3. AI-Powered Inventory Management Systems

Some of the best AI tools for small businesses are integrated with inventory management systems. This technology helps monitor inventory, altering businesses when they need to replenish their supplies to avoid understock and overstock. The AI component can also analyze and predict patterns to forecast supply and demand, so your business is equipped to handle any changes in the supply chain.

 

4. AI-Powered Customer Feedback Tools

Can AI help you collect valuable customer feedback and insights? AI can help you collect valuable customer feedback and insights using surveys, automated forms, chatbot interactions, and social media monitoring.

For instance, AI technology can generate surveys and automated forms that are highly specific to customers, relating to their purchasing behavior, inquiries, issues, and demographics. The AI then incorporates sentiment analysis to comb through customer responses to gauge whether the customer had a negative, positive, or neutral attitude toward their experience with your business.

AI software can also analyze chatbot interactions to further determine customer sentiment. For example, it can sort through customer service conversations to determine if customers are happily getting their queries and concerns addressed promptly or are facing frustrations or roadblocks when interacting with the chatbot. These insights are valuable because they can identify areas you need to improve to elevate your customer service experience.

Similarly, AI marketing tools for small businesses can use sentiment analysis and scan online reviews and social media posts to get a temperature check on customers’ attitudes toward your business. Are your customers ranting about the long wait times with customer support? Or are they raving about your friendly and responsive customer service team? With this information, your business can gain insight into how you can better align with your customers’ wants and needs.

 

5. AI-Powered Fraud Detection and Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses, and that’s why many are turning to AI technology to help keep their systems safe and secure. AI software is trained to monitor abnormalities and identify threats. The best AI tools for cybersecurity scan incoming data and detect anything that may indicate fraudulent or maleficence activity before it can materialize. This technology can also help identify weak spots in networks that could be vulnerable to attacks.

Small Business Concerns Regarding AI

What are some common concerns businesses have about using AI for customer service? Some common concerns businesses have about using AI for customer service include the cost of implementing these tools, lack of personalization, and fears over job security for employees.

 

Cost of Implementation

Incorporating all of the top AI tools into your small business budget might be a stretch—and an unnecessary one. These tools can come with expensive price tags, so don’t feel you need to implement them all simultaneously. Start with one, and slowly build out your AI toolbox.

Also, it’s important to remember that while these AI tools may be expensive, they can help your business save money in the long run.

 

Lack of Personalization

Can AI tools replace human interaction in customer service? Yes, AI tools can replace human interaction in customer service, but should it? No! Even if you incorporate the most advanced AI tools that allow you to personalize your interactions with customers, it’s essential to maintain a balance and still have human supervision to intercept intricate issues, monitor interactions, offer personalized support, and build authentic customer relationships.

 

Fears over Job Security

Many people fear the best AI tools are here to take their jobs. While it’s true this technology helps perform some tasks quicker than humans can, it’s designed to take over those repetitive and mundane tasks so that employees can focus on more strategic and interpersonal tasks. AI is meant to help enhance the workplace and encourage employees to explore more fulfilling and meaningful work within their roles.

 

Learn How EZ Texting Incorporates AI

Did you know our SMS marketing platform uses AI technology, too? With features like AI Compose, AI Reply, and text automation, you can enhance your customer service experience and improve customer engagement. To try it out, sign up for our free 14-day trial today!

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FAQs

Some AI features that can improve customer service efficiency include those that offer multi-language chatboxes, sentiment analysis, and self-service knowledge bases. These features can help address customers’ questions and concerns, reduce response wait times, and gauge your customers’ sentiments toward your brand.

You can use AI to personalize the customer service experience by analyzing customer data and prior interactions. This information can reveal insights into the customer’s preferences, purchasing history, and shopping behavior to help deliver tailored responses, recommendations, and product suggestions that make the customer feel valued.

You can measure the ROI of your investment in AI customer service tools by tracking your metrics. For instance, you can look at customer feedback, engagement rates, response times, and resolution rates and compare them to your previous numbers to help measure success.

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