3 Business Automation Processes That Can Reduce Overheads

cost reduction ideas
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SaaS tools are often seen as non-essential business overheads. That they are, but only when they do not provide a return on investment. The one thing most will do is reduce the time spent on managing repetitive tasks.  

Outlined below are a few time constraints that multiple software solutions exist to help the small business owner conquer, gain back time, and hopefully in the process add to their business’s bottom line. 

1. Email Marketing Automation  

Email marketing automation is not only for sending bulk emails to a subscriber list. Many have trigger-based automation like auto-reply, just like you can set up manually from within Gmail or Outlook.  

The difference with automation software is you can use triggers to control what template is used. As an example, most business websites have a contact page. When the form is completed, the default for most website builders is to show a message along the lines of “your message has been sent”. It doesn’t say that it’s been received by you. The time it takes to respond to contact form submissions influences conversion rates.  

A smarter way to automate contact requests is to use a software solution that lets you determine what to send based on triggers. In the case of a new contact, an automated response may be…  

“Thank you for contacting us [First name]. This is an automated reply to let you know that your contact form submission has been received. A member of our team will be in contact with you within the next 48 hours. For expedited support, we are available by phone during office hours.  

Thank-you.  

~ Your Name”  

If you also use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, your contact form submissions can also be sent directly to your CRM, then you can assign them to the appropriate funnel. In the case of a new lead, that would be assigned to a sales funnel letting you know what leads to nourish and coach along your sales pipeline to eventually convert leads into paying customers. Additional campaigns further into your CRM funnels can be used for lead nurturing and customer service.  

2. Follow-up Sales Reminders  

The majority of e-commerce stores encourage new customers to create an account at checkout, rather than having the only option be to check out as a guest. The reason is for tracking purposes. If you check out as a guest, it’s difficult for the business to follow up with customers. By creating an account, your orders can then be tracked. When that happens, smart sales follow-ups can be used.  

“Running low on [product name]?  

Hi [First Name]  

We noticed it’s around re-stocking time. The product you bought lasts up to 60 days at the recommended usage. To help you continue experiencing the benefits for less, we have set you up with a one-time discount of 33% off the RRP when you buy from [your brand name] within the next 7 days.”  

Follow-ups are not only beneficial to e-commerce stores. Service businesses can automate follow-ups to check in with clients, perhaps after three months. It can be used as part of customer service, but the biggest advantage to following up with existing clients is it keeps your service top of mind for any future requirements they need that you can provide. It keeps the lines of communication open.  

3. Appointment Reminders  

The cost of no-shows is expensive, regardless of the industry. The field most studied is the medical field. In 2020, estimates for missed or cancelled NHS appointments added up to £288 million. In the health and beauty industry, £1.2 million is lost to missed or cancelled appointments.  

Automated scheduling software is used by appointment-based businesses to send SMS reminders eliminating the “I forgot” excuse. If the client cannot make it, they can easily reschedule. By tracking no-show clients, non-refundable deposits can be introduced through software, reducing the amount lost to each no-show appointment.  

Numerous business tasks can be automated. It is not a once-and-done solution but it will save on admin time, freeing up time to devote to business-critical tasks. That is the point of automation. To make repetitive tasks less of a burden.  A by-product of some tech solutions is a revenue increase. In particular, those that directly impact your conversion rates, persuading more people to pay for your products and services.  

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Cost reduction ideas Previous post Navigating the Rise in Business Overheads
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