Automation tools - what are they and why do I need them? This is a really, really great topic! This is something that I get really nerdy about. I love automation, I have started using it in my studio and now in this business as a marketing strategist. I really am always looking for ways that I can add more automations into my system so that I can save time, so that I can be more consistent, and know things are getting done and they’re not falling by the wayside.
Automation - what is it?
Automation is using technology to automate repeatable tasks, or tasks that you do over and over and over again. You can automate responses to emails, data collection, lead collection, lots more! Automation makes everything efficient, effective, consistent and so on. As you’re looking to grow your business, it can make scaling possible. With automation, you’re no longer trading hours for dollars, it allows you to multiply your efforts so that you’re able to grow and get more done in less time. Huge benefits to using automation.
Here are some of the basic automation functions: setting your email auto responder; or scheduling out a post on Facebook using a scheduling tool. Very basic things that you can probably use that you don’t even think about!
6 Key Benefits of Automation
Time savings for you (and also your customers) – Because you are multiplying your efforts, you’re getting the same level of work done in less time. And it’s also going to save time for the customer, as well (depending on what kind of systems you use). I like to use an appointment scheduler tool to automate calls with my clients, to automate trial classes at my studio. It’s going to save time for them too because they’re using software and booking a time that is convenient for them. I’ve already put it on my schedule as available so I know I have these blocks of time that are available, and they pick what works for them. We don’t have to email back and forth, we don’t have to call back and forth. It’s really convenient!
Cost savings for you (payroll fees, marketing) – You’re not paying a labor, you’re not paying an admin person to do certain tasks. They’re able to focus on other things or they don’t have to work quite as much. And that’s going to save you money on marketing.
Accurate information – It’s a software…so you’re removing the human element for the most part. Once you have it setup and verify that everything is accurate. The links are still going to work; they’re going to be the correct links, you’re going to be sending people the right dates, there’s not going to be any typos, there’s not going to be any misinformation that is sent out or given to people.
Speed of service to customer – We’re talking about customer service and I immediately go back to the appointment scheduling tool. That’s speed! Customers can schedule their appointment on the spot; they don’t have to wait for a phone call back, they don’t have to wait for an email back, they don’t have to stop-by. They know if they login to the site at 10PM at night and they can find an appointment and they book it, it’s done! They don’t have to make time to follow up and we don’t have to worry about following up with them.
Consistently delivered (tasks and inquiries not falling through the cracks) – Another benefit is consistently delivering. Sometimes when we get busy, things fall through the cracks and I know you know what I’m talking about. We have the message book and maybe there are some messages that don’t quite get returned as quickly as we wanted to, or maybe they get forgotten about or lost. Maybe there are emails that we intend on sending and then things get in the way and it doesn’t happen. Maybe there’s inquiries that happen through Facebook that we missed or that we don’t get right back to and then 4 days later we feel like it’s too late, right? So these things, depending on what automation software you have setup, they’re consistently happening whether you have any hands on time with them, or not. Once you set them up, they go! There’s no forgetting, there’s no getting pushed to the backburner, there’s no recital week getting in the way of it. They’re just happening. That’s one of the things I love about automation.
Better connections (regularly connect with customers, allows you to offer high touch service, timely service) – This is one of the biggest benefits - better connections. As you are setting up certain automation softwares they can allow you to regularly connect with your customers, regularly connect with people who maybe have inquired but aren’t quite customers. And it allows you to offer that high touch service; that’s timely, that’s accurate, that’s efficient, all those things that I just said. And when you do that, it’s providing a better experience for your customers; both new, existing, potential customers. Which means better customer satisfaction and that all leads to great things; better retention rates for your current customers, better conversion rates for your incoming customers. And ultimately that means you’re spending less money on marketing because you’re having these great experiences, you don’t have to spend money on Facebook ads, or Instagram ads, or newspaper ads, or fliers, or any of those other marketing strategies to find those new customers. Because you’re retaining and you’re bringing in those people almost for free, basically.