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European small businesses find new growth opportunities thanks to AI

Europe is one of the catalysers of innovation and business growth, offering a friendly and intuitive ecosystem where entrepreneurs can thrive.

Small Business

As one of the key players in ensuring economic recovery in the region, small businesses receive several benefits under the EU's Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), including easy access to financing and streamlined transactions between businesses in member states.

At present, the European small business scene is looking very diverse and dynamic, featuring many promising companies that activate in the industries of the future: renewable energy, recycling, FinTech, electric vehicles, virtual reality, or personalised tutoring. In fact, due to low barriers of entry and accelerated industry growth, many small businesses in Europe have to deal with a considerable degree of competition and use innovative solutions to stand out. One of these solutions is AI-powered automation, which EU businesses have embraced with all its applications. AI (Artificial Intelligence), sometimes called machine intelligence, is the intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence of humans.

Measure product/market fit

Business intelligence

There are a lot of factors that can determine business success, but it all starts with how relevant the new product is for the market. Before they develop and launch a product, entrepreneurs need to know if there is a demand for that kind of product, what other companies offer it and how clients perceive that existing competitor product. A decade ago, compiling all this data took months of manual labour. Now, thanks to AI and big data, small business owners no longer lose time and they can get quick, accurate, in depth reports and statistics that measure product/market fit.

As the second largest business intelligence market in the world, Europe offers many opportunities to entrepreneurs, helping them develop products that aren't only high quality, but also relevant for today's European customer. Germany currently holds the biggest portion of the European BI market and this is where most specialized market research are based, followed by the UK and France.

Logo design and branding identity

Logos and branding

After small business owners get all the data they need to start developing the product, the company needs to position itself on the market by developing a strong branding identity. On a market as competitive as Europe, where innovation and progress are key constants, creative branding is a requirement, not an option. Unfortunately, juggling all the creative branding tactics and waiting for an entire team to create a logo, slogan, visual identity and advertising approach, that can take a long time, time which could be better used on taking important decisions.

In 2019, time is the most important currency for small business and AI can help save it. For example, thanks to the evolution of automation technologies, business owners can generate their logo within seconds. Specialised online tools can now generate thousands of logos with AI because they train their systems by cooperating with professional real-world designers and introducing the best design principles into their algorithms. This way, all marketers have to do is input a minimal amount of details and the app uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to generate multiple logos. Contrary to popular belief, these logos aren't bland and generic. On the contrary, they employ the smart use of colours and graphics to create logos on which entrepreneurs can build their brand.

Tools like this make it fast, easy and more affordable than ever for small businesses to create a brand and drastically reduce time to launch their service/product with automation, eventually helping Europe's SMB grow and multiply.

Valuable customer service

Customer service

The European Union, through its directives and frameworks in member states, values customer's rights and empowers customers to take action when they do not receive adequate services. Failing to comply with existing regulations and delivering sub-par support is a major risk: according to the Righnow Customer Experience Impact Report, 89% of European customers have stopped doing business with a company after they have experienced poor customer services and 55% of them are willing to pay more for a product if it comes with better customer service.

But stellar customer service is hard to come by – in fact, only 1% of the customers interviewed said that they were satisfied with the level of service they received. Fortunately, AI can improve these numbers and help SMBs provide quality customer service without spending a lot of money and human resources for this cause.

More specifically, small businesses can now incorporate automated AI tools that take on a lot of the tasks from the customer service department such as sort customer tickets and provide online systems. A few years ago, there was a massive debate on whether computers could ever truly replace a human assistant and now we can see that, to a certain extent, they can. Thanks to machine learning and natural speech recognition technologies, chatbots can be trained to answer the most common customer questions just as naturally as human staff and forward the more complicated ones to the customer service department. Therefore, instead of replacing humans completely, chatbots become a connection between customer and provider.

The way these tools have been incorporated saves small businesses millions every year, because the staff, which may already be overwhelmed with responsibilities, no longer has to deal with each and every case. Thanks to AI, they can allocate more time to dealing with the sensitive cases and thus increase customer satisfaction. As for the matter of customer preferences, studies show that most customers would rather interact with an online chatbot because they receive instant answers to simple questions.

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