There’s no excuse not to use automation in your day-to-day operations. The tools now readily available to every business can help you make more money, faster, with fewer resources deployed. Not only can people, time and headspace all be freed, but your customers can have a better experience. Once intense processes can now happen without your involvement as the business’ owner.
Paul Vigario is CEO and founder of SurfCT, a dental and healthcare technology integration company working with practices to help them stay ahead of the curve by using automation. Vigario helps practices integrate technology into every aspect of their operations, and his team spot problems they can solve and bottlenecks they can remove in their clients’ businesses. With fifteen years of experience in the fields of dentistry and healthcare technology and having given keynotes on the topic at various universities, Vigario believes that every business can make better use of automation, and he has supported companies to access the benefits.
According to Vigario, automation can, “streamline operations and simplify tasks that may typically be time-consuming and counterproductive” Here are three simple automations every business should have in place.
1. Automatic onboarding
Ideally, your customers can make their purchase and onboard themselves with your company without speaking to a human. Your automations should collect all essential information and your customer should be able to complete their details at their own pace, from the comfort of their own home. This avoids the need to hire teams of sales and customer service people, as well as many admin and support roles.
Vigario’s industry is behind the curve, but so are many others. “Although almost every dental facility uses electronic medical records, many still require physical forms in order to complete the intake process.” If forms are required to onboard your customers, make sure they can be completed, “from a customer’s personal computer or smartphone.” Reducing the time customers spend at a physical desk or on the phone to a sales or support person means more customers can be onboarded faster.
Automated forms and email workflows, automatic payments by integrating Stripe, electronic signature collection and identity checks are all expected by customers. Most will follow instructions without questioning because it’s in their best interests. What’s missing in your onboarding process?
2. A customer portal
If you have ongoing relationships with your customers, they should be able to log in and see their information. Whether that’s details of their reports or next meetings, invoices they have paid, delivery information or space to complete additional details, a customer portal of some kind will free up your team for other tasks.
Vigario works with clients to create customer portals, which “offer their customers a sense of independence” and means they can, “instantly access their data.”
Not only should the portal securely save the customer’s information, it should be a source of information. “A comprehensive portal should include walkthrough videos, how-to documents and answers to frequently asked questions.” Customers should also be able to buy more or book an appointment, if that suits your business. “Every customer log in represents a reduction in the time you spend answering emails or speaking on the phone.”
3. Computer-generated marketing assets
For Vigario’s dental practice clients, marketing ensures they acquire new patients and stay in touch with existing ones. He advises that businesses incorporate automation into their marketing to ensure it’s systemized and consistent rather than last minute and disorganized.
“Get the basics right first, by scheduling your social media posts and promotional emails from a social media scheduling tool and CRM system.” Then you can get clever. Artificially-intelligent article generators, image creators and advertising copy systems can ramp up your content creation without hiring a team of freelancers.
Most industries can access online “libraries of premade content,” bringing inspiration and updates to their audience at the click of a button. Vigario makes use of these for his dental practice clients. He advised, “Empower a high-level marketing professional in using these tools and give them a budget for the software that will make their role more effective.” Resourceful and switched-on marketers know how to make marketing automation work.
Automating these three simple processes means your team “can focus on more pressing tasks that require a higher level of attention.” If a machine can do it, delegate accordingly, and enjoy the “heightened levels of productivity, profitability and efficiency” this brings.