Ever felt like you are snowed under with work? Like if you are climbing up a mountain of tasks that’s never going to end. If you are a startup owner, you probably know this feeling well. Building a business from scratch often means juggling too many hats. From crunching numbers to wooing new clients, checking in with suppliers and resolving the staff-related issue, there’s a lot to deal with. So, amid this hustle-bustle, you hardly find any time to work on scaling up your company or coming up with innovative ideas. But what if you get an efficient helping hand at your disposal?
No, we are not referring to any human assistant. We are talking about an intelligent machine driven by the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Though it feels a bit futuristic, AI is no longer a far-fetched dream or the preserve of the big tech giants with extensive funds. Even a startup like yours can also get a huge benefit out of it. Wondering how? Read on to figure out.
What is AI?
“Can machines think?”— This simple question posed by mathematician Alan Turing laid the groundwork for the concept of AI. However, the term “artificial intelligence” was first coined by computer and cognitive scientist, John McCarthy in mid-1950.
At its core, artificial intelligence or machine intelligence is an area of computer science that aims to answer Turing’s question. It is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think, learn and act intelligently as humans. That means computers can solve real-world problems by improving on their own from past experiences through AI.
This innovative technology has huge potential and businesses of all sizes are investing in it. But above all, this prevailing technology is turning out to be a boon for startups. Many startups are already using AI to scale up their business and gain a competitive edge in the market. If you too want to boost your startup using AI, here is how to go about it.
- Finding the Right Hires
When building a startup, having a strong team is crucial. You need to find the right talent to construct a competent team. However, going through a large pool of applicants is a mundane and time-consuming task. Manually handling the entire process and whittling down a big chunk of irrelevant applications can take up a lot of time. But AI makes the process a lot easier.
AI-enabled software can help recruiters to conduct automated screening and filter out the applicants that are not suitable for the role. This can save them a lot of time and effort that they can use for other productive work.
- Improving Customer Experience
Another factor that plays a vital role while running a startup is customer service. If you please a customer, you will see revenue rolling in. But you disappoint one, and you will notice a declining bottom line. As you are in the initial phase of your business journey, you can’t afford to lose any customer. In fact, you need to be on point when it comes to customer service.
But most consumers expect a business to be available 24/7 to address their queries and concerns. They need a customer service department that never sleeps and stays always–on support. And fortunately, AI-driven chatbots don’t sleep, eat or go off-script. You can provide a cost-effective, continuous service to your customer through a well-built bot.
Of course, training the bot to serve customers takes data—hundreds of thousands of example conversations. But you can use bots to answer run-of-the-mill questions while handing over the more complex ones to humans. You can also utilize these bots to identify customer issues, collect more customer information and prompt customized offers and discounts.
- Strategic Decision Making
Imagine you launched a product or service by investing a lot of money, time and a whole lot of elbow grease. But contrary to your expectations, the products failed to produce any meaningful financial return. It would send your business into a doubt-ridden daze. Remember Coca Cola’s ‘New Coke’ disaster in 1985 and Amazon’s more recent ‘Fire Phone’ failure?
It is devastating for a business. But what if you can know the market needs beforehand? With the AI-powered tools, you can get insights into the evolving customer needs so that you can better align your products and services accordingly. Even Coca-Cola is now using artificial intelligence for efficient business analysis. AI has the ability to process a massive amount of data and offer actionable insights to make the decision-making process easier and efficient for an organization.
- Better Data Security
Once, you’ve established your business, it’s time to pay attention to data security. Cyber attacks are increasing at an alarming level and they have become more sophisticated than before. It takes around 196 days for a company to recover from such online attacks. In fact, according to the Norton website report, the cost of recuperating from a data breach is 3.86 million. As a startup, you can’t afford to take this risk.
Thus, it’s better to have powerful technology in place to avoid such threats. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can be a great tool when it comes to enhancing data security. AI can help you to track any suspicious behavior on your website by processing the past data. That means you can predict the attack before it takes place.
Finally, AI can streamline your daunting business operation while allowing you to focus on other resourceful and creative opportunities. Regardless of which industry you operate, AI-based applications can take the manual, repetitive tasks off your list and enable you to be more productive.
However, to succeed with AI, you should strategize and align the innovative AI applications with your business goal. You need to understand the significance of this emerging technology and prioritize it accordingly to achieve success in the long run.