Why Use Automate in Your Business?
According to new Salesforce Research, “80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.” Automation is a tool and a strategy that can really help improve customers experience with a company. Customers can do things online instead of having to call a phone number or visit a store.
Research has shown that the more customers are able to do independently the happier they are. Automation also helps with customer experience consistency because it can help make customer interactions repeatable, thus enabling the same standard of care for every interaction. Automation can also help employee satisfaction, freeing them from repetitive, tedious tasks to focus on more important, creative work.
Automation will help today’s business owners and managers stay competitive in the coming decade. If they are not thinking about automation strategies and building strong customer relationships, they risk diminished impact, growth, and financial success for their company.
10 Things Your Business Can Automate Now
Customer Information Collection and Organization: When you meet a potential customer, you want to collect their contact information. You can do this by with a form that automatically adds them to your contacts. From here you can tag the individual with your personalized tags that puts them into specific categories. For example, tags could include, potential customers, new customer, long-time customers, etc.
Customer Follow-up: You can send automated emails to customers based on what forms they fill out. For example, if they schedule an appointment/meeting/consultation, they can automatically receive an email confirming the appointment.
Contracts and Agreements: You can use automation to manage legal agreements, storing contracts, and establishing leases and licensing agreements. By automating much of the contracts and agreements process you can streamline the management and administrative burden on your staff. Automating this process can eliminate time and cost by providing a unified view of every aspect of a contract’s progression from start to finish.
Job Cost Estimates: Consumers want quick answers and that is why having automated quote estimations improves the customer buying process. Businesses should have forms on their website that allows consumers to explain the service they need and then automatically receive an estimate for the job. It is virtually impossible to give an exact quote for the job but giving a potential customer a range can help to improve your relationship with them. You can use a customer relationship management database to help set up forms with responses that correspond with the appropriate estimates
Bill Payment: Once a service is completed you need to get paid. Preparing, sending, tracking, following-up and receiving bills and payments can be a long, laborious process for any organization. Using automation to quickly produce a bill based on information already in your system and automatically sending invoices, allowing electronic bill payment with automatic follow-up can speed things up dramatically for both customers and your staff.
New Hire Screening and Paperwork: When hiring employees there is a lot of tedious paperwork. You can tag the individual with the corresponding part of the hiring process they are in. For example, if you are screening potential employees you can tag them as potential employees, and they will be automatically sent certain forms such as a background check.
Appointments and Meetings: Think about how your schedule your meetings and appointments now. Phone calls, emails suggesting possible dates, times, locations along with address information and a cell phone number in case you get lost. Automated appointment and meeting scheduling, confirmations and reminders can save significant time during this whole process. When you are trying to schedule meetings, avoid the back and forth of emails and simply send a link to a calendar to do the scheduling digitally. With automatic meeting email confirmation and reminders, everyone will know where and when your meeting is happening.
Social Media Posts: You can automate your social media by using content management programs. One popular content management program is Hootsuite, which allows for social media posts to be written in batches and dispersed at that moment or you can schedule posts for later or across the whole month.
Email Scheduling: Emails are the top ways businesses communicate with consumers. Scheduling out monthly emails to keep consumers in the loop shows that you are trying to build a relationship with them. Also, you can have templates prepared for customers birthdays or business anniversaries to help foster a solid relationship.
E-Commerce Reminders: If you sell a product or service online, you are already adding automation to the buying process. But there is more. For example, you can optimize your sales by nudging customers who’ve abandoned their carts. If customers abandon an online shopping cart, you can remind them that they have not completed the purchase. Perhaps they got sidetracked or distracted at checkout and that little nudge might just get them to finish the purchase.
These are just 10 areas that your business can automate today. Want to discover a few more things you might automate? Check out this free ebook, “25 Things Every Small Business Should Automate” from our friends at Keap/Infusionsoft.