Saving time is important for all businesses, but especially so for SMEs. Automation can help to save time on everyday tasks and ensure a great customer experience.
Time comes at a premium for all businesses, but for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) saving time is even more important. Everyday tasks that are required for the running of a business can take up a lot of time, pulling attention away from other aspects of the company that could be beneficial to growing it.
While these everyday tasks are vital, they shouldn't be performed at the expense of other things, especially when it comes to providing the best service to customers. This is why automation can be the best option when it comes to saving time on a daily basis.
Automation can take the pressure off when time is tight, allowing the focus to be on other areas of the business. It can also allow you to form better connections with customers, as automated email marketing, social media and other online activities can provide increased engagement.
Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet, said:
“We live in an age of constant connectivity and engagement where most of us expect brand experiences tailored to our interests and delivered in real-time.
“There’s an enduring misconception that automation costs an arm and leg for small business marketers. The market for this technology is itself becoming more competitive and it’s increasingly possible to invest in automation at every level.”
With this in mind, here are some of the best ways to save money on a daily basis through automation:
1. Schedule social media updates
Social media is an important tool for SMEs, allowing you to interact with a wide audience through a number of different platforms. However, posting updates throughout the day can take time away from other tasks, which can be frustrating but also mean you risk not interacting as often as you should.
Automating your social posts ensures you still have content going onto your pages regularly to help increase engagement and awareness. Considering that a consistent frequency of posts was highlighted as the most important aspect of businesses' social media use in an Adweek survey, this can make a big difference.
While you'll still need to check your activity and notifications on a regular basis, tools like Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to plan and schedule your posts in advance, with the time you save every day really adding up.
2. Automate your email marketing
Another time-consuming activity that can detract from other beneficial tasks is email marketing. Sending company emails, such as newsletters or responsive emails, can result in a lot of lost time, which is why automation is a valuable tool for this activity.
As Digital 22 explains, setting up email automation is a great way to nurture leads without you needing to take time out of each day to manually fire off emails. You're able to set up workflows that trigger messages when users meet certain criteria, such as requesting more information.
This can keep leads engaged, ensure they are receiving relevant contact and improve brand awareness. Tools like Mailchimp also allow you to personalize emails, which helps create a stronger connection to those receiving them. While you will still need to manually send off new emails - such as your weekly newsletter – an automation process makes this made much simpler.
3. Provide good customer service
Customer service can be a full-time job in itself, which isn't ideal if you're an SME with a small workforce and a tight budget. When you also add after-hours issues that need to be addressed, it can feel like you're playing catch up with customer support.
Consider the fact that good customer support helps to build trust, reduce overall issues and result in greater customer advocacy - as explained by Business 2 Community - taking steps to address customer concerns as quickly as you can really pays off.
Using a tool like Salesforce help desk means that customers are easily directed to the area of your site or app where they can get answers and can be helped quickly and efficiently. They also allow you to guarantee all customer support cases from various platforms can be found in one place, ensuring your team can deal with each one quickly and efficiently.
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