by Ofe Ivharue
Process automation isn’t only for large Companies; neither is it merely about robots. Small businesses also benefit from using software to create repeatable tasks with even fewer errors and human intervention.
You can either manually program your automation processes or use Artificial Intelligence. Incorporating automation into your small business can help increase productivity and lower costs. It can also help generate leads, gather analytics, and improve customer satisfaction.
So if you’re thinking of how process automation can improve your small business, here is how:
Email marketing is a handy marketing tool for both big and small businesses. Over 86% of marketers have seen a measured improvement from personalized email campaigns. Email marketing campaign ROI can be as high as 3,800%. So for every dollar you spend, you can receive $38 in profits. However, it would help if you had a successful email marketing campaign to pull the numbers. Using automation for your emails can help.
A small business can use process automation to auto-reply and personalize emails. When customers message you through the online contact form, you get an immediate response. A swift customer response makes it more likely for you to convert them into a lead.
Additionally, personalization is another essential aspect of any email marketing strategy. To be able to send out personalized emails, you need to have some information about the customer. With the use of AI technologies, you have a better idea of their interests and behavior. Such customer behaviors are based on how they interact with your platforms. Once you’ve gathered such information, you can send personalized emails using automated processes. Personalization involves addressing customers with their names and including relevant information. And it is bound to convert more potential customers to loyal customers.
An increase in online sales has prompted businesses to upgrade their customer support platforms. Since online customers don’t have physical interaction, it’s essential to simplify sales processes. Several customer service processes, like orders, shipping, and post-sale, follow up, can be automated. From these processes, you can collect data to fine-tune consistent customer experience.
AI technologies, like chatbots, can enable you to reply to customer inquiries with ease. You also do not need any human interaction. For instance, a customer may create an account and have challenges logging in. A chatbot can guide them through the password or user name retrieval process. Such tasks are repetitive and, benefit from process automation. Thus, you can solve more customer problems, improve satisfaction, and customer retention.
If you want a harmonized and productive workforce, team collaboration is essential. When several individuals are working on a project, they all need to be on the same page. But there are instances where delay occurs and likewise potential miscommunication. With the aid of automation and communication software, you can streamline your work. The project data shared is consistent. It’s also unambiguous, and open to all to make their inputs in real-time.
It is also excellent for small businesses because even with small office spaces, you can get more recruits to work remotely. The reason is that automation tracks team members’ responsibilities across geographic locations. Your small business can even go entirely virtual. Therefore, you get to save on overhead, such as rent space and office equipment.
Sometimes, small companies incur a lot by hiring employees to perform labour-intensive tasks. You also find out that even with the large workforce, little value is added to the business. Automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks equals having a small yet productive workforce. Your employees don’t have to be scattered all over doing even mundane tasks.
They can focus on tasks that need creativity and innovation for product development. On the other hand, automation helps streamline the time-consuming and repetitive tasks. While employees have more time to focus on their responsibilities, automation enhances productivity. In turn, you can lower your overhead cost and increase your profitability.
Process automation enhances the accuracy in small business operations. You can eliminate human computation errors that may occur in tasks like invoicing, order processing, and inventory management. Sometimes, your team gets overwhelmed handling administrative and customer service related tasks. Having to juggle so much work, they are prone to make errors that can delay projects.
With automation, small businesses cut down on potential errors. These errors could occur when it comes to repetitive and time-consuming processes. For instance, essay writing review site Best Writers Online handles several clients’ information. The client information needs updates from time to time. Rather than enter such information manually and run the risk of having errors. You can make use of automated software to update that information automatically. And you are confident that the data is error-free and updated quickly.
All small businesses must follow government policies like tax or customer information privacy. Also, other industry regulations and best practices need to be adhered to. For instance, licensing, systems update, and ethical ways of doing business. Failure to comply with required practices could amount to paying a costly fine.
With process automation, you can ensure that workers remember to follow specific procedures. And likewise, comply with industry standards and regulations. You can also incorporate these rules into the workflow management to ensure compliance at all levels.
Small business automation enables you to gather data for future marketing campaigns. Useful customer information is collected from social media, surveys, and feedback forms. However, manually collating such data can be a challenge to handle and track.
With automation software like Google Analytics, you can gather and track data in real-time. The automated system you’ll need depends on your business type and long-term goals.
There are several aspects of your small business that need a quick and simplified way of doing things. Process automation has several benefits for such areas in small businesses. With the right tools, employees can focus on providing quality products and services. While automated software takes care of other tasks that need repetitive imputations.
You can also provide a personalized and improved customer experience by up-scaling processes. Thus with budget-friendly software, you can improve on quality and increase your ROI.
Nancy Williams is a writing specialist who is currently working for Best Writers Online —service for writers— and as an editor at review service Online Writers Rating. She is working to make better herself in her blogging career. She is constantly trying to find new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden limits.
Life experiences prove time and again that it’s really not about what we do but how we do what we do. How do you go about capturing students’ information? How do you collate information about your staff and clients? How do you process academic results and deliver them promptly to students? How do you recharge airtime on your phone?
In the end, the how is what separates the boys from the men. You can only do things how best you know to do them, and if you do not closely follow advances in technology, you will not know how best to innovate around your business processes. You will be stuck doing things the hard way. Again, the how is the key!
When we first started thinking around BioRegistra at Seamfix, we were concerned about the fact that organizations spend a lot of time, energy and resources trying to capture different kinds of information. Data capture was slowing organizations down.
But these things can be done in the blink of an eye. In fact, it is easier and faster to preserve, access and share data anytime and anywhere once we digitize the process.
Why will a student who wants to obtain his transcript travel all the way to his university to get it? Why can’t he stay wherever he is and just click some commands and enter some information and have his transcript delivered to him straight away?
Why do organizations still use paper files or feed into systems manually when they can digitize the entire process?
Why do estate surveyors and valuers still use paper to capture the details of their clients when all they need is a mobile application that enables them to capture such information with ease and access the data whenever and wherever they need it?
This is the thinking behind Seamfix’s move to digitize business processes. We want to make life easy for people. We want to make processes faster. Above all, we want to evolve the most efficient way of preserving and accessing information.
With BioRegistra, all kinds of data (biometric, security, accounting, etc.) can be captured and accessed from anywhere.
With iTranscript, alumni members of universities can request for their transcripts and have it delivered to them anywhere in the world.
In UNN, for instance, we have been able to technically unlock the value of data hidden in their over 40 years academic record that we have digitized, and we are now able to track a lot of information; courses students pass the most, courses they fail the most, success trends for various courses especially difficult ones, which lecturer is supposedly more productive based on success trends, etc and all these are simply because the transcript data has been digitized.
When Nicholas Evans, author of Mastering Digital Business, said that “by digitizing a traditionally analog business model or process, we’re effectively turning it into bits and atoms and enabling an infinite variety of possibilities,” he was right. It is really about possibilities.
What possibilities can we see?
What more can we do?
How can we improve our business processes?
Where can we save more and more time and resources?
These are burning questions that every entrepreneur and business executive have to carefully think about and answer before any meaningful progress can occur in their organizations.