Workplace automation offers almost endless possibilities. It helps companies to stand out in a competitive global marketplace. Financial magazine Forbes claims that automation can save you 40 to 75 % of original costs. It also significantly eliminates the amount of repetitive tasks your employees deal with on a daily basis. By automating, you boost productivity and ease a workload.
If you want to devote less time to trivialities and keep more space for growing your business, give automation a go. Nearly 80 % of top-performing companies are already using it for more than 2 years. It works well for them. There’s no reason it wouldn’t work for you.
A Foreword about Automation
Automation is a way of using technology to complete daily tasks more effectively, without human involvement. Yet, replacing human labour is not a goal. Automation simply augments the day-to-day reality of professionals, who can then focus on what truly matters. Like selling or building customer relationships. It makes processes faster, cheaper and less prone to errors.
Companies also benefit from better communication, more effective feedback gathering or easier data analytics. Automation further reduces manpower, needed to complete key tasks. It introduces new levels of standards into daily operations and reduces possible bottlenecks in your business.
Benefits of Automation
Let’s look a bit deeper into the key aspects of why automation is so important.
1. Better Performance Tracking
Automation lets you collect and systematically track data on your customers. That gives you a priceless insight into how you can boost your business performance.
Do customers seem to like you? Great. What exactly do they like? Find out and build on it. Did you recognize some space for improvement? Even better. Implement it. Performance tracking can also help with employee training. If there’s something that needs more attention, emphasize it.
In old times, companies would need to hire more personnel to cope with increased demand. Yet, automation allows you to do more with less. Not only with less people. Also with fewer costs and, as mentioned, less routine tasks.
By automating business processes, you can be more efficient. Therefore, provide services for your clients on a timely basis. That significantly improves customer satisfaction and brings more profit.
3. Reducing Errors
When faced with meaningless tasks, our brain is prone to errors. We lose interest, therefore lose concentration. Even the best professionals can make pitiful mistakes. This hurts motivation, but also the quality of your service. Therefore, it hurts your customer satisfaction, too.
Since automation eliminates no-brainer tasks, it allows workers to put all their energy into what they find interesting, creative, challenging and demanding. It’s definitely feelable to your clients’ satisfaction.
How to Start with Automation?
When searching for what to automate, start at the most important source of information – your team. Since they are on the front line, their input comes directly from everyday reality. Employees know best what requires a personalized approach and what can be passed over to the computer.
Then, inspire yourself with our tips:
- Start small: Don’t rush into automating everything from day to day. Begin with minor tasks, such as using task management software or implementing a chatbot to your website.
- Prioritise most repetitive tasks: The more routine responsibilities you eliminate, the more space you will have for automating bigger ones.
- Begin with caution: At the start, avoid automating things that involve massive amounts of people. Go for tasks that only affect your business on a small scale.
5 Essential Business Automation Ideas
Now that we briefly introduced the basics of automation, let’s take a look at what your company can actually do to properly benefit from it.
#1 Get Better and Quicker Feedback
According to a report crafted for American Express, the majority of customers are willing to give the company another chance after a single bad experience. But if it happens repeatedly, nearly 60 % of consumers may switch to another brand.
That is why companies need feedback on their business activities. Since there are a lot of channels you need to go through, it can get pretty time consuming, leaving you less time to actually implement the findings. Here are 4 ways automation can help.
1. Bet on forms
Forms are a simple and common way of gathering feedback, used by the majority of companies. You simply send out a survey after customers purchase a product, interact with your team or at the end of their subscription.
The survey is usually a no-brainer. One question is enough to get an overall picture of your client’s satisfaction, yet it doesn’t go deep into specific reasons.
An example of such a survey question would be: “How satisfied were you with our customer support?”.
Add whatever options you fancy, from stars or numbers to words, like very satisfied, somehow satisfied, neutral, unsatisfied, extremely unsatisfied. To find out more, you can add a small window for customers to state the reason for their choice. This way, you have a bit better overview of the evaluation.
2. Use email follow-ups
What else can you do if you want to find out more about gathered feedback? Use email automation. Send an email to thank your customers for the time they invested into filling the form. Ask them if they are willing to reveal more about their evaluation.
Try to customize these emails as much as possible. Surveys show that personalized email marketing generates 18x more revenue than the generic one. Share your company domain and make it clear who sent the email, so you won’t end up in a spam section.
Additional idea: You can include a request to spread the word about your business. Referral marketing method is maybe old school, but still effective. Word-of-mouth belongs to the most trusted form of advertising.
Information, data and market measurement company Nielsen claims that 84 % of people completely or somehow trust the recommendation of other people. As a motivation to share your product with friends, offer small gifts. Such a discount coupon.
3. Monitor social media
Social media is an incredibly efficient way to gather information. Eliminate contacting your customers one by one. Go where they already are gathered.
People use social media to share their daily lives experiences, potentially including those about your brand. Search by hashtags, ask for opinions on your fan page, etc.
4. Implement Experience Management Platform
Such as our Survey Sparrow system, EMP offers many useful solutions, including feedback gathering. It unifies the majority of the above-mentioned options to a single system. You can use classic forms, chat surveys, office kiosks, see your net promoter scores, and many more in one place.
