6 Steps to Small Business Process Automation Success
It's a fact of life that we're living in an automated world.
As a small business owner, you want to focus on growth and increased market presence and not 'sweat the small stuff.' There's nothing worse than being bogged down by outdated systems and slow procedures. Due to this, automation plays a significant role in converting your small enterprise into a lean, mean business machine.
So, why not take advantage? Automation is a crucial marker of success. By implementing the following six small business solutions for automation success, you'll be able to improve everything from payment options to customer tracking and more!
Why Automate My Small Business?
Some believe automation is only reserved for large-scale, established businesses, but this is not the case. In reality, automation can help any type and size of business.
Savvy small business owners are automating their processes to:
- Empower their team
- Free up time
- Save costs
- Be more accurate
- Create a better customer experience
- Gain data and tracking insights
- Shift focus to high-priority tasks
- Streamline workflow
- Prepare for company growth
Let's look at some critical ways small business process automation can help achieve these goals.
1. Leverage a CRM to Follow Leads and Nurture Customer Relations
CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM platform like HubSpot tracks and manages all interactions between your team and customers or leads.
The benefits of implementing a CRM process in your small business include:
- Keeping up to date with customers
- Nurturing relationships
- Measuring leads and metrics for growth
- Increased retention rates
- Understanding your customer base
- Improving your methods and tones of communication
By utilizing data from the CRM, small businesses can understand their customer base on a deeper level impacting everything from marketing direction to sales strategy. In addition, small companies can create customer profiles and build lifetime value with customers by leveraging the CRM platform.
What's more, customers will be left feeling happier and more satisfied with the service they received. Finally, the most robust CRMs focus on data protection and privacy, meaning your customers will feel safer and more informed about your service.
2. Streamline Quoting to Automate Follow Up
One of the vital purchasing decisions driving customer behavior is cost. By implementing quoting software, you'll be able to quickly provide potential leads with accurate cost forecasting. People are more likely to purchase a product or service if they know the cost.
In addition, you can use quoting software to follow up with leads regarding the quoting by automating the responses. This helps track which quotes have gone out and the quoted prices involved. Finally, quoting software frees the sales team to do more of what they do best!
3. Real-Time Email and Text Message Marketing Automation
You can spend days writing, preparing, scrolling, reading, replying, and managing your text and email inbox. Or you can automate response times, create marketing templates and empower your team to streamline their marketing outreach with automation.
For example, once you've built your sales funnel, you can automate every process step while tracking the customer journey. You'll now gain insights on which leads opt-out vs. opt-in, which content works well, and how many emails are opened. In addition, you'll also be able to create super personalized messages and emails related to the customers' purchasing habits.
Finally, you can segment your lists by sending separate emails to particular customer profiles at predetermined times.
4. Boost Efficiency With Form Automation
Forms are everywhere online today. So from the contact us page to the newsletter sign-up to customer feedback, it makes sense that this process is automated as much as possible. Rather than doing manual data entry, you can have the customer fill out the necessary details through a form that automates the information into your system.
Once a customer has filled out a form, you can instantaneously automate a response to make the customer feel appreciated and acknowledge you have received the document submission. There are plenty of form builders online for savvy business owners wanting to free up their time from manual entry.
5. Onboard Customers With Ease
You want your customers and clients to have the confidence and tools to start using your product or service immediately following a purchase. In addition, customers want to know how to use and extract as much value as possible from your offering.
Because of this, automating your onboarding system can be a great way to nurture customer relationships. You can implement customer onboarding through combined tools, including a welcome email through the CRM platform and a segmented funnel through your email software.
Don't forget to prepare engaging content such as instructional videos, Q&As, and fun newsletters, and share your business news with customers.
6. Segment Your Customers and Leads
If you're not segmenting your email lists, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to make follow-up sales and nurture your customer relationships. Treating your customer base as one single entity can lead to stagnated sales and customers feeling unappreciated.
You can segment lists in many ways, including:
- New vs. repeat customer
Plus several other categories. You can create promotional material for a 'segment' of your customer base. This process establishes a better customer experience (personal touch) and allows you to target customers for specific products or services.
You can also reward long-time customers with special deals and offers. In addition, several small business tools are available to business owners to assist with email segmenting and management.
Small Business Process Automation Is the Key to Growth!
If you're ready to delight your customers, empower your employees, and level up your systems, it's time to start implementing the small business automation processes above. However, keep in mind many other areas where businesses can and should be automated outside those we've discussed.
Knowing where to start can sometimes be challenging, and there's a whole range of options to discover. To get started on your business automation journey or to sharpen up your systems, reach out to Speak to a Geek about automating your processes!
Learn more about optimizing your operations in our free resource, the "Game Plan for Any Business!"