While ‘automation’ brings with it the idea of rigid, inflexible robots moving boxes from A to B, the truth couldn’t be more opposite.
Thanks to the incredible computational power that businesses shave at their fingertips, we now work in a world where automation can enhance our conversations, optimise operations and ultimately save money that could be better spent enhancing other areas of the business.
In a nutshell, automation is perfect for any task that can be boiled down to ‘If this happens, then do that’. These sorts of tasks are easy to translate into workflows that a computer can follow and manage, enabling lightning-fast reactions that a human counterpart could never match, while freeing up employee’s time for more nuanced tasks.
So, here are three use-cases where we can help you embrace automation:
One of the easiest and quickest ways to see results from automation is by folding it into your utility usage. We’ve all seen adverts for smart maters for home, and is basically just as useful for businesses, if not more, as it can be taken much further.
At home, we hate to see lights on, or the heating with no one to enjoy the results, so we turn them off to save money and the same could be done for your business. Let your automation platform decide when lights should be on or off, and save money on your electricity and gas bills!
And depending on the size and scope of your premises, this can be almost infinitely tailored to your specific needs. Lights could be triggered by specific timings or when people enter the premises. Heating could be optimised to only be turned on during cold snaps, or only in areas where people are currently working, again helping you save money.
Or, if your business sources gas on a much larger scale, your automation platform could even be customised to only purchase when prices are below your set limit.
Sales & Marketing
Your employees’ time is one of the most precious resources you have, so anything you can do to optimise their projects is a boon, and automation can certainly help there, by removing repetitive tasks that your marketers would usually be responsible for and offloading them to a computer!
Many CRM systems these days have the ability to create automated marketing workflows that can fork down different roads, depending on the behaviour of the reader.
Take for example a legal firm, with multiple disciplines – If the original outreach explains all the different services available, and a reader clicks on their property law services to learn more…
That behaviour is recognised, moving the contact into a different workflow, continuing to nurture the lead by sending regular updates on their property services, without any input from your marketing team!
Time is also one of the greatest factors when it comes to getting the sale. After all, the longer you leave a prospect to think, the more time you give your competitors to jump in and take your place! Which means getting your prospect to start building a relationship with your business as soon as possible!
This is where automation can also help, with the ability to automatically check availability in your sales team’s dairies and book a call within a couple of clicks of receiving an email. They could even flag prospects that have exhibited specific SQL behaviours like downloading a case study for example, prompting a salesperson to reach out and gauge their interest.
Staffing your customer services department is a careful balancing act between ensuring short answer times and a cost-effective number of employees. Automation can again help here by reducing the amount of time advisors spend with callers, and while you may think this would harm the customer experience, it actually enhances it!
Natural Language Processing (or NLP for short) is the fancy term for Siri, Alexa and a whole host of other speech recognition services, and can significantly improve customer satisfaction scores by reducing the time taken for callers to speak to the person or department they need to.
For example, rather than having to press 1 to do this, then 2 and so on, you could simply be asked ‘What’s the reason for your call?’, and after answering the question, being routed to the exact department required.
This isn’t new technology, and you’ve probably been in a scenario like this before, but it’s quickly being adopted by more and more companies looking to reduce customer frustrations and wait times.
And we’ve had that experience when we’ve tried answering ‘the question’ as slowly and well-pronounced as possible, before being asked to repeat our request and fighting the urge to throw our phones. This is where the underlying technology and design can greatly influence the end-product, and having the right partner can truly make a difference.
When customer data, or any sort of information must pass between several departments, emails can get lost and, considering we’re all human, people can forget to pass on information at the right pace. Automation can again help here by removing the need for people to get involved altogether.
Say a telecoms company has just won a new sale…
A salesperson dots the I’s and crosses the T’s before passing on to the installation team. The automation platform could check for missing information (and possibly fill in the gaps) before alerting the most qualified engineer to validate the proposal, sending a reminder if it hasn’t been completed within a specified timeframe.
Then the platform could order any necessary hardware to ensure stock delays don’t affect the deployment and automatically schedule the installation in diaries and send a reminder email to the new customer. All with hardly any input from staff!
All told, automation is one of the most powerful optimisation and cost-cutting tools available to businesses right now. But, to create a truly seamless solution, custom code and technical knowledge is required, which means partnering with an automation expert.
BDR Group has been deploying automation services for its customers for decades, and is exploring new ways to serve the public and private sectors with NLP services that will greatly accelerate service delivery across the NHS and business world.
If you think that automation could help accelerate your business’ leapfrogging of the competition, don’t hesitate to get in touch – our team are only ever one phone call away and can help you embrace a faster, more cost-effective and, most importantly, automated future!