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AI technology – What can SMEs learn from large corporations? 

AI technology – What can SMEs learn from large corporations? 

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AI is becoming increasingly accessible to larger enterprises and SMEs alike. Nigel Cannings, CTO of Intelligent Voice, tells us how SMEs can harness AI to help their businesses grow and what they can learn from enterprises that have already digitalised their systems. 

Artificial Intelligence is revolutionising business. However, due to the misconception that it is unaffordable and out of reach for SMEs, its use remains more concentrated in larger corporations. AI technology has become significantly more accessible and adaptable to a range of businesses – SMEs must capitalise on this transition towards affordability and invest in AI to boost their growth and provide safe, secure and successful customer interactions.  

What does AI technology provide? 

In recent years, AI technology has rapidly evolved, providing benefits such as more efficient data processing, information for sales enablement, improved customer protection and increasingly comprehensive business security.  

More efficient processing of data 

When combined with advanced speech recognition technology, AI can provide far more comprehensive audio and video-based data processing. Previously viewed as challenging to manage, audio data has increased significantly in importance due to the accelerated digitisation prompted by the pandemic. Instead of relying on human resources to analyse audio data, a collaboration between systems – such as NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) – can process this information, identifying specific speech and language features with increased speed and accuracy. When applied with Machine Learning, this collaborative approach can fuel other essential processes such as sales enablement strategies and anti-fraud measures.  

Information for sales enablement  

As previously mentioned, utilising AI in association with Speech AI technology can inform sales enablement strategy. Applying Speech AI to identify semantics (for example, positive and negative responses from customers during customer service interactions) allows businesses to determine which sales strategies are most compatible with their customer base. Sales strategies – especially those conducted over the phone – can then be tailored to match this information. Developing a more in-depth understanding of customer interactions, particularly their successes and failures, is a crucial opportunity to vastly improve sales in any size business.  

Improved customer protection 

AI systems provide updated, innovative security for businesses and customer protection. One key example of this is fraud risk management in customer interactions. Companies can implement Speech AI to detect speech, language and behavioural features that indicate fraudulent intent in the background of digital customer service operations. Programmed to detect distinct features such as negation, hesitancy and over-emotional reactions, Machine Learning evolves with the changing nature of fraud, providing businesses with vastly increased protection without placing customer service agents under unnecessary strain. Customers can rest assured that the quality of customer service will not decrease with the increased anti-fraud protection.  

Additionally, Speech AI can detect features suggesting customer vulnerability. Demands for businesses to pay closer attention to customer protection are increasing, encouraging them to act more strongly in the interests of those using their products or services. By detecting customer vulnerability, businesses can ensure that customers are not taken advantage of or encouraged to make inappropriate purchases. In extreme cases, they can also refer customers to find additional help for their safety and well-being.  

Increasingly comprehensive business security  

Alongside assisting in fraud prevention, AI systems can help businesses maintain data security and organisation. Security and accurate record-keeping are essential for maintaining consistency with regulatory compliance – an area which is becoming increasingly complex in many sectors. The ability to access accurate data extracted from text, audio, video or numerical formats can also protect businesses if individuals raise inaccurate claims of non-compliance, potentially avoiding fines or restrictions.  

How is this technology being applied by larger companies? 

Investments in AI technology have increased over the past few years for many larger companies. As a result, these companies have fostered improved customer relations and targeted customer service, particularly in expanding fraud prevention and sales enablement strategies. However, while AI technology has proved especially effective in supporting the function of large businesses, there is increasing evidence that it can be just as effective in supporting SMEs. With its incredibly adaptable nature, AI is likely to be increasingly adopted by smaller businesses to maintain pace with industry leaders, potentially rivalling them in the future.   

How do these applications of AI technology assist in SME growth? 

Many SMEs intend to scale and grow as they find stability and success in their chosen market. AI technology – particularly in Speech AI – can provide the necessary conditions to kickstart this growth and guide it to success. In particular, Speech AI can assist in the expansion, informed strategy, security and protection and adaptability.  

SME expansion  

AI technology – especially Speech AI – provides valuable insight into customers’ attitudes towards different products or services. Combined with AI-driven sales enablement, this drives the process of determining critical opportunities for expanding SMEs. Evidence-based decisions can be made concerning which business areas are most appropriate to launch the expansion process, resulting in increased chances of success.  

Informed strategy  

Scaling or growth should always find its foundations in a comprehensive, reliable and robust strategy. Accurate data and insights into areas such as customer relations can support and inform these strategies, tailoring them to the business’ needs. Without the support of AI, compiling these datasets and insights can be an extremely time-consuming practice, especially when there is a variety of forms of data involved. AI streamlines the acquisition and application of this data for faster, more accurate information accumulation.  

Security and protection  

A scaling business should always ensure it has the capabilities to protect customers and itself during its period of growth. Comprehensive security, such as anti-fraud measures supported by Speech AI, is vital to providing the right conditions for growth.  

Adaptability  

Most importantly, SMEs must have adaptable technology that can scale and evolve with their growth. The involvement of Machine Learning in AI ensures that systems such as fraud prevention and sales enablement strategies do not stagnate as a business expands. Instead, AI processes can adjust to the increased flow of data. Without AI systems, companies would be relying more heavily on human resources, which can easily be overwhelmed by any accelerated growth.  

AI is not a technology for larger businesses alone – it holds valuable potential for SMEs, assisting them in creating the foundations for improved customer service, business protection and business growth. With many applications, including sales enablement, fraud prevention and growth plans, AI technology is opening the door to an improved future for SMEs globally. 

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