What parts of your job can a robot do for you? Maybe you’re not introducing actual robots into your business, but business automation tools and software can eliminate the effort from some of your repetitive tasks, make your work easier, and shift your efforts to what really matters.
Aside from saving time, you can save money when you automate business processes.
However, as artificial intelligence (AI) tools launch for everything from hiring employees to communicating with customers, you have to find a balance. A lot of things can be automated. But should everything?
What you should automate
Marketing automation: email campaigns and social media posting
There are countless types of emails your customers and leads should be getting. But, there’s little reason to spend the time to manually send these emails—and there’s no reason to not automate these. Important emails such as a welcome or onboarding email will make sure customers will start on the right foot with your product or service. Abandoned cart email series could boost your sales.
If your business isn’t already on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube, what are you waiting for? More than 70% of small businesses market themselves on social media. Why? It’s the least expensive way to reach your audience (depending on your digital ad budget, that is). Without a social media team, venturing out into the digital media world may be scary and time consuming. There are countless softwares such as Sprout Social and Buffer on the market that will automatically publish your content at your highest traffic times so you don’t have to be online at all hours of the day.
With a social media management tool, you can also automate your conversations. Sprout Social and Hootsuite offer chatbots that will reply to messages that come in after hours. You can even set it up with a link to helpful articles or an option to schedule a meeting with your sales team. Many of these tools also offer mobile applications, so you don’t even need to be at your office to manage your work.
Keeping your office supplied and running efficiently doesn’t always require a full-time, or even part-time, employee. Great software exists to track and reorder supplies for your office, so you don’t have to worry about it. You can even set this up on your Amazon account to replenish supplies as often as you choose.
You can also remove the manual task of scheduling conference rooms for team meetings. Robin Powered, a scheduling and workplace platform, allows teams to schedule rooms themselves with a click of a button. It’ll even add the event to your team’s calendar simultaneously.
Mail management is a thing of the past with virtual mailboxes like Earth Class Mail. With a virtual mailbox and address, our extensively trained staff opens and scans your incoming mail and important documents. The digitization process brings you, what was once a piece of paper, high-res PDFs that you can easily download, share, or forward from a click of a button.
We realize not everyone you do business with embraces automation. If you still get paper checks in the mail, we can offer automatic check deposit requests into an account of your choice with an electronic endorsement without you having to touch an envelope. Those payments can also be uploaded from your Earth Class Mail account into a cloud accounting software program, such as Bill.com, Quickbooks, or Xero.
You can manage your mail with our iOS and Android mobile apps as well—so you aren’t tied to one location.
Did you know there’s a way to automate communications between your apps? Zapier, a tool that helps you automate tasks between two or more apps, removes the need to create your own code. You set up “zaps” to automate workflows and tell your connected apps to follow the simple command, “when [this happens], then [do that].”
Earth Class Mail integrates with your favorite business tools, like Salesforce, Gmail, Slack, and your go-to account softwares including Quickbooks and Bill.com. The best part? No coding required.
What you shouldn’t automate
While we endorse freeing up your time and saving money, we don’t think every aspect of your business should be automated. AI integrations can feel like science fiction, but they can also impact your business if used in the wrong context. Any important task that involves your customers, should be handled by an actual human being. We all hate calling or email customer service and only getting a robot.
Not everything needs to be 100 percent automation. There is nothing more annoying than reaching out to a company and never reaching a real person. Customer satisfaction is what will keep your business running, so don’t trust a robot for that. Hire a solid team of professionals to manage customer tickets, answer support lines, and respond to emails.
Earth Class Mail has a dedicated team of very talented customer success representatives, onboarding specialists, and account managers who are available to our customers every business day. Our team is with you every step of your onboarding and setting you and your virtual mailbox and address up for success.
We don’t recommend using artificial intelligence (AI) for tasks such as content writing (blogs, paid ads, etc.). These types of tools remove the important aspect that we’ve mentioned above, the human element. AI tools could make your brand sound robotic, cold and unwelcoming...a branding disaster for businesses.
An essential part of any type of business and industry is quality control. Having an expert, designated team member to quality assurance important business products to ensure high standards. Products can range depending on your industry, and can include simple content editing, or technical app testing and more. Using a software to do this would be risky and difficult since so many factors go into consideration during the QA process.
Automation is there as a powerful tool to work for you, to save time and money. However, when taken to the extremes, it can do more harm than good. It shouldn’t be used in a manner that alienates your customers or employees. We recommend looking at tedious, daily tasks you or your team does and evaluating if it’s an action that you would feel secure passing off.