Concerns About AI: What Every SMB Entrepreneur Should Know

Jolijn Buitelaar
update: 28 November 2023

AI can help you radically improve your work and business. But you probably have questions too. There are 6 worries that we hear from a lot of the entrepreneurs we talk to. We will address them in this article. 

At the end of the article, we present the 4 principles we use to ensure a responsible roll out of AI functionalities. If you want to know more about these, and about how we make sure our AI products are safe and make users happy, read our AI Manifesto. 

1. Will AI telephony make work more complex for me and my employees?

No, it won’t. We build our AI applications to make your daily work easier, not harder. We will never overwhelm you with technical language or complicated screens and configurations. AI is supposed to be helping you! AI applications will, however, change how you work. You and your people may need some help or extra training to get the most out of them. This is an investment that you will have to make. 

2. Will AI make doing business less personal or change how we talk to customers?

No. Less time spent looking for information and managing administrative tasks is more time you can spend with a customer. Remember that most customers don’t like calling a company to ask a question or make an appointment. They usually prefer online interaction. With AI, your personnel can stop being ‘phone robots’ and concentrate on helping customers with more complex questions that need human creativity to solve. 

3. Will AI replace workers?

Will AI do some of the work that workers do? Yes, it will. Will it replace people? Never. Every employee does work that machines will never be able to do. Using AI to take over some of the other things – the boring stuff that can quickly go wrong – frees their time and energy to concentrate on the human side of things. Like connecting with customers and solving issues that require creativity and improvisation. Computers aren’t very good at those. Even without actually replacing workers, AI will save companies money, because the existing staff will get more work done and serve customers better. 

4. Technology is moving so fast! How do I keep up with all these developments?

We know. Even here at Rinkel, we sometimes find the pace of change dizzying. The secret here is always to ask: what does this mean to me? You don’t have to know how AI works or what the latest innovation from Big Tech does. You have to find AI solutions that are easy to use. Applications that genuinely help you run your company better. Leave the rest to the techies. 

5. Will AI work with my current software?

That’s a tricky question because there is so much software out there… But in general, older technology, like many cash register systems, needs extra attention to work with modern AI applications. Always check and verify whether a new solution will work with what you have. 

6. What about privacy and data security?

AI needs data, and lots of it. But what happens if that data, like call recordings, falls into the wrong hands? With every AI solution you adopt, you should always ask these questions. At Rinkel, we build all our solutions with privacy and data security in mind. All call recordings are kept on our own secure servers and never stored longer than necessary. 

4 principles for a smooth, responsible and safe AI rollout

  1. Be open to discussion about privacy, possible risks and the value AI delivers. 
  2. Play by the rules. Before experimenting with AI, be sure you fully comply with all current legislation. Under the GDPR, you need permission from your clients and employees to use their data. Never feed your data into a public AI model like ChatGPT, which stores it all and sometimes uses it in unexpected ways. 
  3. Delete what you don’t need. AI is about getting value from data, not unthinkingly gathering as much data as possible. Only use software that lets you set the level of data use and retention you are comfortable with. What you don’t have, can never be stolen, leaked or compromised. 
  4. ​​​​​​​Make it ‘opt-in’. Successful AI starts with user trust. You will lose this trust if you use people’s data without explicit permission. Tell people which data you use and what you do with them. Then, get their explicit opt-in. If they opt out, honor that choice, whatever happens. 

Ready to dive into the possibilities of AI? To learn how AI will impact your business and help you work smarter, better and more efficiently:

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