There are two things business owners will always need more of — time and money. Having more time to design, launch, or market a product or service would always come in handy. Finding a way to develop, create, and sell the products or services in a way that leaves more profits is also a common business goal. In the past couple of years, digital automation has become a way businesses can do both.
The biggest selling point of the automation solutions available to small and medium businesses today is their ability to rid us of doing repetitive, tedious tasks. By doing so, a good automation solution leaves employees with more time to devote to the more complex and difficult tasks. Many businesses are using automated solutions to cut costs, save time, or increase productivity. There are some limits to which processes and activities you can automate. Not every area of business is covered well by automation solutions. But if you’re interested in making your business as lean and efficient as possible, here are the areas where automation can have a noticeable effect.
It’s impossible to run a successful business with employees who are bad at what they do. Recruitment of quality talent is one of the major concerns for any business. Businesses search nation-wide for the best candidates to fill a position, which is a time-consuming and costly process. And it needs to be done well. On average, a bad hire costs a business around $17,000.
Automation can help with the recruitment process in a couple of ways. Application or resume screening is the most commonly employed automation solution in recruitment. It’s also a solution that can backfire and cause nonstandard, but still valuable candidates to slip through the cracks. However, AI is showing great results both in resume screening and in applicant engagement. So, as long as the choice of tools is good, automation can make recruitment quicker and less expensive without compromising the quality of candidates.
Businesses are not the only entities that have to worry about compliance issues. Various governmental bodies and agencies are also subject to strict regulatory guidelines, and just like businesses, they need to make sure they color within the lines. Their trick to making it all work is using automation. Anything from payment automation to FOIA software with automated features is routinely used to cut costs and ensure compliance.
One of the major benefits of using compliance automation in the private sector is that it improves a business’ data-gathering capabilities. With quicker access to better data, businesses can assess risks more accurately and make better decisions. Streamlining of reporting is another benefit of compliance automation.
One of the things businesses have to learn to deal with in the digital age is the abundance of marketing channels. For businesses that manage to focus on the right channels and target the right audience, the abundance works great. For businesses that have trouble focusing, digital marketing is something that’s easy to get lost in.
Either way, digital marketing is a field where automation has a large footprint. Content production is still largely a manual process, but content placement can be automated. Email automation, for example, is a cost-effective way to introduce automation into digital marketing practices. Posting content across multiple channels is another activity where automation can save a lot of time. Performance tracking and analytics can get a great boost from automation.
Marketing is concerned with generating leads. Sales are concerned with moving those leads through the funnel until they become customers. The usefulness of automation can easily traverse the point where marketing stops and sales begin.
Some techniques that are used to market products are also valuable for converting leads into customers. Using emails is one, and it’s a technique that benefits from automation. Other key activities, such as lead qualification, buy signal detection, and overall sales funnel management can be automated to some extent. And when leads become customers, businesses have automation tools they can use for customer relationship management.
There are several reasons why AI-powered automation is the future of customer service. With e-commerce, customers have the option to buy products 24/7. Customer service should follow, in terms of both availability and immediacy.
One of the solutions that are increasingly used to close that gap is chatbots. AI-powered software that can mimic authentic human communication can address availability, immediacy, as well as the need for a human or personal touch. And that’s only the start of AI-powered automation in customer service.
As new technologies mature and gain mainstream acceptance, we can expect to see more key business areas benefit from automation. Soon enough, every business will turn to automation to streamline processes and save time and money. And even though there is a need to be careful when implementing automation solutions, the sooner a business starts doing it, the easier it will be to stay on top of new developments.