Why you need to automate your administrative tasks in your small business
There are several ways that you can begin the process of automating office tasks within your company. In my previous post we discussed how Routine Communication could play a beneficial role in dealing with every day email responses. And, in turn, hopefully regain some of your time and sanity! But, that is just one of many ways that you can develop a more effective method of operation.
Next I would like to take a look at Administrative Tasks.
One of the more time consuming aspects that comes with running a business is collecting and organizing information. An area that few of us want to waste time focusing on. But, by taking advantage of automation this process can easily be streamlined within your company. By incorporating new automated processes employee time can be shifted effectively from data entry to a more personal focus on the customers needs.
If you are looking to Automate Administrative Tasks, there are several key areas that you should consider;
• The Collection, Organization, and Division of Customer Information
• Streamlining Repetitive Tasks
• Time Spent Focused on Obtaining Hard Copies of Customer Information
• Ensuring That Quotes and Billing are Being Processed
The first step that I would like to get a little more in depth with is The Collection, Organization, and Division of Customer Information.
When you combine automation software, such as Infusionsoft, with your customer relationship management tool, you are able to easily collect customer information and compile it within your database. No hardcopy or manual data entry necessary.
If your method of data collection involves having contacts complete a form on your website, the inputted data is automatically uploaded to your company’s contact records. But, the same can be accomplished if information is taken over the phone and inputted into a pre-existing internal form within the software. Saving you time and money.
Another bonus of using this method is that customer data can automatically be divided. This allows you to place customers into specific subdivisions based on the information that they have provided. For example customers can be placed into categories based on personal hobbies and interests, or geographical location, just to name a few.
The second step within automating Administrative Tasks is to Streamline Repetitive Tasks. Not everything within a business can be automated, some tasks will require that you use a hands on approach.
For example, if my business required me to mail an information packet to potential customers, I would have to continue to do so with my own two hands, this cannot be automated. But the process leading up to it can be.
Any tasking within your business that is repeated on a regular basis can be automated, even something as important as collecting coffee orders for employees. By incorporating automated sequencing software within your business, triggers can be built in to provide reminders to complete upcoming tasks. An example of this would be a sequence in which purchasing triggers a reminder to send the customer a thank you note, which may in turn, triggers a reminder for you to call several months later. By using automated software, you are no longer forced to rely on your memory to ensure continued customer service is completed.
Time Spent Focused on Obtaining Hard Copies of Customer Information can easily turn into a problem area within any business. If it is part of your business to collect paperwork for customer accounts, than you probably spend more time than is necessary tracking down customers who have failed to follow through with providing the data. Fortunately it is possible for this to be automated as well.
By using this type of software you are able to apply a tag to a customer’s document which triggers an automated email that contains your request. If the form is online, software is also able to track whether or not the customer has clicked the link to the document needed, as well as automatically sending an additional request if a predetermined amount of time passes. If the form is being processed through hard copy, and must be mailed back and forth, you can also create an automated sequence that reminds you to send the document. And have it continue to remind you about the outgoing document until you check it as having been received and returned. Leaving all the guess work out of the process!
Finally, we come to the last step in the process, Ensuring That Quotes and Billing are Being Processed.
When providing a quote for a new customer, product or service, it is generally a multistep process. This process may involve typing up a quote, emailing it to the customer, and then waiting for a reply so that the process can be repeated for the order, but if you are an Infusionsoft customer, this process can be reduced to two simple steps. First, the quote is automatically emailed to the customer, and upon it’s acceptance, it turns into an order with the click of a button.
Another perk to using automation software like Infusionsoft, is that it contains an e-commerce platform, which allows you to set up a process, or payment plan, that will automatically charge customer credit cards for online purchases, subscriptions, and orders.
This software also allows you to set up an automatic action, such as an email or reminder to call the customer when problems occur such as a credit card on file being declined, or the upcoming expiration of the credit card. Automation also allows your company to stay up to date on any failed billing charges on customer accounts, so that you are able to collect payment without further delays.
By focusing on these four areas, you too, will be able to put automization of Administrative Tasks to work for your business.
If you are looking for more tips to automating your small business, check out the free guide below!