When many people think of artificial intelligence (AI), they imagine a science fiction-inspired future where robots serve as housekeepers and personal assistants.

But in reality, AI looks nothing like the depictions in those old space movies. Instead, it shows up as software, integrated into the electronic devices we use every day.

Technologists seem to find new ways each year to make computers act more like humans. But what does this mean for small businesses? Here are a few ways to use AI to improve your business’s customer service.

1. Lead refinement

Your outbound sales can benefit from a lead-generation service that uses public and private data to create a list of qualified leads. This keeps your sales team from wasting time calling prospects who aren’t likely to convert which helps them improve productivity and get better results.

2. Call center operations

If you’re paying a group of people to answer phones on behalf of your business, AI can help. Virtual call agents route calls and handle routine activities at a cost that is one-fifth that of a human agent.

3. Predictive analytics

Do you know how much product to stock? Do you have the staff available to handle the demand for your company’s services during the busy season? Predictive analytics can give you the information you need to make actionable decisions. This will help you serve your own customer base better.

4. Collect and use data

Analytics aren’t just used to predict future behavior. They’re invaluable for helping your business gain the information it needs to make good decisions. You should be applying analytics to everything you do, from the customer service calls you take to the social media marketing campaigns you deploy.

5. Organize your life

Many professionals have difficulty managing the many documents, meetings, and emails they deal with each day. AI can be used to organize every aspect of your life, saving time and helping you prevent things from falling through the cracks. These sophisticated tools will learn the files you need to prepare for a meeting, for instance, and gather them for you.

Artificial Intelligence takes technology to the next level, giving software the ability to learn and adjust the information it provides. This can help businesses in a variety of ways, allowing them to replace salaried or hourly workers with technology. If they choose to keep a full staff, AI can be used to help those employees do their work every day, saving them time and letting them put more effort into bringing in more business.