Automation is becoming somewhat of a buzzword for 2021. It’s not that automation is new, Excel macros and similar have been around for decades, but automation has recently been taken to a new level.
This is largely thanks to the development of increasingly sophisticated platforms that are able to take on tasks that would otherwise be mundane and time-consuming. With the automation platforms now available, you can make your processes more effective and efficient than ever before, helping to improve your productivity.
There is a wide range of automation options available, from plagiarism checker software that helps to make sure your work is unique to complex customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that help businesses manage large databases. Automation can help businesses in just about any industry, whether you are working in finance or manufacturing heavy machinery. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of automation available today.
Digital marketing relies heavily on data and statistics, and changes regularly need to be made according to analytics as they come in. This can take a lot of time.
Marketing can also involve spending a lot of time sending out emails, posting on social media, and having to type in statistical data received from ongoing marketing campaigns.
Thanks to marketing automation, however, many such tasks can now be undertaken by a computer. Not only can marketing automation do a lot of the grunt work for you, but it can also help you to manage large databases in more detail than you could before. Leads can be worked with on an individual basis and customer service reps can be armed with powerful information at a moment’s notice. These factors, and more, help to make digital marketing significantly more cost-efficient and effective.
One of the best marketing automation platforms is HubSpot. HubSpot’s Marketing Hub offers a range of marketing automation features, including:
- Email automation
- List segmentation
- Lead scoring
HubSpot also comes with its own CRM, which helps make it easier for you to manage your database and work with your prospects.
Email automation can involve more than just sending out emails. Processing emails can be very time-consuming for some people — potentially taking up a large bulk of their day leaving them with insufficient time to focus on other important tasks. Automating the process, however, can mean employees no longer have to spend so much of their time on it.
If somebody sends in an email with a particular request, for example, they can automatically be responded to with a follow up email. Relevant files can be attached automatically and any files that a customer sends can be automatically downloaded and processed appropriately. The result not only saves a lot of time but also helps ensure people are responded to in an accurate and timely manner.
MailChimp is perhaps the most widely known email automation software. The platform is packed with features that make it easy for large volumes of emails to be sent in moments, as well as having emails sent to prospects according to predetermined criteria.
Some of MailChimp’s email automation features include:
- Automated sending of emails
- Auto-tagging customer interests
- Auto behavioral tracking
In addition to its powerful email marketing features, MailChimp also offers general marketing and a CRM.
Record Keeping Automation
Record keeping is another time-consuming task that affects a company’s productivity. Not only can record keeping be costly in terms of man-hours spent, but it can also hold up operations further down the line. Another potential issue that can be very costly is human error, and even the most attentive of people are not immune from making the occasional mistake.
Again, automation is the key to these issues. Software like cloud calling automation platforms, for example, help to prevent people from having to laboriously keep records updated every time they finish a call. Instead, staff can focus on moving onto the next call and, depending on the nature of the business, more calls mean more revenue. Automation also removes the need of having to wait for humans to update data, while it also removes the possibility of human error.
Among the most popular record keeping automation platforms is Signavio. The platform offers a range of solutions that help businesses manage their internal processes to streamline their operations and make everything run smoothly. Signavio makes it easy for workflows to be created, monitored, and altered to help maximize your organization’s efficiency.
Customer Service Automation
The importance of good customer service cannot be understated because if you treat your customers well then they will treat you well in return — which usually means buying more of your product. Bad customer service, on the other hand, can damage your brand image. As important as good customer service is, it can also be time-consuming and expensive to run. If you have a large client base it can also be very complex and difficult to keep up with. Yet again, automation has the solution.
With customer service automation, it becomes much easier for tickets to be allocated and worked on accordingly. Self-service help centers can be created that allow your customers to get the service they want without having to get a human involved. Workflows can be automated to help make complex operations run smoothly, and transactions can automatically be updated for future reference.
Freshdesk is a platform that has helped many businesses automate their customer service operations. The software makes it a lot easier to handle many incoming enquiries in a timely and organized manner. Productivity can be increased and efficiency measured and improved. Some of Freshdesk’s features include:
- Customer segmentation
- Automatic solution suggestion
- Task auto-assignment
- Scenario automation
- Canned responses
Chat automation could be placed with sales or customer service automation, but it really deserves a mention of its own. Social media platforms and other internet-based communication methods have made it much easier for people to get in touch with companies. This is extremely useful for business as open communication helps to solve problems and helps companies find out what the needs and wants of their target audience are.
However, chatting with customers online or elsewhere can be very demanding on man-hours — at least that was the case until chatbots came to the fore.
Modern chatbots are so sophisticated that it can be all but impossible to distinguish them from real people. They can reply to requests and questions just like real people can, drawing on replies from vast databases with help from sophisticated algorithms. Not only that, but chatbots can also handle numerous queries at once, meaning you only need one in most cases. Plus, they can work all day and night without needing a break and they don’t take vacations or pay raises.
MobileMonkey is considered one of the best chatbot platforms. The platform can be integrated with a wide variety of channels, making it easier for customers and prospects to get the information they’re looking for. Some of MobileMonkey’s features include:
- Chatbot builder
- Chat blaster
- Drip campaigns
- RSS blaster
- Messenger ads
- Share links
Automation Helps You Stay Competitive
Above is just a small selection of examples of how automation can improve your productivity. Automation can take tasks that would have taken hours and complete them in just a few moments. Fewer employees are needed to keep your business running smoothly and the staff you do have can focus on less menial tasks. In addition, instances of human error are all but eliminated.
In most cases, automation is also fairly simple to implement, and it often is compatible with other processes and platforms that are already in place. For a relatively small investment, automation can give your business a significant boost in productivity, helping to keep you ahead of the competition.
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