There is no excuse not to use automation in your day-to-day work. The tools now readily available to any business can help you make more money faster with less resource commitment. Not only can people, time and headroom be freed up, but your customers can also have a better experience. Once intense processes can now take place without your intervention as the owner of the company.
Paul Vigario is CEO and Founder of SurfCT, a dentistry and healthcare technology integration company that works with practices to help them stay ahead through automation. Vigario helps practices integrate technology into every aspect of their operations, and his team discovers problems they can solve and bottlenecks they can remove in their clients’ businesses. With 15 years of experience in the field of dentistry and healthcare technology and delivering keynotes on the subject at various universities, Vigario believes that every company can make better use of automation, and has supported companies to reap the benefits.
According to Vigario, automation “can streamline operations and simplify tasks that are typically time-consuming and counterproductive.” Here are three simple automations every business should have.
1. Automatic onboarding
Ideally, your customers can make their purchase and register themselves with your company without speaking to a human being. Your automations should collect all essential information and your customer should be able to complete their data at their own pace, from the comfort of their own home. This avoids the need to employ teams of sales and customer service representatives, as well as many administrative and support roles.
Vigario’s industry is lagging behind, but so are many others. “While almost every dental facility uses electronic health records, many still require physical forms to complete the intake process.” If forms are required to onboard your customers, make sure they can be completed “from a customer’s PC or smartphone.” By reducing the time customers spend at a physical desk or on the phone with a sales or support person, more customers can get on board 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 asking questions because it is in their best interest. What is missing from your onboarding process?
2. A customer portal
If you have ongoing relationships with your customers, they should be able to log in and view their details. Whether it’s details of their reports or next meetings, invoices they’ve paid, delivery information or space to fill in additional details, some client portal will free up your team for other tasks.
Vigario works with customers to create customer portals, which “give their customers a sense of independence” and means they have “instant access to their data”.
The portal should not only store the customer’s information securely, it should also be a source of information. “A comprehensive portal should include walkthrough videos, how-to docs, and answers to frequently asked questions.” Customers should also be able to buy more or make an appointment, if that suits your business. “Each customer login represents a reduction in the time you spend answering emails or making phone calls.”
3. Computer Generated Marketing Resources
For the clients of Vigario’s dental practice, marketing ensures that they recruit new patients and keep in touch with existing patients. He advises companies to 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 smart. Artificially intelligent article generators, image creators, and ad copy systems can speed up your content creation without hiring a team of freelancers.
Most industries have access to online “libraries of ready-made content”, providing their audience with inspiration and updates at the click of a button. Vigario uses these for his dental practice clients. He advised, “Enable a high-level marketing professional to use these tools and give them a budget for the software that will make their role more effective.” Resourceful and engaged marketers know how to make marketing automation work.
By automating these three simple processes, your team can “focus on more pressing tasks that require more attention.” If a machine can do it, delegate accordingly and enjoy the “increased levels of productivity, profitability and efficiency” that this brings.