In recent decades, technology has become an inextricable part of everyday life, and a vital component of every process in the competitive business world. Nowadays, you are either implementing smart software and hardware across your operation, or you are falling behind, there is no middle ground. With the New Year well under way and new technological advancements emerging on the horizon, the time is better than ever to bring automation into your company.
Some of the benefits of automating tasks in every department include better efficiency and employee productivity, elevated employee satisfaction, improved customer support and client retention, and of course, higher financial savings. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five key processes you need to automate in 2019.
Automated reporting across departments
Writing in-depth, comprehensive reports to the higher-ups is a time-consuming and tedious task, but it is nonetheless a vital element of a well-functioning department. Reports serve a myriad of purposes, from validating your work and daily efforts, to encompassing consumer trends and market fluctuations, all the way to monitoring your brand’s success in the competitive industry on all fronts. In a nutshell, you need a report for every process in order to stay in the know at all times and make data-driven decisions.
This year, though, should be the year when you take human error out of the equation, expedite the report-making process, and drive efficiency across the board. With cloud-based reporting dashboards becoming integral parts of modern businesses, employees are able to create comprehensive reports in a matter of minutes instead of hours, share them with relevant actors in the firm, and work together on deriving actionable insights based on their conclusions.
Automate your workflow and sales approval process
Your sales team is the backbone of your company. This team has the ability to make or break your business, depending on their level of expertise and the tools you provide to make their job easier and their work more efficient and effective. If left at the mercy of traditional sales processes such as manual lead generation, cold calling, time-consuming research, and asking for approvals every time a special deal needs to be made or a discount approved, then you can’t expect your company to keep up with the competition.
Automating your sales workflow by providing your team with an all-encompassing platform for workflow management is one of the best ways to make the department more efficient and your employees more productive. You can easily approve every sales process to land a client or generate a loyal customer, and prevent bottlenecks every step of the way.
Automated payments and lost revenue recovery
Without a doubt, handling your incoming payments is a delicate and cumbersome task. This is exactly why growth-oriented companies are increasingly automating this entire process in order to manage their revenue streams with efficiency, and also to retrieve lost revenue from failed or late payments.
Billing automation is especially useful if you're dealing with recurring payments and subscriptions. Automated direct debit solutions will allow you to minimize financial leaks, provide high payment flexibility to your customers or clients, and ultimately improve your brand’s image in the industry. Pay special attention to solutions that offer payment flexibility, as the modern customer wants the freedom to meet their payment schedule in a way that benefits them the most.
Automated customer support
Another vital piece of the success puzzle is effective customer support. A successful brand will never fail to maintain stellar communication with its customers and clients, and will always strive to resolve every issue in a timely manner. Needless to say, this is not an easy goal to achieve, particularly if your company is gaining traction and experiencing volumes of traffic as a result.
If you want to stay one step ahead of the game at all times, you will need to bring artificial intelligence into the mix. Concretely, you need a chatbot. A chatbot is an amazing addition to every company dealing with high customer service workloads, as it has the ability to not only resolve repetitive issues and answer common questions, but also organize incoming workflow to better the efficiency of your entire team. This will alleviate pressure off of your support agents, and allow them to focus on resolving complex problems.
Automating accounts payable and tracking expenses
Last but not least, you need to know how much money is going out of your company on a daily basis. You also need to know where it’s going and what you’re getting in return. These kinds of insights, should you act on them, have the ability to cut needless expenses across your company and help you optimize your cash flow as a result.
You can implement cloud-based expense-tracking software that monitors your automated payments to external facilities as well as your internal expenses, but the platform should also allow your employees to manually input every expense for your review. With this kind of bird’s eye view of your financial expenses, you can optimize finance management processes with ease.
We live in a tech-driven world, a world in which there is no viable excuse for a growth-oriented company to stick to traditional methods and manual processes. If you want to stay competitive for years to come, be sure to implement these automation tools that will make 2019 your most profitable year to date.