Like a living organism, your B2B business has many different systems and processes. Those processes that need tending or require hands-on interaction take the longest and often distract from the creative work at hand. The best way to handle any business process workflow is to automate whenever you can.
What Is Business Process Workflow Automation?
A business process workflow is made up of different phases all working to accomplish an overarching goal. Different entities can complete each phase, like in-person or remote members of your business team or even automated technology.
The challenging aspect of a business process workflow is the stop-go rule between each step. In other words, you can’t move to the next step in the workflow until the prior phase is complete.
For members of your team, this can be maddening! Some links in the chain may feel like they’re waiting forever for their turn to take action.
The perfect solution? Automate as many steps as possible.
Don’t worry about losing the “human touch” when you automate. The purpose of automation is to speed things along and avoid clumsy inaccuracies. People still get the final say in completed workflow processes.
Why Should You Automate Your Business Process Workflow?
If you’re thinking, “Each business process workflow within my business works fine without automation!” consider automation as a means for improvement, not correction. Every business can benefit from the beauty of automation.
It Makes Your Day-to-Day Tasks Easier to Manage
The portions of your business process workflow you should automate are those you find mundane and repetitive. Think about the tedious steps of each process that require little to no spark in order to achieve them.
Automation works well for those steps (like responding to inquiry emails with a confirmation of receipt or answering phone calls via recorded message). It also works well for data calculations and transfers! As long as you enter the correct coding instructions at set-up, automation can make complicated metrics calculations a lot easier.
With those repetitively boring tasks off your plate, you can invest more time and energy into the creative, tough portions of the day.
An Automated Business Process Workflow Will Help You Be More Efficient
Let’s face it, even the most energetic teammates have their limits. But automation knows none. No matter which way you look at it, even your most complicated business process workflow will move quicker and smoother with automation in the mix.
Automation doesn’t suffer from brain fog or chronic distractibility the way most people do. As long as you don’t lose electricity, you can count on automation to get jobs done in a timely, consistent manner over and over again.
Your Error Risk Is Reduced
Have you ever received a compliment for your accuracy? When people say, “Wow! You’re like a machine,” they’re saying you’re comparable to automated technology. And that’s a high compliment!
Not only is automation faster, it’s far more accurate than most human brains. As long as you enter directions correctly and choose simple, straightforward tasks, automation is the way to go.
A tired individual can easily make mistakes on even simple tasks, like moving data from one list to another. But automation technology skips the interpretive process that trips us up from time to time. It feels no influence from time of day, dips in energy, or negative emotions like stress and sadness.
How Can You Implement Business Process Workflow Automation as a Service Provider?
Service quality and efficiency distinguish low-bar businesses from top performers! Incorporating automatic steps to your regular business process workflow will help you rise above your competitors.
Take a look at these powerful automation tactics. And of course, if you want to start automating your processes without handling everything yourself, consider booking a discovery call—I’m happy to help you build out workflows that work for YOU!
Build an Automated Discovery Call Process
Before you begin working with a new client, you need to field a few questions to make sure they’re a good fit for your business. Since the questions you ask during each discovery call are likely mostly the same (with slight differentiations as-needed), it makes sense to automate this business process workflow.
You can calibrate an automated chat bot to ask questions in a sensible order:
- What type of business do you run?
- What goals do you hope to achieve by working with us?
- Which packages from our service menu are you interested in?
- Please provide dates you are available for our first meeting.
Then, instead of grappling with inquiries all day long, you can review new client inquiries and save their recorded answers for a later time. This ensures you aren’t constantly floundering between projects and phone calls throughout the day.
Enable Notification Emails for CRM Scoring Changes
Each time a client or website visitor sends an email, automated technology can respond. This helps ensure communicators on the opposite side of the screen receive confirmation that their message went to the right place and that someone is working on a helpful response.
You can preserve the natural vibe of your automated emails by drafting responses yourself. Use casual (or branded) language to make your clients feel right at home when they read automated responses. In theory, they won’t even be able to tell that a portion of your business process workflow was automatic!
Related: Building Your Marketing Workflow
Set Up Pipelines in Your CRM to Enable Tracking
Which of your website visitors have purchased your services? Who’s come close by clicking on your services menu page, but never actually clicked “submit?” Automated services can also take charge of this portion of your business process workflow!
You can program your CRM system to collect data on where your site visitors have been in order to help steer them towards a sale. The more traffic your webpages receive, the harder it can be to do this job manually. Take it as a positive sign if you’re already in over your head mapping out the habits of each of your clients (or potential clients).
Automate Your Outreach Emails to Circulate Through Your Lists More Evenly
Once your automation technology collects data on who your potential clients are, where they’re from, and what their traffic patterns are, you can use those figures to categorize them.
The emails you send to established clients and close-purchasers should be different from casual browsers or one-time-only visitors. By organizing your audience into tiers based on their past habits, you can specialize your automated correspondence.
For example, your more frequent guests should be the first to know about clearance items or peak marketing experiences. Your toes-in-the-water people might be interested in some more educational messages (rather than a purchase push).
Update Your Onboarding Process with Automated Emails
Onboarding is another repetitive (but important) piece of your business process workflow. Let automation handle it! As soon as a client clicks “purchase,” or agrees to services over the phone, you can initiate the automated process to present them with their welcome brochure and other necessary information.
Promptness goes a long way in any business. Consider how excited (and perhaps eager or anxious) your clients are after they commit to your brand. It sets a positive message when their inbox is immediately given more details and steps to get started.
Subscribers to your website who are interested in more education about your business will also appreciate your immediate reply. You can automatically keep up with them in the weeks and months that follow until (and if) they decide to spend money with you in the future.
Send Out Client Surveys for Regular Feedback
Surveys provide valuable insights that influence the types of services you offer and how you market for them. But designing and sending surveys and calculating response data is a hassle.
While you’ll still need to weigh in on the types of questions you ask your clients, automation can do the bulk of the heavy lifting with this one. Experiment with different sorts of automation technology options: pop-up surveys or email links are popular methods.
It’s easiest if most of your survey responses come in the form of 1-10 ratings or yes/no questions. But grammar technology can even lend a hand with written replies! Some detailed responses can be used for marketing purposes on your website or across social media.
Create Automatic Tasks Based on Which Emails You Send
Tracking the growth of potential client interests and responding manually may have been simple when your business was just starting out. But the more you grow, the less you know. You don’t want potential clients to miss out on your services because you missed signs of their readiness to start working together.
For example, automation technology can pick up on how many times a potential client explores the same service package over and over again. When you come up with a promotional discount, automation will send marketing messages to the most interested clients first.
Automating parts of your business process workflow can ensure your team members are pouring their time and energy into the more creative, substantial parts of your business. The tedious, repetitive tasks can be left to technology.
Wait! There’s always more to learn. Check out this additional post on automation in business.