Bredin Report: The Dramatic AI Payback for SMBs

In a recent Bredin Report, we discussed new research from the most recent wave of our SMB Pulse survey of 500 U.S.-based principals on SMB adoption of AI, and what they’re using it for.

In that survey, we also asked about the contribution AI is making to the SMBs who are using it. In a word, it’s very significant: at least two in three respondents rate its contribution as very or extremely significant, depending on the company size.

AI Contribution to SMBs

Not surprisingly given its significant contribution, SMB satisfaction with AI is very high. SMBs rate it at roughly eight on a 10-point scale, with little difference by company size:

SMB Satisfaction with AI

So how exactly are SMBs benefiting from AI? In many ways:

  • Very small businesses (VSBs, or SMBs with fewer than 20 employees) and midsized businesses (MBs, with 100 to 500 employees) are most likely to say that their quality has improved. While we didn’t drill into whether that means product or service quality, it’s a meaningful benefit.
  • Small businesses (SBs, with 20 to 99 employees) see the biggest benefit to their customer service – which could be done, for example, using AI contact center applications. Given that customer retention is such a priority in this economy, improved service is a big win.
  • SBs and MBs also both see significant benefits to employee productivity.

How SMBs are Benefitting from AI

In the coming weeks, we’ll explore more about the implementation challenges SMBs experience, the hurdles to AI adoption for non-adopters, and how marketers can improve SMB adoption of and satisfaction with AI.

Need research to learn about your SMB target? Place a few questions in Bredin’s monthly SMB Pulse or let our experienced team design and execute a custom research project to uncover actionable insights.

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About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.