Automation is one of those things that you know is extremely important for your business. The question is, are you investing in it the way that you should be? If not, this is the time to step up and finally dive in. There’s never been a better opportunity to scale your organization.
The “Why” Behind Business Automation
Automation has been around for years in industries like manufacturing, but is just now emerging as a viable and cost-effective option for businesses in other industries – including customer-facing niches. While it can be integrated into a company’s operations in any number of ways, most organizations are focused on business process automation.
“Business Process Automation (BPA) is enabled by using technology to automate processes or workflows to the point where human intervention is no longer required,” ProcessMaker explains. “However, it’s not just about replacing paper; BPA hopes to make operations more cost-effective, error-proof, and visible by eliminating the need for redundant workflows and inefficient siloes.”
Companies that make a serious investment in BPA enjoy numerous benefits, including:
- Time and money savings. There’s obviously a time-saving component of automation. (This is what most businesses are focused on when they first implement automation.) There’s also a cost savings element. Bain & Company research shows businesses enjoy an average cost reduction of 20 percent when they implement automation. These savings stem from improved productivity, as well as the elimination/reduction of human error.
- Better customer service. When service is faster and more predictable, customers are happier. It allows your business to meet the needs of customers with much greater efficiency.
- Happier employees. At the end of the day, your employees are happier when they don’t have to waste time on repetitive tasks or deal with frustrated customers on a daily basis. This results in a more positive company culture and happier employees.
This is just the start. The reality is that a good automation plan strengthens almost every aspect of the business and results in a much more efficient and productive operation.
Tips for Automating Your Business
It’s pretty easy to see the benefits of automation and how the right technology and processes can change your business for the better. But where do you begin? Here are some tips:
Your team needs some sort of lead scoring system to help them determine the viability of different leads and what stage of the sales process they’re in.
Automated lead scoring tools help you identify key attributes that are common in prospects who eventually become customers. It helps you better understand your sales pipeline and improve your close ratios.
Email is the heartbeat of many successful companies. It’s one of the highest ROI marketing mediums you can invest in. But, if you aren’t careful, it’s also time-consuming.
Save yourself some time by developing email autoresponder campaigns that automatically deliver messages in the right sequences to individual customers based on triggering events (like subscribing to a newsletter, purchasing a product, or requesting support).
Customer service is one of the most time-consuming areas of a business. In many companies, it’s run entirely by human agents, which eats up a ton of valuable time and money. Thankfully, many customer service tasks can be automated with the right software or application.
An AI service experience tool, for example, can leverage the power and utility of chatbots and customer support automation to dramatically reduce the amount of time your team has to spend answering easy customer questions or dealing with repetitive support tickets. Integrating something like this into your company can make a huge difference for your team.
Automation can be great for individual processes and departments, but if you’re serious about letting it transform your business as a whole, you have to consider how these different tools and applications are talking to one another. Otherwise, your technologies are acting in their own silos and still require human involvement to connect processes.
Anywhere a human acts as a bridge between software, tools, or applications is a “node” of your business that should be carefully analyzed. If you can learn how to increase interoperability, you’ll be even more efficient. In cases where tools don’t have native API integration, consider using a platform like Zapier to create connections.
Adding it All Up
There are hundreds of individual levers you can push and pull to grow your business. Automation is just one of them. However, if you’re looking for a good place to begin, BPA is a sound starting point that will have a positive impact on multiple areas of the organization. Let this article point you in the right direction!
Interesting Related Article: “Importance of Automation and New Technology in the Construction Industry“