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AI Digital Messaging Options for Small to Midsized Businesses (SMBs)

AI digital messaging options that SMBs can use to improve lead generation and customer bookings without increasing headcount

While AI Digital Messaging is an emerging technology, it builds on the foundation of digital messaging that exploded in popularity over the last few years. For websites, apps, third-party search, review sites, and aggregators, digital messaging capabilities are no longer just a “nice-to-have.” Digital messaging meets the desire of users to instantly contact a business from wherever they are, whenever they are, and gives businesses a way to connect directly with people to improve customer service and grow sales. 

With the explosive growth of these tools has come some operational headaches, especially for small and midsized businesses looking to empower their prospects and customers without dramatically changing their operating structure or incurring additional costs. The typical solution has been to staff these digital messaging tools with live operators to type one-to-one responses to inquiries as they come in. To meet the expectations of 24/7 availability, some have resorted to off-shoring their customer service, which can lead to a decline in quality and a lack of consistency and accuracy. For operators who want to future-proof their operational costs by streamlining and scaling things like inbound sales and customer service, that decline in quality and accountability can be a non-starter. Enter AI Digital Messaging.

What is AI Digital Messaging?

AI Digital Messaging is any conversational digital experience powered by artificial intelligence. This can look like chat experiences on your website, through Google Business Messages, or even Amazon Alexa. It can be intelligent search in your app or an automated and responsive IVR solution.

At XAPP AI, our solution leverages our Unified Knowledge Model™, custom Industry Models, and Generative AI. This allows our customers to create custom messaging experiences that are unique to their business and industry, are constantly learning from conversations and new content, and are capable of collecting lead information and booking appointments – all without ever looping in an employee.

Our headless approach allows our customers to log in to one platform and manage one implementation that can be integrated across multiple different platforms. 

How to choose the right AI technology for your SMB

With so many options available, it’s important to start by identifying the pain points you’d like to solve. You might have difficulty staffing customer service roles and need a more scalable solution. Perhaps your inbound sales process is clunky and there’s room for improved lead intake, scoring, and routing. Maybe your booking process requires human intervention, which can be tough to handle consistently.

Once you have a strong understanding of what you want to solve, it’s time to think through the types of experiences that can address your business needs. If you have a website or mobile app, adding a messaging component could work. Intelligent search is another great option. If your business gets a lot of traffic from online searches, an AI-powered integration with Google Business Messages could be a great way to improve that experience.

SMB capacity for technical complexity

If your company doesn’t have a high capacity for managing complicated technology integrations, low and no-code solutions like XAPP AI are a great option. Like all technology projects, it’s important to consider not just the upfront integration costs but the longer-term maintenance costs as well.

When choosing a vendor,  look at the level of support offered and the flexibility of the technology. Things will likely pop up in the future, and working with a company that is flexible and responsive to your needs is important. You may also want to consider a vendor that is focused on innovation so that your tools stay current and up-to-date with the latest and greatest technology. This is especially true for a field like AI, where things are constantly changing.

Some companies, especially those with a strong technology focus, may choose to build their own solution internally. If you’re considering that option, this blog walks through both options in detail.

Choosing the right AI Digital Messaging technology

Once you’ve mapped out your pain points and desired experiences and examined your capacity for technical complexity, it’s time to invest. And this is one investment with a strong long-term return. When you’re able to leverage automation with endless scalability, your long-term hiring and maintenance costs will stabilize over time. More consistent operations are a win for your business and your customers.

Contact us to discuss how we can help any size business launch AI-powered search and chat solutions that answer customers’ questions, build trust and capture leads.

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