Chatbot Building Platform Logo of Itheta Labs

Chatbots & Artificial Intelligence: In Small to Medium Businesses

In case you missed it, we recently had the pleasure of being a speaker at Business AI Showcase: From Data to Decisions. This was hosted by Quantum Strategies (Pty) Ltd on the 8th of December 2023.

Read to the bottom to experience some great free / paid AI tools.

Image showing how chatbots can automate conversations
AI Solutions are here to stay – like the Chatbot

Table of Contents


  • AI Revolution in Business Landscapes
  • The Rising Importance of AI in Business (Statistics)

Our Background: Merging AI with Legal Acumen:

  • Journey into AI: Curiosity and Interdisciplinary Nature
  • Inefficiency in the Office and Simple Automation

Itheta Labs: A Chatbot Innovation Hub:

  • Meaning of “Itheta” and Integration of Channels
  • Enhancing Business Interaction with Chatbots

How SMEs Can Harness AI: A Practical Guide:

  • Applications of AI in Business: Customer Service, Administration, Sales/Marketing
  • Case Study: Streamlining Social Media and Customer Service with Chatbots
  • Maximising AI Tool Efficiency: Context, Instruction, Task, Clarification/Refinement

Conclusion: AI – A Business Catalyst

Awesome Ai Tools


Introduction to Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming business landscapes globally. This blog post delves into the practical applications of AI in business, with a special emphasis on chatbots and their role in enhancing business efficiency, after our recent Seminar attendance.


The Rising Importance of AI in Business

AI has become a game-changer in the business world. Here are some vital statistics:

  • AI Adoption Rates: 72% of companies that use AI believe it simplifies their jobs.
  • Efficiency Gains: AI improves the productivity of 61% of employees
  • Cost Effective: 54% of organizations state that AI has been cost-effective
  • AI Use: 85.1% of AI users use the technology for article writing and content creation.

These figures highlight the growing impact of AI in various business sectors. This is not something that companies can continue to ignore, especially in the SMME segment. The gap between the large and SMME segment will continue to increase as in 2022, large companies were twice as likely as small ones to use AI.

Statistics on how ArtificiaI Intelligence will affect the workplace

Our Background: Merging AI with Legal Acumen

My journey into AI, merging my legal expertise with a passion for technology, illustrates the interdisciplinary nature of AI. This combination underlines the importance of continual learning and curiosity in leveraging AI effectively.

It didn’t just happen overnight. In my role as the legal manager of a Compliance Company, I was starting to get fed up with inefficiencies in the office. This was especially true about admin tasks of various teams/staff.

I didn’t delve into AI straight off the bat, I started by looking at simple automation. So, I found some online resources and taught myself how to perform some automation on MS Teams to remind the teams to complete certain tasks. After this, I added more functions such as sending MS Forms to gather information automatically.

Itheta Labs a chatbot building platform

Itheta Labs: A Chatbot Innovation Hub

Itheta Labs, named from the isiXhosa word “Itheta” meaning “to talk”, represents a platform for fostering conversations through chatbot technology. It embodies the integration of diverse communication channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Slack, tailored to enhance business interactions.

How SMEs Can Harness AI: A Practical Guide

AI’s applications in business are vast. They include:

  • Customer Service: Automating responses and nurturing leads.
  • Administration: Streamlining operations through AI-driven automation.
  • Sales and Marketing: Enhancing lead generation and engagement.


Let’s break this down with a practical example from one of our projects:

A Company had 4 staff members performing similar but different tasks. They were all responsible for different social media platforms (WhatsApp. Website chat, Facebook chat, and Linkedin) and assisting customers. They all had various duties that were predominantly focused on sales.

After looking at the time spent performing the above tasks, the frequency of the messages, at what time of the day messages got sent, how applicable the messages were (a lot was spam), etc.

Once we had all the information, we researched how we could streamline all these different functions to enhance efficiency, customer services, revenue, and several other metrics.

In the end, we discovered that a Chatbot which is trained on the applicable data and which works with the various staff members would be the goal. Not only did we reduce the staff members’ stress, we automated all the different channels into one Omnichannel solution, which only 1 person had to manage. That’s not all, that person alone saved over 2 – 3 hours per day. While the rest could focus on what they do best…help customers!

PS: That was the origin story of Itheta Labs.

Lastly, let’s look at some practical advice:


Maximising AI Tool Efficiency

Effective use of AI tools (such as Bard and ChatGPT) is crucial. If your input is poor, then the output will be poor as well. Whenever you work with any of these Super AI Bots always remember as follows:

  1. Context: Provide comprehensive background information as to what you are trying to create. Examples: Your brand documents; buyers persona; ideal client; your brand voice etc.
  2. Instruction: Clearly define the AI’s role when creating the content. Example: You are a Marketing Expert who creates the best social media marketing strategies for SMMEs.
  3. Task: The task you give to the AI must be clear and concise, as to what you want to achieve. Example: Using all the information you have learned, and following the below criteria create an engaging article on XYZ that adheres to Google’s EEAT and SEO best practices…
  4. Clarification and Refinement: Review the output and refine it once or twice. If you need to refine more than twice, rather start again.


Conclusion: AI – The Business Catalyst

AI is not just a futuristic concept but a present-day business catalyst. Its potential to revolutionize various sectors is immense. This post encourages businesses to explore AI’s possibilities, underscoring its role in driving efficiency and innovation.


Great AI Tools for You to Explore

Explore the below list of AI tools which can benefit your business or personal projects.

Ranging from Paid lead generation to free Profile Picture Editors, all with the power of AI.

Tool Name Description Link
Bullet Points AI Delivers daily or weekly AI-written news briefs on any topic.
PFP Maker Free AI profile picture maker that removes backgrounds and generates professional images.
TextFX AI Writing tool for creative writing, offering 10 tools for rappers, writers, and wordsmiths.
MyLens AI Creates detailed timelines of historical figures.
HeyMind AI Chat with historical figures, allowing you to get advice and insights from famous thinkers.
AnySummary Analyzes and summarizes long audio/video files, extracting key points and highlights.
PhantomBuster Automates lead generation on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. PhantomBuster

Get in TOUCH with us!

Have questions or feedback? Fill out the form below, and we’ll connect with you shortly. We’re here to help!