Business process automation is becoming increasingly popular, allowing you to use your time more efficiently.
Sounds good, right?
Well, sometimes no…
Unfortunately, it’s surprisingly easy for something that is meant to streamline processes to result in a poor service, giving you a bad reputation.
Why use business process automation?
It’s easy to forget just how much time certain tasks take, and we often find ourselves bogged down in menial work that isn’t moving the business forward.
Automation works best for repetitive tasks that follow a set process. It saves time and money by reducing human interaction – and human error – and allows you to give customers instant responses, even out of hours.
Think about the personnel resources used for each task in your process and you’ll see why so many businesses are relying on automation.
From scheduling social media posts to ensuring that contracts are signed in the correct signatory order, there are any number of manual tasks where human involvement can be reduced or removed altogether.
My [ Automation ] Rocks
I personally use many different tools to automate processes within my business, saving time that would be better spent on my clients. However, I make sure to only automate those elements where I know the time-saving benefits outweigh any loss of human interaction.
For example, I use Dubsado* for my client onboarding. When someone fills out the enquiry form on my website, it generates a workflow depending on what the form contains.
If it’s a client, they receive a questionnaire to determine whether or not we’re a good fit for one another. If they are, we arrange a call via Acuity* which has already taken my availability from my Google calendar so we avoid dreaded diary ping-pong.
AND Acuity is hooked up to my Zoom account, so a unique meeting link is auto-populated in the email confirmation.
If it’s a VA needing help, they’ll receive an automated workflow with responses to the questions I’m asked most frequently. As much as I support the VA industry, I don’t offer coaching or training for VAs, so my focus needs to stay on paying clients. This automation saves me the time of writing a detailed response to every enquiry.
When businesses shouldn’t use automation
There are some industries where a personal touch is beneficial, and others where it’s utterly essential. You wouldn’t want to arrange a funeral through a chatbot, would you?
In one instance that I came across, a couple booked their dream wedding venue, only for the automated provisional booking email to land in a junk folder. The date could easily have been released to another couple had they not found the email, which would have been devastating.
For such a special occasion – and such a high-ticket industry – the care and attention of a dedicated human is not only expected but necessary.
It’s also important to make sure that, if you use automation, your program actually works. I recently received a message from a LinkedIn bot that expressed an interest in my role of “Martial Arts Instructor” and wanted to arrange a call to send some business my way. Um, no thank you.
Need help streamlining your processes?
As a business wingwoman, it’s my mission to make your life easier. Talk to me about your business and I’ll give you a complimentary consultation to discuss how I can lighten your workload without your customers losing that personal touch.
*For complete transparency, these are affiliate links and I may receive a small percentage if you go on to make a purchase. You can be assured that I only ever recommend resources that I trust and have used myself.