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The 411 recap: Demystifying AI for resource-strapped small businesses

411 recap: AI for small businesses

In this webinar, our panel of experts takes a deep dive into using AI tools, breaking down how business owners can leverage technology to create a better customer experience and work more efficiently. 

Our speakers include:

  • Craig Stoss, Director of CX Transformation at PartnerHero
  • David Armano, EVP of AI Analytics Strategy at Ringer Sciences
  • Reid Robinson, Lead Product Manager of AI at Zapier

The most important bits

Understand automation vs. generation

David separates AI into two main camps: automation and generation. Both are equally important but have different use cases. For example, in the generative space, you can use AI to create a logo for a new business. On the automation side, you can upload spreadsheets to ChatGPT, and it’ll give back different visualizations of the data.

Treat AI as an assistant

While AI is a great thought partner, it’s like having a conversation with your intern. Business owners should see AI as a sparring partner for kickstarting projects, proofreading copy, and ideating — but don’t expect an executive thinker. On the same note, always have humans in the loop for quality assurance.

Discover AI conversational bots

Custom AI chatbots can quickly tell a user about your best-selling products, pricing model, ESG policy, and more. They work by feeding custom GPTs your documentation, website data, and other internal knowledge. These bots function twofold:

  1. Customers: Don’t have to search through multiple website tabs — all the information is in one place, creating a better experience.
  2. Internal communications teams: Can get information quickly and do their jobs more efficiently. A custom chatbot can help them answer customer inquiries faster and format consistent responses.

Since accuracy can vary, Craig recommends a 7-day test period for new conversational bots. They can be set up only to tag and reply internally so your team can do QA before pushing the bot live.

Actions to take

  • Do your research. With so many tools available, it’s important to sift through them. Ask your team to start exploring aggregators, such as There’s an AI For That and other platforms, such as Zapier Interfaces. David says the first step is to kick the tires and experiment.
  • Learn ChatGPT before diving into other technologies. In as little as 30 minutes a week, you can learn to use ChatGPT. It can help you ideate, summarize information, draft responses to customer complaints or emails, and more. 
  • Define what success looks like. Whether it be improved efficiency or more traditional KPIs, you should have a way to measure results. David suggests looking at the old way you did things versus the new way with AI and comparing the quality of outputs, costs, and speed.
  • Be aware of different policies. Policies with each tool will vary. For example, if you’re using the free or plus versions of ChatGPT and your history isn’t turned off, they can train on your responses. Reid suggests establishing lanes for what’s in scope for testing versus what isn’t, such as customer data and IP you don’t want to share.
  • Get creative. AI tools are not like computer software. The same input won’t give you a predictable output every time. In AI’s current stage, outcomes are never guaranteed, which makes it important to play with prompts and get creative.

Want to learn more? Watch the recording above to pick up on anything we might have missed.

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