June 21, 2022

AI is saving small businesses money *and* making their customers happier. Here’s how.

AI has already become an integral part of everyday life from a consumer standpoint. Think about our routines from morning to night. We wake up, open up our smartphones with facial recognition technology, scroll through curated social media feeds filled with targeted marketing ads, and use our smart voice assistants to manage our calendars and to-do lists. Some of us hop into self-driving cars decked out with the latest in AI tech. 

It’s clear that AI is here to stay. However, it’s not just consumers that can power their days with the convenience of smart tech. Businesses also can take advantage of AI — especially when it comes to optimizing the customer service experience. AI can not only help your small business save money, but also make your customers (and employees) happier. 

What are the biggest customer service challenges for small businesses?

Think of the last time you called a company’s customer service line, only to be forced to navigate a complicated series of options and then forced to wait on hold for an indefinite period of time.

You probably were pretty unhappy with the experience! 

Now, think about your business and some of your biggest struggles. Chances are that many of them relate to your own customer service challenges. Whether it’s an unmanageable call volume or an inability to meet customer expectations, every business owner knows the struggle is real when it comes to keeping customers satisfied. 

Other common customer service challenges facing small business owners include: 

  • Lack of escalation protocol
  • Lack of customer support workflows 
  • Not having the tools necessary to meet customer needs 
  • Staff not knowing the right answers to common questions 
  • Lack of staffing support 
  • Transferring customer calls which can lead to frustration

The restaurant industry, in particular, is one that is all too aware that the lifeblood of its very existence is connected to satisfied customers. Consider the following stats that highlight the issues facing restaurant owners today:

  1. Saturdays receive 3x the call volume as Mondays 
  2. Call volume can increase as much as 20% in the days leading up to a holiday
  3. The top 3 reasons customers call all have to do with reservations (making reservations, placing takeout orders, and modifying existing reservations)

What are the most common mistakes in customer service? 

Top-notch customer service is fundamental to a business's success. Without it, you run the risk of bad online reviews, a declining customer return rate, and plunging revenue streams. 

While some things, like call volume, may not entirely be in a business’s control, other customer service complaints are often born out of mistakes. 

Some of the most common mistakes in customer service include:

  • Poor listening skills and lack of attention
  • Lack of empathy or compassion
  • Not owning up to mistakes
  • Bad/nonexistent follow-through 
  • Failure to deliver on promises

Mistakes happen. It’s human nature! However, many of these customer service mistakes can be avoided or at least mitigated with the help of some customer experience solutions powered by AI. 

Strategies for small businesses to improve customer service with AI

What if we told you that your business could save money and time and improve the customer service experience all at once? The solution lies in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in business. 

Let’s take a look at how the use of AI in customer experience is streamlining company processes and making customers happier at the same time. 

Speed up hiring

Let’s face it. The labor market is experiencing unprecedented levels of instability. Everywhere you look, you can see “We’re Hiring!” signs plastered on windows and storefronts. While there’s no quick fix for increasing the number of qualified applicants, there are AI solutions to make the recruitment process faster and smarter. 

AI tools like applicant tracking systems (ATS) and Short Message Service (SMS) Messaging can help speed up the hiring process by tracking applications for certain positions and sending clear, automated messages to candidates. AI can also help you source the most qualified candidates for your business, saving more time and improving your quality of hire.

Using AI tools to streamline your hiring leaves more time on the table for your staff to focus on the candidates rather than keeping track of complicated hiring systems and processes. 

Streamline business operations and processes

Tired of engaging with the same old processes that are necessary yet repetitive and time-consuming? Luckily, AI can help take over many of these repetitive tasks to free up staff time to focus on more important projects, and customers that need assistance right away. 

According to McKinsey & Company, over 45% of work activities could be automated using AI! Think of all the human hours that could be freed up with the use of such tools. Whether it’s software that automates banking, wages, and payroll or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that tracks customer inquiries or requests, your possibilities when it comes to streamlining business operations and processes are endless. 

Handle over 50% of customer calls

With new customer service technology based on AI like Slang.ai, companies can improve the customer phone experience and integrate phone inquiries into their digital workflows. Slang.ai can handle more than 50% of calls with an intelligent voice assistant that uses AI technology, making customer service better, immediately routing urgent calls, and helping grow your small business. 

Implement automation using AI

If you’re ready to implement automation using AI, now is the perfect time. There’s an explosion of tools and software on the market, all designed to help you run your business more efficiently while improving the customer service experience. 

Implementing AI capabilities to your business may seem daunting. However, it’s something that you can do for your business today (in only a few minutes) to set your future up for success. To successfully implement automation with AI in your business, take the following steps:

  1. Clarify your objectives: Determine what the most pressing needs are in your business and research how AI can help your business in those regards. 
  2. Set a timeline: With the right milestones in place, you can keep yourself accountable to find the right AI tools, speak with business reps about how their software can improve your business, and get quotes for how much these tools will cost. 
  3. Prepare your business for implementation: Once you know which tools you want to integrate with your business processes, it’s time to set your business up for implementation. Many AI companies will have guides to help you do so. 

Comparing the cost of AI to the cost of fixing human-made mistakes

If you’re put off by the cost of AI software and tools, you’re not alone. It can seem like a hefty investment, especially if you’re considering using multiple tools across a range of companies. However, consider the cost of AI in comparison to the cost of fixing human-made mistakes. 

It’s highly likely that with the use of AI to reduce those mistakes, you’ll come out ahead in terms of revenue and cost savings. 

Slang.ai’s virtual answering services are taking the frustration out of voicemail systems, neverending robot answering machines, and overworked staff who are struggling to keep up with sky high call volumes. 

Humans are naturally prone to making mistakes, especially when they’re stressed. Busy workplaces, like restaurants, are used to fast-paced demands and complicated customer requests. However, all of this combined together can lead to a disappointingly high number of mistakes like the ones we mentioned earlier (e.g. messing up an order, delayed delivery times, etc.) 

AI-powered automated answering services can take a heavy load off of your staff’s shoulders by answering calls that normally a staff person would have to take. 

Consider the numbers. Our Starter Package costs $159 a month and it can handle up to 500 monthly calls. According to BenchmarkPortal, the average handle time (AHT) for a customer service call is 5.97 minutes. Take that multiplied by 500 monthly calls and you’re staring at nearly 50 hours per month dedicated to customer service calls alone!

AI tools like Slang.ai can take that burden away and improve the customer experience, all in one shot. 

Benefits of using AI for small businesses

When it comes to automating and streamlining business operations, the benefits of AI in business possibilities are endless. 

Let’s take a look at just a couple of the benefits AI has to offer to busy business owners. 

Flexible — adapts to any business needs

The point of AI is that it’s smart, meaning it can adapt to fit your business’s needs. When you use Slang.ai, you have the power to customize answers to your most commonly received questions and frequent topics of discussion. You can set up answers to these queries with precisely how you want them phrased. It takes the guesswork out of customer service and allows tailored responses according to your business’s standards. 

Works 24/7 (with no overtime)

Our automated answering services pick up the phone regardless of time, day or night. You get to choose whether it’s set as your primary answering system or only when your administrative staff or customer service representatives are offline. 

That means you’ll never miss out on new business opportunities or pressing customer questions — without forcing your customers to wait on hold. 

How you can get AI set up in no time

Are you interested in getting Slang.ai’s AI-powered services up and running for your business? No sweat. You can schedule a free demo today to learn how to use AI to improve customer experience and save time, all with the help of one tool. 


Alex Sambvani

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Join hundreds of top brands using Slang.ai today!