6 Ways to Automate Business Processes & Get More Done
Taking tasks from manual to automated has multiple benefits for a company. It can reduce keying errors, free up employee time, improve productivity, and eliminate dropped balls.
It also saves companies money. Thirty percent of surveyed employees say process automation saves money and 44% say it saves them time. Overall, 96% say automation is a benefit for them.
There are a lot of task and process automations that can be done with cloud software, like Microsoft 365, but many companies just don’t get around to exploring them.
Employees can tend to get stuck in the same ways of doing things without realizing what they’re missing out on, and how much time, money, and frustration they could be saving.
If you’ve been thinking about automation but weren’t really sure where to implement it in your company, here are several ideas to help you get more done in less time.
Process Automation Ideas to Boost Productivity
Look for Spreadsheet Processes & Automate Them
Just about any business will have a spreadsheet process somewhere. It could be a list of vendors that’s kept in an Excel sheet. Or a Google Sheet that is used to keep track of sales follow ups.
Spreadsheet processes are time-consuming and are a prime target for automation.
One of the handiest tools you can use for this is Microsoft Lists. This app allows you to convert offline spreadsheets into shareable cloud lists that can automate task notifications, be shared with others, and become a “mini cloud app” that’s dynamic rather than static.
Automate Task Process Flows
Project bottlenecks often happen when one person finishes their part of a project, but the next person doesn’t know that it’s time for them to pick up the baton and start their task.
You can keep things running smoothly by using task management software (Trello, Asana, etc.) that allows you to instantly notify the next person when it’s their turn to do the next thing on a project. These can even be connected with team messaging software so you can make a notification in Teams or Slack, letting someone know instantly when it’s their turn to pick up the baton.
Automate Repetitive Processes
Another great target for automation is any task that’s repetitive. This could include the need to input new cart sales into your accounting software or send out meeting invitation links once a meeting is scheduled.
Any task that repeats with the same information should be able to be automated, eliminating the human intervention needed to make it happen.
For example, you could use an integration to connect a shopping cart with a CRM or accounting platform so an order can transfer over automatically as it comes in.
Another prime example would be if you manually run Google Analytics reports weekly and email them to everyone. Instead, these could be pre-scheduled and set to go out to your designated recipients automatically.
Sales Team Notifications
When it comes to following up on new inquiries, time is of the essence. But if you’re using a manual system of a customer service rep emailing a sales resp a new lead, there can be delays. What if the CS rep gets busy? The lead might not be emailed over for a few hours.
Every minute counts with lead follow up because 78% of customers will purchase from the company that responds first.
Automating the notification process so there is no middle person involved can ensure your sales reps get hot leads as soon as they hit your website and can follow up quickly.
Offer 24/7 Automated Chat Support
Customers are expecting more these days when it comes to customer support. Technology is in large part responsible for this. People are now used to getting 2-day shipping and instant service, even if it’s AI-based.
You can use automation and intelligent chatbots to increase your ability to help customers and provide some type of meaningful assistance 24/7.
Once set up with basic answers to your business’s frequently asked questions, you may find your automated chatbot making sales in the middle of the night that you might have missed otherwise.
One of the simplest automations that someone can put in place to reduce the time it takes to manage their email is organizational automation in a platform like Outlook.
Using Outlook rules, you can shave hours per week off the time it takes to go through email, check email, and reply to emails.
Here are just a few examples:
- Automatically file incoming emails into appropriate subfolders
- Play a sound when an email from an important person comes in
- Set up autoresponders to emails you receive often and that get a similar reply
- Auto-forward project or account emails that you currently have to forward manually
- Automatically assign category colors to make email easier to find
Supercharge Your Office With Automation Help from C Solutions
C Solutions can help your Orlando area business implement automations, both large and small, that eliminate errors, improve response speed, and save you money.
Schedule a free consultation today! Call 407-536-8381 or reach us online.