Over the past two years, businesses have rapidly implemented new digital solutions to stay ahead of the curve and compete effectively in the online marketplace. Going into 2022, that trend only appears likely to continue. One of the best things your business can do to remain competitive in the coming year is to automate repetitive tasks that take up large amounts of your team’s time. Here are five things every small business should look into automating in 2022.
1. Social Media Post Scheduling
Social media is among the most important business marketing tools today. 73 percent of marketers agree that social media marketing is an effective way to build brand awareness, generate leads and drive sales. A large part of successful social media marketing, though, involves posting content regularly. The most effective social media schedule involves posting several times per week. If your business has a presence across two to three social media platforms, this means putting a considerable amount of time and effort into maintaining a consistent posting schedule.
Luckily, some resources can help you automate this entire process. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to schedule posts in advance and manage multiple social media channels. This way, your social media workflow is much simpler and more convenient.
2. Customer Service
Although you’ll always need some live representatives to serve your customers, small businesses today have access to tools that can largely automate simpler forms of customer service. AI-powered chatbots, for example, can act as a front-line customer service resource by providing basic support and answers to your clients.
CRM automation can also support a better, less labor-intensive workflow for your customer service staff. Basic customer support functions like ticket generation, quote management and account management are fairly easy to automate with modern CRM systems. By automating these simple tasks, you can free your representatives up for more important work that requires human decision-making skills.
Also Read: The Best Small Business CRM
3. IT Tasks
Almost all businesses today require some kind of IT support. However, the days of having to maintain a team of tech experts to handle every aspect of your IT management are coming to an end. Workload automation solutions make it possible to automate IT tasks, including troubleshooting, resource monitoring and job scheduling. While a degree of automation has existed in the IT space for quite some time, the advent of widespread machine learning has made workload automation tools much more powerful over the past few years.
As with customer service, it’s important to understand that automated IT tools are meant to support human workers, not replace them. These tools can help your team more efficiently and reduce the risk of human error. With that said, you’ll still need human IT professionals to implement and oversee the automated tools. Workload automation software is at its most powerful when used by a skilled team of people who understand the tools and know how to use them.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the easiest and most useful business processes to automate. Automating email marketing involves writing multiple emails and then defining the circumstances under which they will be sent. The most basic example is the near-universal welcome email you receive whenever you create a new account on a website. Emails can also be created to remind customers about abandoned items in their carts, gather feedback or re-engage with customers who haven’t visited recently.
While it sounds simple, email marketing can be incredibly powerful. This is especially true when the emails a customer receives are targeted specifically to his or her usage of your site. Sending a reminder of an item a customer viewed, for example, could help push the customer to buy. Emails based on on-site activity can increase revenues by an incredible 38 percent, making them one of the most effective ways to drive more sales.
Automated billing allows you to charge customers for purchases without manually generating and sending invoices. It works especially well for regular, recurring payments. It can, however, also be used to charge customers for one-time purchases using payment information that is already on file with your business.
Automating your company’s billing process offers several different advantages. First and foremost, it reduces the chances that your clients will be mistakenly billed for the wrong amount. It will also result in a consistent billing schedule that’s more convenient for both you and your customers. Finally, eliminating the time-consuming work of creating invoices manually frees up members of your staff for more important projects.
While there are many other areas of business that can benefit from automation, these five are the most important for the majority of small businesses. Automation can help your company stay competitive and run more efficiently in the increasingly crowded online marketplace. By embracing automation in 2022, you can avoid repetitive, time-consuming tasks and focus on projects that will allow your business to grow.
Susan Ranford is an expert on career coaching. business advice. and workplace rights. She has written for New York Jobs. IAmWire. and ZipJob. In her blogging and writing. she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment. business. and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them – Strategics360.com