Collect customer, employee and product feedback via email, weblink, embedded share, SMS, social media. Offline application is also an option.
#2 Automate Communication
Around 75 % of customers expect a resolution of their inquiry within 5 minutes. You need a fast, efficient way to answer clients’ questions. No matter what the time is. Therefore, you should involve automation in your customer support.
In today’s fast world, people prefer a clearly visible, easy-to-access way of communication. That’s where chatbots come in handy. Consumers can see the chat option in the down left corner at all times. No matter what section of your web page is currently opened. Therefore, they can get instant answers to whatever issues they are facing. Anytime. So, during the web app development stage, make sure chatbots are properly implemented.
2. Phone software for call centres
You can automate your hotline, too. With customer support calling software, there is an option to set voicemail or get basic inquiries answered by pre-recorded messages.
Further, try tools like automatic call distribution and route inbound and outbound calls into specific departments. It saves time you would otherwise spend redirecting customers to a fitting agent.
3. Social media automation
Another handy option. With automation software, you can gain followers effortlessly. Simply by sending clients automatic invitations to check out your profile.
For example, include a call-to-action message in your next email blast.
Such as: “Did you know that we are publishing a short summary of each webinar on our Facebook page? Check it out and get the idea in a nutshell.”
#3 Use a Power of Integrations
Repetition slows your business down more than you imagine. HubSpot claims that marketers spend a third of their time struggling with mundane tasks instead of dealing with their clients.
Integrations are a great way to automate what would otherwise take all the precious time from dealing with customers. You can integrate your software with a CRM (customer relationship management) system. This way, everything is automatically saved in one place.
No more need to move the data from one software to another. Not only do you save employees’ time and nerves, you also gain easier access to all information. Such as clients’ data and statistics. This way, your team has everything necessary to deliver an excellent customer experience.
#4 Boost Task and Project Management
Companies with quality project management save more time and undoubtedly also more money. By automating your practices, you are ensuring a smoother, systematic workflow. Therefore, you gain more productivity and time to invest into your customers’ experience. Here is how automation can help.
1. Task management platform
Managing employees becomes much easier when you know precisely what everybody’s schedule is. Unite all of your team members on a single task management platform. That helps you to make sense of daily tasks, monitor all activities, ensure proper workflow and secure collaboration.
By displaying all activities on one dashboard, you can see who has a free capacity for additional tasks, who has too much on their shoulders already or what is the general pace of work.
Task management platforms also maintain order for employees. It can send them a daily summary and a reminder of approaching deadlines.
2. Meeting automation platform (MAP)
There’s a lot that needs to be done in order to organize meetings. Managing calendars, setting up proper times, organizing details. Before the automation era, this all was handled manually.
Today, MAP can help with the process, whether you are preparing for an internal meeting or a brief with a client. Through automation, companies can not only manage events more easily. MAPs also help to handle pre-meeting and post-meeting logistics.
Therefore, such software improves the overall handling of the whole process. The more efficient the meetings are, the more productive your team is. More professional the brief with customers are, the more satisfied they feel.
#5 Use Technology to Hire the Best Talents
Getting the right members for your team is what your business depends on. You can’t build a superior customer experience without the most fitting professionals. That is why the recruiting process is so crucial. A great onboarding experience can also improve employee retention by 82 %.
But the hiring period itself can give you a headache. Not talking about the amount of time you need to invest in it. In fact, hiring managers spend around 73 % of their time on tiresomely long administrative processes.
They need to draft a job posting, publish it on as many channels as possible, read through all applicants, choose the most fitting ones, and make interviews. That’s still not all. After hiring the best fit, there is an onboarding process and adaptation period.
Many of these processes can be automated. Teach machines how to handle repetitive tasks, so HR talents can focus only on crucial parts of a hiring process. Automatic onboarding workflows can accelerate your search for perfect candidates with as small resources lost as possible.
Use online forms to automate sorting through applications. The HRM (Human Resource Management) system receives and organizes applications, allowing HR personnel to simply insert specific keywords. The HRM consequently filters only relevant applications. This takes a few hours out of the tiresome process.
Human Resource Management also enhances overall candidate experience, improves the reputation of your company and passes the best candidate right on your table.
You can further automate the following tasks:
- Before the first day: Sending onboarding materials, contracts and other important information, such as office location.
- The first day: Providing documents regarding company policies, specific roles, benefits, duties, etc.
- The first week: Adding new employees to all company channels, creating business emails, getting to know new colleagues through common communication platforms and more.
If you wish to truly invest your time into building lasting clients relationships, you need to eliminate redundant tasks. Every business has them. Little day-to-day routines that take time and energy from what really matters. Focusing on superior customer experience.
That’s why tech-savvies nurtured harmonic cooperation between humans and technology, letting them work hand in hand towards success. We call this process automation. Nowadays, you can automate almost everything that doesn’t necessarily require a real person. Feedback, basic customer communication, employee management or the process of hiring the best professionals.
By implementing automation, you don’t only gain more time for important tasks. You save energy, raise profit, prevent mistakes, boost the spirit of your employees and empower productivity.
But most importantly, you have a space to build a customer experience no one can concur.