Time is never on your side when you’re a small business owner. While you can’t forgo too much sleep without ruining your health, you can work more efficiently using artificial intelligence (AI) tools in your back office operations.
Below are four tasks where using AI helps you save time.
How to Improve Back Office Operations
1. Administration and Human Resources
Show me a busy entrepreneur, and I’ll show you a smartphone filled with apps. There are literally thousands of apps available, many free to download. An app exists for almost every office function, including scheduling, reminders, accounting, and tracking employees.
Thanks to AI, many apps now offer voice-activation and image recognition, as well, which saves you the time and effort of data entry. Plus, you can save even more time by using intelligent personal assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, to search the web just by speaking into your phone.
AI marketing tools use data collection and analysis to make intelligent decisions for lead generation, content creation, and customer personalization.
Using AI in your marketing efforts and back office operations not only increases efficiency and productivity but makes you smarter. The impact on your marketing research alone is significant. AI makes it a lot easier to gather vast amounts of information you’d never be able to amass without the help of technology.
AI tools utilize data and customer profiles to teach you the best ways to communicate with your customers and then track buyers’ shopping habits to plan better, more targeted, and effective marketing strategies. Customer experience is more important than ever, and AI tools can help you create personalized experiences designed to bring customers back again and again.
3. Sales Assistance
Adding e-commerce sales automation tools to your website is almost like hiring additional staff to improve back office operations. AI tools can answer questions about product specs, suggest complementary purchase items, and direct website visitors to the correct web pages.
AI-powered chatbots can’t wholly replace live customer agents, but they can cut down on many frequently asked questions and lower your shopping cart abandonment rate. Chatbots answer customer questions in real-time (24/7) and learn from past actions to predict new needs. AI tools gather behavior data so live agents can be better informed and have more time to handle complicated customer service issues.
Bookkeeping and accounting tasks are back office operations that require time-consuming and monotonous data entry, often resulting in missed or incorrect information. The more you automate functions involving numbers, the less likely human error will occur.
Syncing accounting functions with your business bank account saves time, reduces mistakes, and helps you manage cash flow more efficiently. Accounting apps give you access to bills and invoices wherever you are, and automation tools won’t let you forget when payments are due to suppliers or from customers.
Bill.com uses AI to improve back office operations and provide end-to-end financial workflow automation. Whether the task involves accounts receivables or accounts payables, the Bill.com platform streamlines and controls small business payment processes.
In a recent Bill.com customer survey, customers reported the platform saves them on average 5.5 hours per week, translating to about a month’s worth of time (35 business days annually) you can devote to revenue-generating activities.