How AI is being used to do business

How you manage your business, develop its markets, handle sales and support customer services could all be transformed with AI (Artificial Intelligence). Digital Business Enabler Steve Edwards from Superfast Business Cornwall, a fully-funded service by the European Regional Development Fund, tells businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly about the benefits of AI


For small businesses AI can seem like science fiction and beyond their reach. The reality is very different: AI is affordable, can be as easy to use as installing an app on your phone, and could form a vital part of your business’s IT foundations for the future. According to research from Forrester, 12% of businesses are already using AI technologies in many aspects of their enterprises.

AI is an umbrella term that encompasses many technologies including automation, machine learning, data analysis and voice recognition. If you have mobile banking for instance, the chances are you have already experienced an AI in practice if your bank uses voice recognition to check your identity.

Businesses can use AI today to help improve many of their internal systems and customer facing services. Your business is likely to use several AI systems for specific tasks. Amy is great on a personal level to help all small business owners better manage their enterprises, Tamr and Recorded Future are able to help you transform aspects of your business’s operations.

As a small business, you need to be agile and able to compete across your market place. AI systems could give you the tools you need to perform what are today complex, expensive and time consuming tasks faster and cheaper.

Two areas where small businesses can use AI effectively is within their sales and customer service teams. Your sales team has masses of information about your customers, but extracting meaningful data can be difficult. AI systems such as SalesforceIQ could help reveal new potential sales leads.

Customer service has been a key focus for AI over the last few years. For small businesses, improving their customer services is vital. According to the latest research from the Ombudsmen Service, more than a quarter of consumers took their business elsewhere last year because of poor customer service, costing these businesses £37 billion.

Improving your business customer support with AI could be highly profitable. For instance using virtual agents to help customers find answers to their questions. Companies such as Cogito could help your business improve its customer services with real profitable results. Using systems like this could increase your business’s call efficiency, boost customer satisfaction and deepen customer loyalty, as questions and other customer services queries can be handled more efficiently.

Moving your small business into the world of AI is possible today. From AI apps to help you manage your business to creating AI bots for specific tasks such as helping your business better connect with customers on social media, AI has huge potential that small businesses can start to take advantage of today.

Superfast Business Cornwall is hosting “Connect to the Future – how digital technology can help boost your business communication” covering major advances in digital technology, including the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence and the internet of things on Thursday October 19 at Goonhilly Earth Station.  Eligible businesses can book a place by clicking here.