Three easy ways SMEs can get started with process automation

Topic:

A report commissioned by Google stated that the Australia’s economy could reap up a $2.2 trillion opportunity by 2030 if we double our pace of artificial intelligence and robotics automation.

As good as it sounds, Australian businesses are falling behind, with 50% fewer firms engaging in automation compared to other leading countries. (Source)

A recent research found that only 18% of SMEs have invested in automation projects, with 26% citing lack of finance and skilled staff as the main limitations of tackling such projects.

If you are one of the SMEs who haven’t looked into automation yet, we’d urge you to reconsider. Here are the main reasons:

1Automation can be affordable

Automation doesn’t always mean big machines or huge investment. With new software or cloud-based services available, automation can be done with relatively little effort.

Automating your communication process is a good place to start. By connecting data from different systems, responses can be generated automatically in real time. Imagine the time and effort saved when appointment reminders, shipment notifications or invoice alerts are all generated and sent to the stakeholders or customers without manual intervention.

Automation like this can be done easily by tools like the Esendex Zapier integration, which connects our SMS platform to over 1000 apps and software, enabling automated SMS responses or alerts to be sent to customers or staff. The integration process is very affordable and straightforward, with no development or coding skills required, making it easy for SMEs to manage.

2Providing a perfect multichannel experience

A recent Australian digital experience report found that consumers in the 18-34 age group are likely to use five or more channels to engage with brands (57%), followed by those aged 35 – 49 (46%).

Ranging from physical stores, contact centres, website, email, SMS, live chat, different social media platforms to mobile apps, there are a lot of different platforms and systems for the staff to stay on top of, but for consumers, they are only speaking to one brand no matter how they choose to contact you.

With more international brands like Amazon coming to Australia, and evidence to suggest that your customers will expect (however unfair it might seem!) the same kind of robust customer experience, even SMEs need to up their game.

Using an integrated system that tracks all consumer communications, or even better, to send alerts and notifications to staff so that they can follow up on any enquiries or complaints can provide a better and more connected customer experience.

And if you are serious about providing the best multichannel experience, have a look at our intelligent multichannel messaging service. Not only do we combine all your communication channels in one system and automatically shift from one to another, but we record your customer’s preferences along the way, so going forward the system knows which channel will reach them successfully.

3Increase productivity by removing repetitive tasks

Research has found that people were up to 40% less efficient when asked to work on multiple tasks at once. But for SMEs, it’s even more common for staff to juggle multiple tasks and shift between different platforms and systems to fulfill their tasks. Integrating different systems can provide a more simplified workflow and help staff to increase their efficiency.

In fact, organisations using automated processes are 1.5 times more likely to free up resources for more strategic projects (source), which is exactly what most SMEs need.

73% of customer support professionals reported that managing time and workloads were their biggest challenge (source). Automated responses generated by integrated systems can help these professionals by removing repetitive tasks like updating customers on the status of their enquiry, allowing them to tackle other more challenging and demanding tasks.

If you would like to make a start at automating your communication processes, please contact our team at 1300 764 946.

Author Avatar
Crystal Lam

I'm the Marketing Manager at Esendex Australia, with a background in journalism. I'm passionate about storytelling and the ever-changing world of emerging technologies.