It’s not just big businesses that benefit from automating processes and customer interactions using technology. Using IT to streamline processes, increase efficiency and reduce work does not have to be only the remit of large corporations.

How IT can help small businesses to automate

The benefits of automating

All the benefits to large businesses are there for the taking for small organisations that have the ability to get onboard with the technology that’s, actually, readily available to them; and are willing to work with a developer, where necessary, to implement changes.

The benefits:

  • Increased ability to adapt to market changes 
  • Ability to service a larger customer base 
  • Scrapping of time-intensive repetitive admin processes 
  • Reduced human error 
  • Reduced costs of labour 
  • Increased customer satisfaction 
  • Improved consistency of service  
  • Increased ability to collaborate 
  • Improved level of compliance

Here’s how. Here are our ideas for automating in the different areas of your business:

Marketing

Automation is magical for marketing. Everything from social media posts to email marketing and lead contacting can be automated.

Gain the ability to post every day across all the channels with automated, social media manager tools. And because you can’t possibly contact every lead that comes in from your website, and other marketing, you can set up autoreplies to say, “Thanks for contacting us, we will be in touch in the next 24 hours to discuss your requirements”.

Those emails you get from companies wishing you a happy birthday – they are all automated. You can do the same and remain top of your customers’ minds and manage contact with them easily and efficiently with an automated setup.

Sales

With automated workflows you can assign leads to your workforce and keep track of all paperwork, and progress on sales with a CRM. That call you missed from a customer, and worry you’ll forget to call them back - a CRM system can send you reminders, or designate to a member of your team.

A whole lead and sales follow-up process can be automated so that texts and emails land in front of your customers and prospects at the right time.

For example: “Thank you for your completed application form. We will be in touch about making an appointment to discuss your options”.

Even through to sales completion, for example: “Thank you for taking out your mortgage with us. We hope you were happy with our service and would love it if you left us feedback. In the meantime, we wish you all the best until we contact you again at your 12-month review”.

Ecommerce

What if you had a system to contact existing customers asking them if they needed to restock? Existing customers are more likely to buy from you than new customers so why not have a system to remind them?

You can remind customers about abandoned shopping carts, notify them when stock is available and suggest alternative products. The possibilities are endless.

Customer service

Make it a whole lot easier for your customers to contact you. An extensive online FAQ may help, or a well-programmed chatbot; but so will an easy to complete enquiry form that actually gets read and actioned by a member of the team is even better. Better still, log those calls as ‘tickets’ and set up a system to ensure they are resolved within a certain time.

The data you’ll generate from an automated customer service system can help you to gauge your level of success and give you no end of insight into how you can improve further improve.

Admin

Repetitive admin tasks that are time-consuming and wearisome can be automated. If you have a business that holds any sort of personal data, automation of booking, ordering and permissions will all be a lot safer and compliant with GDPR if it’s electronic.

Need to contact all the customers who bought a certain model/version of a product from you in the last three months, due to a fault detected? Simply pull up all those records and get the system to contact them automatically.

Legal, accounting and other professions, all previously thought to be ‘paper-heavy’ industries are now increasingly using automated systems to eradicate time-intensive manual processes.

Want to get on the automation journey?

You just need a business automation-savvy techie who has seen and done it all before. And never think your business is unique and can’t be helped by automation. For IT experts, automating processes is relatively simple.