The key to business growth and development in the digital age is business process automation. Trying to continue doing things in a manual manner is impractical and nonsensical, and it is certainly not cost-effective. If you’re looking for ways to save time and money in your business then automating processes is the way forward. Old ways will not open new doors for your business. Let’s take a closer look at the idea of process automation and some things you can start automating in your business.
What exactly is business process automation?
Business process automation is essentially just another aspect of digital transformation. It is therefore pivotal for businesses to adopt if they want to stay ahead of the game in the digital world. Excellence is no longer admired in businesses, it is expected. Business process automation is all about ensuring excellence is inevitable by using technology, instead of manual effort, to do repetitive tasks. The advantage of automation is that tasks can now be done a lot quicker and at a reduced cost.
Customers these days are just not happy with the slowness of manual processes because they have become accustomed to getting things done digitally – quickly and effectively. Just think about how frustrating it is when we have to do something manually or are forced to wait for something to be done manually for us. You don’t want to frustrate your customers, do you? The customers of today are used to efficiency, so if they don’t get that from you then they will simply go somewhere else. Customers are not as forgiving as they were in the past.
Why does my business need it?
Your business needs process automation because it makes everyone’s lives easier and less stressful – your employee’s, your partner’s, your supplier’s and your customer’s lives. Automation is swiftly becoming a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. If you want your business to survive and thrive then streamlining processes is the way forward. Here are three key benefits of focussing on making digital work for your business so that more of your business processes are automated.
It will build customer loyalty
We’ve already established that business process automation will definitely be seen positively by your customers. Why? Because it almost always results in a better product or service for the customer. Some may be worried that the technological aspect of automation removes the human element, but this is not necessarily true. There are still many ways to ensure your customers still receive the human touch, which is important in building customer loyalty. Automation should complement the human-facing element of any business, not detract from it. Digitising your business will add value to your customers if it is used smartly.
One prevalent example of process automation is seen in marketing where customers receive timely, relevant communication related to their purchasing process. This is wonderful for building customer loyalty and a positive brand reputation for your business. But marketing automation is a whole topic on its own.
It will build stakeholder trust
If your business runs smoothly and all your stakeholders can rely on receiving the best from your business at all times then it builds trust. Whereas manual processes can often be too slow and unreliable, process automation gives stakeholders the confidence because they know that they will receive what they need from your business efficiently and reliably.
If everyone trusts your business then it will be so much easier to grow your business as more and more people will be willing to partner with and invest in your business.
It will build employee satisfaction
Successful businesses have happy employees. One thing that makes employees unhappy is tedious tasks. In other words, don’t make them do monotonous manual things at works if they can be automated. This will not only free up your employee’s time to focus on other, more important, tasks, but it also inspires more creativity amongst your workforce. Too much time focussed on the mundane will simply result in bored and boring staff. You’ll probably also find a high staff turnover.
Therefore, business process automation should result in higher job satisfaction and lower staff turnover. This also means that business leaders are not drawn away from their key tasks to continuously find new staff members. And no, it does not mean that staff become redundant. Businesses will always need humans. Letting technology step in and do its bit will just make everyone happier and more productive.
What are some examples of business process automation?
Here are a few things you can start automating in your business that will save you time and money.
Communicating with your market
One thing that fosters closeness in any relationship is communication. Are you communicating with your customers? Now, there is a fine line between communicating too much and too little, so you need to be able to read your market well. First things first, everyone you are communicating with must have agreed to communicate with you. Otherwise, you’re really just shouting at people who are not interested in listening to you. But those who are interested in your business and want to hear from you will be happy to receive communication from you. This communication can come in MANY forms: emails, text messages, outdoor media, printed media, social media, etc.
All of this communicating can be very time consuming and costly for your staff to manage. Business process automation can be effectively used when it comes to moving people through your marketing funnel: from awareness to purchase to loyalty. For example, someone has stumbled on your website and fills in a form to subscribe to your blog articles. Immediately, they receive an automated email acknowledging sign up and encouraging them to read some articles they may be interested in. Or perhaps they have called to make a booking or appointment, and after they have ended the call they receive a text message confirming all the details. Although it’s seen as normal nowadays, it is important that customers’ actions are always recognised and responded to.
When it comes to the financial processes in a business, there is a lot of repetition – cost estimates, purchase orders, invoices and statements. Automating this entire process, whereby customers receive the relevant documents instantaneously, will not only impress customers, but it will also improve transparency, accountability and accuracy. A business with their finances in order is a business everyone is willing to be in a relationship with.
Getting new staff onboard is more of a complicated process than one may assume. There is a lot to set up when hiring anyone new: business information documents, induction meetings, bank account information for salary payments and training sessions. Automating this process will make new staff members feel valued and existing staff members more productive.
Here are some other real-life examples.
So there you have it – a glimpse into how business process automation can save your business time and money. If you’re interested in learning about some ways you can digitise your business and automate processes then give us a call. Flicker Leap is here to help businesses thrive in a digital world.