We have all heard it by now, ChatGPT has shown the world just how far artificial intelligence (AI) has come. As developers, designers & software companies release more & more of those AI tools on a daily basis, it can be challenging to know which tools are actually worth it.

It is worth digging deeper so let’s learn more about the options available. Starting with harnessing the power of AI, one could potentially compete with big businesses like the fortune 500.

1. Chatbots

Customers want support NOW…fast, efficient and personalized. They also want it seamless & accessible across multiple channels, including chat. But, cost is an obstacle and real-time chat can be costly for small businesses. Enter chatbots: the VA (Virtual Assistant) you’ve been wishing for.

So then….What Can Chatbots Do?

Chatbots are an AI-powered software using machine learning & natural language processing (NLP) or algorithms to understand your audience, your customers’ questions & to provide accurate/appropriate answers — all IRT: In Real Time.

They‘re able to manage multiple support interactions all at once, making them incredibly efficient for automating the most common, simple-to-answer questions. Of Course, for more complicated requests, you can program your chatbot to direct queries to a specific staff member & to flag any urgent issues.

What’s Popular

Every chatbot solution on the market today is different, so be sure to explore the options & determine which would be the best solution for your needs. Here are a few popular chatbots to get started exploring:

  • Tars: Creates landing pages with a conversational interface to help answer customer queries and collect leads.
  • Zowie: Learns from customer interactions to help personalize your customers’ chat experiences.
  • Drift: Delivers personalized conversations across multiple channels, including chat, email & video.

2. Analytics & Business Intelligence (BI)

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Have you noticed how the big players like Amazon, Facebook & Google always seem keen on exactly what their customers want? It seems like magic, or eavesdropping, but there aren’t actually any crystal balls involved. They make crucial data-driven decisions using analytics & BI tools, & guess what? You can too.

So What? What Can Analytics & BI even Do?

Well for starters….machine learning, these powerful AI-driven tools work with your data to extract insights that help to make better decisions. Tools like:

  • Collecting & analyzing customer data
  • Monitoring social media conversations
  • Providing real-time inventory, sales & revenue
  • Forecasting sales & consumer demand
  • Generating personalized recommendations
  • Analyzing competitors

What are the Popular Analytics Solutions?

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The right tools can make a huge difference in gaining that competitive edge:

  • Tableau: Extracts & blends data from multiple sources & provides dashboards that derive insights from real-time data.
  • Domo: Combines data integration, real-time & predictive analysis, & enables you to build your own apps.
  • Sisense: Efficiently uses your hardware’s RAM, CPU & disk space for a more affordable way to run big data analysis.

3. Finance & Accounting

Chances are you already use accounting & finance software. But did you know some of the most popular accounting solutions employ AI under the hood? And new AI-driven solutions continue to enter the market.

These tools help you save both time & money by automating processes & analyzing your financial data. This can free up resources so you can focus more on growing your business.

What Can AI Finance & Accounting Tools Do?

With AI stepping into finance & accounting tools, you could automate bookkeeping. Things like categorizing & reconciling transactions, sending invoices & even following up on those pesky overdue payments.

Have employees? Some accounting tools can even calculate & process payroll, including deductions, taxes & other withholdings needed to stay compliant.

It’s financial data on tap, solutions that can also provide real-time insights on your financial performance showing revenue, expenses, cash flow & even profitability. You’ll need this data when grappling with major hiring or development decisions.

Popular Accounting & Finance Tools

Replacing outdated accounting with AI-powered solutions, you can gain automation & insights to stay ahead of the curve:

  • QuickBooks Online Advanced: Offers a cloud-based solution leveraging AI, automation and data innovation.
  • Xero: Features an AI-powered cash flow forecasting tool and employs AI and machine learning tech to automate data entry.
  • Docyt: Automates repetitive bookkeeping tasks and uses AI to continually learn about your business.

4. Communication & Marketing

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Your audience is bombarded with marketing messages all day, every day, making it a challenge for you to stand out. But, with the help of AI-driven tools, you can cut through the noise & craft targeted personalized messages that resonate.

What Can AI Communication & Marketing Tools Do?

It’s all about the tool you choose, an AI-powered marketing & communications solution can help you accomplish a broad range of marketing-focused tasks, including:

  • Analyzing data to create more personalization
  • Optimizing content to improve rankings & engagement
  • Analyze advertising campaigns in real-time
  • Monitoring social platforms for brand mentions & track sentiment (how your audience feels about your brand) & overall engagement
  • Conducting market research through analyzing customer feedback & other sources

Popular Communication & Marketing Solutions

The market for AI-powered communication & marketing tools is wide & diverse, so the right choice for your business depends on your individual needs & goals:

  • Fliki: Turn your text into videos using AI voices.
  • Surfer SEO: Optimize content with an emphasis toward on-page SEO.
  • Brand24: Monitor social platforms & calculate sentiment, reach, & share of voice.

5. Productivity & Workflow

Accomplish more in less time? Need to take control of tasks? AI-powered productivity & workflow tools come in many flavors. They help to optimize schedules, reduce distractions & eliminate time-consuming tasks.

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What Can AI-powered Productivity Tools Do?

Depending on the tool, AI productivity & workforce solutions offer a wide range of features, from project management & tasks to automating redundancies. Whether powered by NLP techniques or machine learning (or both), use AI to identify patterns & extract key action items.

Some solutions can sort & categorize your emails, some set reminders & notifications, & even schedule your meetings. Others optimize workflows by identifying bottlenecks and tracking progress. Other still enhance resource allocation, team communication, and performance management.

Popular Productivity & Workflow Solutions

AI-powered productivity & workflow can help you stay on top of just about anything:

  • Otter.ai: Eliminate manual note-taking by using transcribe voice to text.
  • Zapier: Integrate with OpenAI to automate tasks like as content creation & product development.
  • Notion AI: Ai Powered document & project management functions.

Tips for Choosing the Right Tools

The possibilities for businesses are nearly endless. So here’s how to best navigate the vast range of AI options to find the right tools.

First, Identify your needs. No matter what you need, there’s likely an AI tool designed to address it. Start to assess the options once you’ve identified your needs.

Gotta Know your budget. The price of AI tools can vary widely. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine your budget for an AI investment.

Don’t be afraid to do your research. Compare features, pricing & functionality so you can determine which tools will work best.

Maximize your tech. Consider how a new tool can integrate with your existing systems.

Watch for scalability. You want a solution that’s easy to scale, even if you aren’t looking to grow right now.

Training. Make sure you receive training on how to effectively use your tools & maximize your investment.

“AI” was just a buzzword before, but those days are long behind us. Today’s AI tools have the potential to revolutionize business. Streamline your work & improve satisfaction, AI is poised to be a game changer for small business.

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