5 ways small businesses are using generative AI
Small business owners share how they are using generative AI tools to boost productivity, streamline processes and improve the customer experience.
At a glance
Here’s a snapshot of the insights from our interviewees:
- Multiple small business owners we spoke to are using generative AI to write website copy, craft creative assets and draft emails.
- “Our writers are able to cut the writing time down to three hours,” says Talk Agency founder Cooper Jitts.
- Damien McEvoy Plumbing’s Matt Little has enhanced customer service by employing chatbots powered by generative AI.
- RJ Living furniture store is exploring AI-powered virtual reality technologies to create virtual showrooms for customers.
Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can make work easier for small business owners.
According to a report from the CSIRO’s National Artificial Intelligence Centre that surveyed 200 business decision-makers and AI service providers, there is high demand for AI products and services – 60% of respondents indicated they are accelerating and expanding their offerings to meet market demand.
Here’s how five other small business owners are using generative AI to boost productivity, streamline processes and improve the customer experience.
1. Creative assets
James Zhong of Ask Melon, an online marketplace for plastic surgery, uses AI tools for the marketing content creation.
“The main way we use generative AI is to create stock images for our website and blog using Dall-E,” says James.
The AI integration doesn’t stop there, as he sometimes uses ChatGPT to help generate the prompt for Dall-E. Although they are improving quickly, the tools are not perfect, and James recommends staying vigilant to the quality of their output.
“I find Dall-E produces something usable about 50% of the time,” says James.
2. Client marketing
Cooper Jitts, founder and director of the marketing agency Talk Agency, says simple AI tools have come in handy when producing content such as blogs, email marketing and social copy for clients.
“A blog can take up to five hours in research and writing time,” says Cooper. “By harnessing generative AI, our writers are able to cut the writing time down to three hours.
“They are then free to let the creative juices flow and fill in the details that are going to be of most value to our clients – and write in human ways that AI can’t replicate.”
3. Social media
For Janine Leghissa of the jewellery business Desiderate, generative AI has assisted with the business’s social strategy.
“We use AI for some seriously handy tasks like generating relevant hashtags that boost our social media presence,” she says.
“It also provides us with creative suggestions for blog posts and social content to keep our audience engaged.”
4. Customer interaction
“We have enhanced our customer service by employing chatbots powered by generative AI,” says Matt Little, co-owner of Damien McEvoy Plumbing, who adds that this saves his staff time and improves the quality of customer support.
“These chatbots can comprehend customer inquiries, provide accurate information and offer personalised recommendations.”
Janine has used generative AI for a chatbot to interact with customers via Facebook Messenger and for drafting emails to customers.
5. Immersive shopping experience
David Janovic, founder and managing director of Australian-designed furniture store RJ Living, is using AI tools to bring products closer to the customer.
“We’re exploring AI-powered virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to create virtual showrooms,” says David.
“This would enable our customers to visualise furniture in their own spaces – just like the IKEA app – eliminating the need to visit a physical showroom and providing a more convenient shopping experience.”
Small business owners have AI tools at their disposal and can use them to help improve existing ways of working and to try new techniques to grow.
Generative AI tools can help small business owners reduce business admin across the board – and so can the Prospa Business Account, an everyday transaction account to control your business finances in one place.
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