Not only has technology advanced in recent years, but it has become more sophisticated. Companies have found ways to use it at their business to take over doing menial tasks that were once handled by humans. It may seem like this advancement will soon replace the human worker, but that’s not exactly true. So far, adding automation has streamlined and made the workplace more efficient.
Americans spend a lot of time at work. On average, they are there for 8 hours a day, at least 40 hours a week. In some industries, they are there a lot more. They are many tasks that have to be accomplished during the day, and using automation not only makes it easier for an individual to get their work done, but it also has an impact on the company as a whole, especially when departments are connected through automatic processes.
Ways Automation Is Currently Used in the Workforce
At one time, adding automation to your business was an expensive endeavor. It meant having large servers and specialized equipment. Now, anyone can add automation to their workplace, including small businesses—and many of them are. They are allowing technology to take over many tasks to free up time to focus on important goals.
One of the most common automation that currently exists in a workplace is email marketing. There are several different programs that can be used to help a business create newsletters or other email information to send to customers. It’s also possible to create introductory emails that are automatically sent when a person signs up for this service. Once it has been loaded into the software, you don’t have to do anything else.
You can even create follow-up emails that are sent automatically days later to those who opened the original email. This ensures that customers remain engaged with your information and company, but an employee doesn’t have to take time out of their day to go through data to find who needs an email and who doesn’t. Doing that can be incredibly time-consuming and tedious. Automating the system means this task is taken care of.
Another incredibly common automation that is gaining in popularity is the use of chatbots and AI to handle customer service issues. They are used most often to handle frequently asked questions or issues with an easy solution. If a customer is experiencing a problem that can’t be handled by the AI, they are then referred to a live human. Automating the customer service process means that employees aren’t wasting their time on simple tasks when more serious issues need their attention.
Some companies are even using automation for employee recruitment and talent acquisition. When a person applies for a job, the system can determine if they have the necessary skillsets and then schedule interviews. This frees up time in HR so that they can focus on potential hires and find the best person for their organization. They don’t have to comb through numerous resumes, as that mundane and time-consuming task is done for them.
Why You Should Consider Automating Your Teams
Automation has been shown to work well with customers and keeping them engaged with your business. Whether you are sending them emails or having AI help them solve problems, automating these tasks can save your employees time and allow them to focus on more important tasks and duties while at work. However, automation can go beyond customer interaction and make processes within your office more streamlined.
Not only can HR benefit from using automation, but it can pull together every department and ensure they are working toward a common goal. Below are some of the ways that automation makes your business more efficient and productive.
1. Communication Becomes Centralized
Communication is key when it comes to ensuring that your business is running optimally. However, most departments don’t have contact with one another, so it’s hard to know if a task has been completed or if it was lost in the shuffle. When you automate your company, all of your communications will become centralized.
This can be especially helpful if you have customers calling in with issues. Should you have more than one department, such as service, tech support or order fulfillment, the customer call needs to be routed to the proper place. If they call back in several days later, would service necessarily know if tech support or order fulfillment handled their request or issue? If you have an automated system, it will keep track of all customer contacts and be visible to anyone who gets into the system.
Centralized communication ensures that every department knows how a customer has been handled, but with the system tracking all interactions, it’s possible for managers to see and ensure that proper follow-up is being conducted.
In many industries, following up with a customer is necessary to determine if you solved their problem or to keep them engaged. With automation, you can automate the follow-up process so that you know for sure it’s being done. This is a great way to retain customers or re-engage them if they have fallen through the cracks.
2. Connects Teams and Departments
Not only is having your communication centralized important for customers, but it’s also beneficial for various departments. If the marketing has a great idea on how to nurture leads, these can be shared with the sales teams. If these two teams/departments don’t communicate on a regular basis, then this information could get lost in the shuffle.
An automated system makes it possible for alerts to be set up that can be sent to a specific department or office-wide. This is helpful if one team finds useful information that could benefit another team or the company as a whole. Since the information is saved in a central location, anyone can access it and see what steps have been taken.
