One of the biggest daily challenges of a company is to increase efficiency and, at the same time, to minimize expenses. Unquestionably, a business can only operate and exist successfully if profits are generated. In order to build a financially “healthy” company and successfully establish it on the market in the long term, it is essential to continuously monitor both monetary expenditures and revenues, as well as to spend time on various processes and keeping projects on the radar.
The process of uncovering ways and means to save time and to accelerate work is called business automation. With the introduction of the appropriate and versatile technologies, the automation of business processes has taken the world by storm.
There are over a thousand different methods and tools that can help you work faster and smarter in order to achieve the desired goal or outcome. While many companies have already figured out how to automate time-consuming processes, unfortunately, they often stop short in implementing minor improvements that would collectively significantly increase efficiency. This article highlights some possibilities where business processes can be automated with the help of a CRM. You may think that you already have fully automated your business, but there are certainly a few things that will make your working life even more enjoyable:
You may think that you have already fully automated your business, but here are some things that can make your working life even better:
1. Appointment reminders
Do you strive to give your customers optimal service while also trying to maximise your profits at the same time? Appointment reminders are texts and emails which are sent to customers who arranged an appointment with you or one of your team members. Reminders help your customers remember the agreed time and date and they help your business minimise downtime.
Appointment reminders are particularly useful for service-provider companies such as doctors, hairdressers, consulting firms, craft workshops, communication agencies and many more. Today appointment reminders are valued by many customers because they show that personal attention is given to every customer and they also make it possible to easily keep track of different appointments during a life full of events and meetings. At the same time, as a company, you can be sure that every hour of the working day is paid for and your employees won’t have to wait for appointments.
Appointment reminders can become an indispensable part of a work process for companies who previously have to record huge losses due to missed or forgotten appointments. When reminders are automated in the CRM, your customers will be reminded in advance of the upcoming deadline — automatically and without the need for further action on your part. You and your employees can concentrate fully on their core tasks, while your CRM helps your clients be in the right place at the right time.
2. 1. Call-back requests
Another minor process that can be automated are call-back requests. If the customer does not want to call you or does not want to fill out the contact form, it is important to offer another option, so you do not lose the potential customer- offer the possibility of a call-back. This is an easy and quick way to gain a potential lead and saves time for the prospective customer. Such requests are routed directly to a pre-defined responsible employee rather than being stuck in the company’s general holding point. As a result, valuable time can be saved, and the interested customer will then be contacted.
Setting up a call-back request function on your website only takes a few minutes, but it will have a big impact. Give your customers the feeling that you are always available to anyone who gets in touch.
3. 1. Recurring invoices
If you have a work contract or recurring invoices, you can set your CRM to automatically issue and send invoices at predefined intervals. Automating recurring invoices saves time and ensures that payments continue to arrive in your account. As more and more individual companies are founded, automatically generated invoices represent an important tool for entrepreneurs.
Stop wasting time creating copies, manually editing and sending invoices. Once recurring invoices are generated and created in the system, you can “forget” that part of customer management and focus on all the other things that you and your customers value.
Undoubtedly, many entrepreneurs can confirm that at the beginning of self-employment sending invoices on time is often something that is overlooked. Ultimately, there is a risk that liquidity will suffer despite an adequate amount of orders or occasionally, completed work will not be charged for as it is simply forgotten. With the appropriate automation, you will never forget to send an invoice and every hour worked will be charged for.
4. 1. Reengage with customers
Sometimes it seems that an opportunity (Opportunity in the CRM = a verified and qualified sales opportunity) is lost; however, in truth, it could be recovered. During customer reengagement, former or inactive customers are reactivated. Are there any customers in your system who made a purchase but did not come back? Or are there any new products or services that you think might be of interest to your existing customers?
The idea of remarketing is based on the premise that familiar things are easier for the human brain to accept than completely new ones. If a customer has already contacted you in the past or has purchased your product or services, then he or she may not remember it, but involuntarily they will internally store the information about you. If you then contact this customer again after a time, you will inadvertently be more appealing than competitors who have never been in contact with them before (CAUTION: Without a doubt, this is only applicable if your past work with the customer was very good). With the help of appropriate software, you can segment customers into different groups and then win them back with different techniques such as a newsletter. Or you can connect your Google AdWords and Facebook Ads accounts to your CRM and run reengagement adverts for the selected customer groups.
5. 1. Recurring tasks
If a team is working towards a common goal, it is essential that all team members are on the same page. When team members miss deadlines which, from the outside, makes you look bad and jeopardises the future of the entire project, you either have to become a better project manager or use a tool that will do the project management for you. For example, you can use the recurring tasks feature in Bitrix24 to automate task creation. Just create a task, activate the reoccur option, set the frequency of reoccurrence, assign the task to a responsible employee and you’re ready to go.
Recurring tasks eliminates the need to follow-up and remind people that regular tasks are due. For example, wages and taxes have to be paid every month at the same time. Recurring tasks such as these can save working time and therefore money through automation.
By using appropriate automation, both complex and unnecessary steps in the business workflow can be simplified and eliminated. You can certainly do this manually by strategically deciding which steps to remove or ignore, but new technologies and systems can do the same for you.
However, it is important that you understand that using a new technology or system will be challenging and time consuming. A CRM offers so many varied ways to automate your business processes that it is not uncommon for you to get lost in the wealth of functions. Therefore, it is essential that you have a strong partner by your side, one who will guide you and show you the bigger picture.
It is our belief that “simple collaboration” is the efficient, future-orientated key to your company’s success.
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Ossian C. Scheller / M.A.
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