One of the main goals of any business is growth — whether it be in business size, customer base, or revenue. To get started on the path to growth, they need to focus on customer satisfaction, whatever that means to a company. Process excellence is a critical part of customer satisfaction and, by extension, growth. Process excellence ensures that everything behind the scene flows seamlessly and efficiently. One way to achieve this seamless flow is through automation.
What is business process automation?
Business process automation (BPA) means using technology to execute otherwise repetitive tasks or replaceable by said technology. The goal of automation is to streamline processes and reduce errors in the output. This ultimately results in better product or service quality and increasing customer satisfaction.
There are many processes in any enterprise that are good candidates for automation. Unfortunately, these workflows usually take too much time to give out a little bit of output. Instead, these processes have repetitive steps that can be plugged into a computer system, given strict parameters, and have little to no human interference.
Some of these processes can include:
- Customer support. Though not all customer support can be automated, certain areas in this arena can benefit from automation. You can see them in the chatbots you encounter when using the chat customer service option. Many companies deploy these automated chatbots, armed with answers to frequently asked questions, for their customers to access their services 24/7.
- Payroll. Perhaps one of the biggest thorns off the side of any payroll employee is that many of the processes in payroll are now automated. This decreases the risk of internal complaints and erroneous salaries.
- Attendance tracking. Who needs a Bundy clock when you can automate your time in and time out from your work computers? Instead of lining up to insert your time cards, you can go straight to your desks to log in. Some companies that use proximity cards even use this to monitor their employees’ time in and time out.
- Emails and push notifications. Even certain areas of marketing can be automated. When you have the proper customer segmentation in place, you can create an automation program that will send emails or text messages to customers whenever you have a product launch, a sale, or any other announcements.
How does automation help businesses thrive?
Contributes to employee satisfaction
Your best asset as a business is your workforce. Hence, it would help if you took care of them the way you would any other asset. Process automation can go a long way in making your employees happy. The nature of automation is that they take all the repetitive, menial, time-consuming jobs that take a considerable chunk of productive time and turn them into short processes that work.
For example, you have your payroll management team manually payroll for 300 employees. Think of the time it takes to calculate the hours versus their rate times 300 manually. If these processes were automated, something that used to take days could take mere minutes. And with more minor errors to boot. Or imagine having a team from different locations working on the same project. It would be a logistical nightmare. But with the help of automated dashboards, every single one of your team members will have access to the same tools and information regardless of where they are. This reduces friction among the team members.
Overall, automation takes a lot of stress off the employees, helping you build better experiences for your workforce. In addition, this gives them more time to pursue other productive tasks that would help your company in the long run. Or maybe even give them some free time for team-building activities to help build employee engagement.
Now, this may seem counterintuitive at first because automation does cost money. It costs money to implement automation. However, when you look at the bigger picture, you’ll see that a lot of errors can be avoided with automation. The cost of human error in a business is money. When human error is reduced, the money spent on correcting these errors is reduced, too.
Another way that automation can help cut costs is through data backup. Data loss can cause you to lose money. But with automation, you can have your data backed up automatically and securely in case there is a data breach that results in data loss. In this way, automation can help buff up your data security.
Apart from cost savings, customer satisfaction should be one of any company’s bigger (if not the biggest) goals. Automation can help you provide better customer service.
You can do this through automated chatbots available to your customers every hour of the day. Automated messages to queries are better than nothing, especially for discerning customers. But the biggest draw for automation in the area of customer satisfaction would be personalization. Automated programs that run behind the scenes of your website or web stores can track your customer’s preferences. That program then makes sense out of the collected data and produces a report that you can use to tailor your services according to what your customers want or need. A personalized shopping experience will ramp up customer satisfaction and improve customer retention.
This article has been written by Sophia Young. She recently quit a non-writing job to finally be able to tell stories and paint the world through her words. She loves talking about fashion and weddings and travel, but she can also easily kick ass with a thousand-word article about the latest marketing and business trends, finance-related topics, and can probably even whip up a nice heart-warming article about family life. She can totally go from fashion guru to your friendly neighborhood cat lady with mean budgeting skills and home tips real quick.