Sales and marketing aren’t the only departments or teams that can benefit from an automated system. Having HR and payroll on the same page is also useful. Steven Templeton from PracticePro 365 says that accounting firms need a practice management system that connects all levels of their business, from the client CRM to the internal billing and accounting.
Automating your office means that every department knows what is going on and can streamline their process and ensure they are offering the best to employees and customers.
3. Define Workflows and Assign Tasks
Not only does automation ensure that every department and team is communicating with one another, but it can also define workflows and assign tasks. This is especially useful if you have jobs that require multiple steps or multiple teams to complete.
You can set deadlines, alerts, follow-ups, and rules to ensure that the job gets done effectively and efficiently. You can also track progress and review each step of the process.
4. Creates Accountability
In your company, you more than likely have more than one project going on at once. You also have several employees and departments working on these tasks. Tracking this can be challenging. However, if you automate your company, this process becomes much easier. With all the information centrally located, you can quickly and easily pull up the job you are looking for and review it to see if it’s being completed properly.
Automation creates accountability because the system will let you know which department or employee was supposed to complete what part of the job. It will also let you know how long they were given for the task and how long it took to complete. It can help you streamline your processes and find weak links that need to be corrected so that your company can run smoothly and efficiently.
5. Improves the Management Process
Within every task in your company, there are certain duties that are mundane and time consuming that may not necessarily need a human to complete. When you add automation to your business, you can put a better management process in place. For each assignment, you can find the things that would be better handled by automation and automate them. This frees up your employees to focus on the more important and complicated tasks that need their undivided attention.
Once these things have been automated, you can then review and check on the process to see how well it’s working. Improving the management process means being able to prioritize and work on projects that demand you and your employees’ immediate attention and get them done in a timely and efficient fashion.
If you find that your current process isn’t working, you have the ability to change and tweak it to find a better way to complete the job.
Benefits of Automation at Your Business
The goal of automation is to ensure that your company is running optimally and that employees are focused on important tasks that will further your success. While automation will require an investment in time and money, there are benefits to incorporating it into your business.
It Saves Time
After you have learned to use the software, you and your employees will be able to save time by not having to perform repetitive tasks. In some cases, performing these repetitive tasks and doing other jobs may require employees to work overtime. This costs you and them in time and money.
It can kill morale and employees desire to have to perform mundane tasks day in and day out, but if they have the chance to focus on important jobs, you may find that they are more productive because they feel like they are adding value to the company. Removing repetitive and mundane tasks from your employees’ plate may mean less overtime and the ability to focus on meaningful tasks while at work.
It Reduces Labor Costs
In addition to having current employees perform repetitive and mundane tasks, you might also consider hiring a workforce that does these duties. This means that you have to pay these individuals or outsource these jobs. By incorporating automation, you can reduce your labor costs because these tasks will be performed by a computer system. You can also reduce the amount of human error that occurs because you are reducing the number of humans performing these mundane tasks.
It Gives You Better Control of Your Business
If you or your managers are struggling to keep track of your company’s departments and all of the projects that are going on, then you definitely need to add automation to your business. From one dashboard, you will be able to access information company-wide and know exactly what is going on, which department or individual is responsible for a certain task and whether or not goals have been met.
Not only will this benefit you, but it will also impact your employees. They’ll know exactly what jobs they need to perform and when those duties need to be completed. Everyone will be able to plan their time wisely to complete projects and improve the success of the company.
It Improves Your Customer Service
Communication is imperative when it comes to customer happiness. Many times, frustration, anger, and confusion drive them to act rashly, which can lead to finding another company to buy from. However, if they can get their questions answered, this can instantly put them at ease.
With automation, you can ensure that customers always have a place to go to get answers at any time of the day or night. You won’t have to incur the cost of working with an answering service because automation is always on and ready. If the system can’t answer the customer’s question, it can let them know that a live person will get back to them shortly—and this may be all you need to keep your customer satisfied.
Automation has evolved in recent years, and it’s something that is being used to make companies more efficient and improve their workflows and customer service. This is accomplished by getting rid of mundane and repetitive tasks and improving communication.
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