Everyone involved in the corporate world has spent a lot of time on the most tedious tasks they wish they never had to deal with. Starting from manually entering data on a Friday afternoon, over checking e-mails constantly to make sure nothing important has gone unnoticed to creating reports, we’ve all been there. And done that. So, it comes as no surprise then that automation of such tasks and processes is one of the best things that has happened to business in general.
Just think about the number of hours and the amount of stress that have been avoided as a result of not having to deal with such mundane tasks! While streamlining has entered many aspects of business operations and made everything run much more smoothly and swiftly, it would be wrong to assume that we’ve exhausted the opportunities to automate business processes. Here are some of them that you might not think of immediately in this context, but which can be automated to help you achieve better results.
Document generation can help you dynamically generate, edit and approve documents that your company produces regularly, such as contracts. You can set various languages, formatting and geo-specific content, while workflow automation allows meta-approval of data at any stage of the process. Approved team members can make real-time changes and monitor updates without the need for manual notification and without pushing back on a deadline or increasing the risk of publishing an unfinished or unpolished document.
Even though most businesses still use e-mail to administer notification, it’s been proven that SMS click rates are much higher. This means everyone is much more likely to read and respond to a text rather than an e-mail. So, if SMS notifications are integrated into a business process, the results will be much better and there will be a significant reduction in the time needed to complete a request. If you make additional effort and consolidate notifications from multiple lines of communication (phone, e-mail, SMS), your employees will spend less time going through messages or notifications and they’ll actually spend more time working.
Digital marketing and social media management
Automating your marketing efforts is a particularly tricky task, but it can really yield some positive effect. The bigger the company, the more content is created and some sort of automation is needed to keep up with it all. That’s why many companies are turning to reliable and efficient digital marketing reporting tools to obtain relevant data quickly and accurately. Based on those carefully compiled reports, managers are able to analyse the results of their attempts to use various digital marketing strategies and social media advertising options, which seem to be critical for success these days.
They say that working with people is the most difficult type of work. Not many will disagree with this statement, which leads us to a conclusion that automating processes such as customer support can be of great help. Help centres, chat-bots and other artificial intelligence systems can be used to proactively solve the problem of providing the best possible customer support. Not only is it faster to use such systems, but they are also available 24/7, every single day. By spending less time dealing with angry customers on the phone or chatting on social media, such systems provide your employees a great relief and the customers are likely to appreciate being able to get assistance round the clock.
One of the most arduous processes is hiring, especially since more and more employees are jumping ship than before. This means that the hiring processes occur much more often than in the past. Another significant change that has affected the hiring process is the expectation of new employees. Namely, millennials don’t want to wait around for somebody to show them what to do. Instead, they want to find all the necessary information at their fingertips and be given the tools to do it themselves. While this is a substantial increase in demand, employees should actually embrace it and automate parts of the on-boarding process. After all, that’s what fresh organisational models are all about.
Every salesperson loves closing deals. That’s what they live and work for. However, there is something most of them despise and that’s paperwork, i.e. updating a CRM in modern sales. Instead of spending their precious time prospecting and having conversations with clients, they still have to deal with activities like call logging and filing. Luckily, these necessary activities are made for automation. A sales team can use connected devices, paperless contracts and automated call logging to allow for digital workflow between various sales tools. That would also help them spend more time selling and less time manually entering data.
As you can see, there’s still a lot of room for automation in today’s business world. While many aspects have already undergone major changes since the introduction of automation, it’s clear that many more are following suit. Logically, the sooner automation is successfully implemented, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the benefits. So, think about your business processes and try to automate as many of them.