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Business Automation: 10 Things You Can Automate to Save Time

Save time and money by automating these 10 common, yet time-consuming business processes. 

Claire Grady
6 min read
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Keeping up with customer requests, data, and marketing can be demanding for small business owners. When tasks start to outweigh hours in the day, it’s wise to lean on technology to offload some of your to-dos. 

Thankfully, the digital age has spurred the creation of business automation tools that can increase your efficiency and take care of the laborious tasks that keep you from conducting the core of your business. You’d be in good company by adopting business automation tools. 

According to a 2020 McKinsey global survey, 66% of businesses across industries were automating at least one business process. 

A report found that business automation:

  • Allows employees to focus on higher-value work.
  • Provides 24/7 support and operability.
  • Creates faster service reducing `processing time from days to minutes. 
  • Increases savings by 20% or more.

Read on to learn 10 business processes you can automate to increase efficiency. If you’re looking for an all-in-one business platform that allows your customers to find, book, pay, and review your services on their own, sign up for a free 14-day trial with GoSite.

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1. Email Responses

Business owner reading emails on her laptop.

Today, email is everything. Email inboxes are flooded with customer requests and comments. It can be hard to keep up with the influx. A great place to start automating your business is within your email responses.

With many marketers tracking success with email response rates, using an automated tool can drive a 14.5% increase in sales productivity. From a quick “thank you,” to directing customers to relevant FAQs, automated email responses can quickly address customers and keep small business owners engaged in other tasks. 

2. Voicemail Automation

Emails aren’t the only way customers can contact you. Many customers will leave voicemails for urgent requests. And even though texting, emailing, and direct messaging have mostly replaced voicemails, it’s an important medium to monitor. When customers call and leave a message, it’s because they are expecting a response. 

Automation for voicemails starts with a simple greeting. One that aligns expectations and allows you to address common customer questions before calling them back.  

3. Social Media

Engaging with followers, posting, and creating content for social media can be incredibly time-consuming. Fortunately, there are several tools out there you can use to tackle Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, and other channels for content scheduling, analytics, and responses. 

Instapage reports that automating social posts and ads can save more than six hours per week.

4. Lead Management

Small business owner speaking to a potential customer on the phone.

Responding to and nurturing leads is an important aspect of small business ownership. Since your business relationship with leads can be quite delicate, you may be hesitant to automate it. 

However, lead management can still have a human touch—even with automation. 

Automation can take out a lot of the busywork that comes with incoming leads, such as email follow-ups, special offers, timed discount codes, and more. If you have the budget for lead automation software, it can be worth your investment. In fact, marketers reported an 80% increase in leads using some type of lead automation software. 

5. Chatbots

Chatbots have become a powerful automation tool for both small and large businesses. Not only is it a preferred way for customers to communicate, but they can alleviate customer issues before they even make it across your desk. 

Pre-programmed questions and responses can cut time and up to 30% of operational costs, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. 

When implementing a chatbot, make sure it provides all the essential features your business needs to help your website visitors self-serve and find the solution they’re looking for.

6. Invoicing

Business owner checking paid invoices on laptop.

Issuing invoices, sending payment reminders, and facilitating bank deposits is made easier through automation. If you don’t want to hound clients, look for invoicing and payment software to do this for you.

With multiple clients being serviced every day, the last thing you want to do is let an invoice slip through the cracks. Business automation also ensures that your clients can pay online, which is a preferred method among most buyers. In fact, 83% of small businesses that accept online payments saw an increase in revenue.

7. Appointment Scheduling

Let’s face it—appointment scheduling has become a hassle. It’s much easier to schedule appointments online, with your schedule in front of you, than relying on a phone call from a business. Small business owners can take that frustration out of clients’ hands by automating appointment scheduling.

The ease of making appointments will be of huge value to you and your customers alike. With 76% of clients using mobile devices to book appointments, allowing them to book, reschedule, and cancel appointments without interference will save you both time and money. 

8. Requesting Reviews

Another beneficial process to include in your business is having a system for requesting reviews instantaneously. Staggeringly, 93% of customers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. 

Reviews matter not only in quality but in quantity, which is why it’s important to prompt customers to leave a review after each service. Automated review requests can come in the form of a simple text or email reminder. A good review cycle is crucial for small businesses—if customers are thrilled with your service, a great review will lead to another sale, and so on. 

9. Referrals

A few customers at the counter of a small cafe.

No matter your social media presence or catchy campaigns, referrals are still king. Turning one sale into another is a key to breaking even and making a profit. 

Referrals, especially automated referrals, drive a small business’ reputation among a core audience. Make it worth your customers’ while by offering discounts and credits for successful referrals.

10. Customer Data 

Customer leads come in from every direction—from social media, marketing campaigns, and review sites. Automating how you capture, store, and use customer data will be crucial to scaling your business. As the customer list grows, the volume can make it difficult to manage and support them. 

With a Contact Hub, that data gets easily organized and stored to be analyzed and used as you see fit with your business. It also helps you identify trends to narrow your target audience and understand how clients end up in the sales funnel. 

GoSite is here to take a handful of automation tools off your hands—start today with a free trial!

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