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The Age of Automation

Posted by: Mark Solesbury
Category: News

What it is:

A recent McKinsey study suggests 31% of businesses have already fully automated at least one of their functions, with 66% piloting solutions to automate at least one more business process – an increase from 57% the previous year.

 

Why is it important / Business Value:

Often met with scepticism or indeed worry that process automation would jeopardise their job, employees have seen the systems as a replacement to their job function and they became fearful of redundancy. However, automation systems have found their place as an asset to employees in handing them more time in their working day to carry out the critical business functions whilst the automation systems handle the more mundane and often time consuming.

What does this mean for the business? The main one being a better allocation of the workforce, freeing them to carry out the higher-value parts of their job and creating more available man-hours without the need to grow your workforce, a long term reduction of cost to the business.

This evolution of the role of automation just demonstrates how it can work alongside your team as both have their own responsibilities – allowing automation systems to carry out the mundane whilst your team carries out the real person-to-person interactions which are undoubtedly the best way to build relationships, trust and loyalty – now more than ever.

  

Where appropriate:

But how & more importantly where can automation systems be incorporated into your business? Data-heavy areas can see these systems manage, organise their information in:

Marketing

Customer Service

Sales

HR

Each of these departments, along with many others invariably involve low-value (to your business) repetitive tasks, such as invoice generation, data entry etc that take your workforce away from the business valuable work that can develop current customer relationships, research and nurture new leads or ultimately close that sale

  

Considerations of application:

There is a huge rush to automate the low value tasks and many businesses have taken advantage of the huge number of Chatbot technologies now available, especially in customer service. 

Is this wise? Although these services try to deal with the more common questions they can still create frustration. High value customers being serviced by bots that aren’t able to answer individual or unique inquiries can create poor customer experiences unless picked up by the relevant team quickly 

Acquiring new customers is very expensive and after spending all that time and resource, then not to offer a service that will wow them could lead the customer journey right back to square one.

 

How to do it:  

By bringing together a number of tools that collect all your marketing, sales and customer data into singular dashboards your systems can act as the dashboard to drive the sales team towards what is important – such as increasing win conversation rates, increasing the sales pipeline, present upselling and cross selling opportunities, whilst vastly increasing productivity.

The idea of automation isn’t necessarily a new one – companies have always been looking at ways they can improve/streamline processes to increase efficiency and productivity. As the world has become more digital, the ways automation systems can become part of your company has increased in variety but instead of being seen as a replacement for employees and their job functions, they are now presented as a tool to benefit and aid employees in carrying out their day-to-day tasks and becoming a valuable member of your HR, customer service, sales or marketing team.

Whilst there is undoubted value in bring automation systems into your business there are some things still to consider. There are so many different areas, functions and departments that automation can be injected into your business – the important thing to know is what tools are the best for your business objectives, where they add value and how they integrate with all your other systems. That is where we come in, working with you to understand your business goals, your departments & process to recommend the right systems, tools and functions to not only achieve, but exceed those business goals from our very first conversation

 

Reducing costs and efficiency are the obvious benefits for automation systems being incorporated into your business, however they aren’t the only ones. The knock-on effect for a Sales Team, for example, gives your people additional time to develop and nurture customer relationships, close any open leads and dedicate time to investing in their personal and professional growth, which is always something that’s pushed to the end of the to-do list.

To make sure those high value activities from research to marketing creative to business generation and beyond is never left to the end of the list get in touch and see how we can make sure that if you are going to automate, you do it in the right places.