Consider how much time could be saved if local businesses didn’t have to worry about sending that follow-up coupon or new customer offer.

There seem to be hundreds of automated tasks that every small business owner needs to put in place these days to keep up with an evolving customer base. But honestly, what business owner do you know with that kind of time?

Or what human, for that matter?

The latest guest on The Future of Local Business podcast was Dave Wachtendonk, Signpost’s VP of Product. Dave joined the show to talk about why AI should be on the radar of every busy small business owner.

“With the use of AI,” Dave said, “We are removing tasks that no longer need to be done by humans, to encourage more organic interactions.” In the interview, he focused on the role technology plays in the evolving landscape for the local business owner.

Here are the highlights from that talk.

“How Does Signpost Make My Time More Efficient?”

Signpost uses AI technology named Mia that monitors consumer interactions and sends new customer offers feedback and review requests, referrals and loyalty emails and SMS.. This allows you to have more human interactions and time with customers.

Mia uses data to make marketing decisions about what message templates and calls-to-action should look like, and what campaign will work best. Signpost works with 15% of the US population, and we can leverage that data to help you be successful with your marketing.

So while Mia looks at the number of times there are interactions with a customer, and does transactional campaigns (feedback requests, coupons, reviews, or referrals), you have more time to interact and keep up with your customers.


“Should I Be Afraid of Mia? Will She Take Away Jobs?”

You have nothing to fear with Mia.

 We understand that AI can be hard to grasp, but the idea of automation is easy to get behind. As Dave said, Mia is meant to make your life easier by doing the automatic things and keeping the data while you prospect for more customers. This saves you more time to check off the rest of your To-Do list.

“The goal is to encourage more human interactions,” Dave said.

“What’s the One Piece of Advice You’d Give New or Veteran Business Owners When They Think About Enabling Their Business With Technology?”

We asked Dave that question, and here’s how he responded:

“I recommend that they look at how they interact with their customers, and find software solutions that will free up time.”

He then added that you should invest in the few areas that will automate your tasks that are repeatable and allow you to spend more time with your customers and grow your business.

“Small business owners work hard,” he said. No kidding.

We work hard, too—on many of the things that bog you down.

This post is based on a podcast interview with Dave Wachtendonk, Vice President of Product at Signpost. To hear this episode, and many like it, you can subscribe to the Future of Local Business Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.