Automating various essential tasks can save you time, money, and frustration. Tasks such as managing social media, backing up your data, making reminder calls, providing customer support, and billing can all benefit from automation. In the case of customer support, we certainly do not recommend automated responses to customers. However, employing a ticketing system can greatly increase your business’s efficiency. Automate these 5 following tasks to streamline your business and reduce the potential for human error.
Automate Social Networking
Consolidating social network sites into a single user interface can drastically reduce the amount of time spent managing your company’s social media accounts. Freeing up your social media manager’s time through consolidation can allow for even better marketing and branding. Less time spent repeating the same information on different sites means more time spent writing interesting and innovative articles or advertising for the company. Automating the repetitive and tedious tasks associated with managing multiple social networking sites is an investment that pays off in no time.
Social network aggregators enable users to consolidate messages, search across multiple social network sites, combine bookmarks, see when their company is mentioned, and read RSS feeds for multiple social media sites at once, among others. Some are even designed to help companies embed their social networking feeds into the company website, all the while integrating these seamlessly with the website’s visual aesthetic.
Put Back Ups on Autopilot
Everyone knows it’s important to back up your data. But how many of us actually do it, before it’s too late? Automate backing up your data to ensure you won’t forget, and provide yourself with the security of knowing you won’t lose all your files at the drop of a hat. Backing up your computers automatically means you can schedule the back-up to take place when employees are done for the day. This increases efficiency because backing up data inexorably slows down your computer systems, and if no one is working at the time, it won’t affect their work. In addition, scheduling the back-ups ahead of time ensures you won’t put it off, which can be devastating if something occurs to damage the data that has not yet been backed up.
According to lifehacker, there are a variety of tools you can utilize to automate the backing up of your data. Some tools back up your data onto external servers and store it there in case of data loss in your own system. Others store your data in the cloud, such as Google Drive, or Apple iCloud. It would be a shame to lose your data when there are so many options available to prevent just such an occurrence.
Automate Appointment Reminders
Automating your appointment reminders can greatly decrease the amount of time you or your staff spends calling, texting and emailing clients or patients. As long as you have your clients’ appointment information stored electronically, you can set up automated appointment reminders to reduce the number of no-shows on your schedule. Clients can confirm their appointments through this service as well. This allows you to schedule other appointments should previous ones cancel, instead of waiting for clients who have forgotten their appointments. Automating this repetitive, time-intensive task will save you money, and free up time for you and your staff.
Get a Customer Support Ticketing System
Dealing with customer support through email can become overwhelming, as one employee can be inundated with messages while other employees don’t receive any. A good way to spread out the customer support communications is to utilize an online help desk, or a ticketing system. This creates a common location for employees to access all customer communications. If you set up a contact form on your website, then when customers email you, the help desk can sort the messages by type into certain areas where multiple employees can access and answer them.
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Ticketing software allow you to prioritize. They also promote collaboration, as the centralized nature of the ticketing system allows multiple employees to work together on an issue. If an employee leaves, it’s easy to redistribute their assignments through the centralized inbox. Also, ticketing systems record information inflow and outflow. You can easily compile frequently-asked question lists from this information. In so doing you can decrease the number of incoming customer support requests. This frees up time for your staff, allowing them more time to focus on other important tasks.
Automate Your Billing
If you find that billing gets to be a hassle every time you do it, automating your billing might be the way to go. When you’re counting on a large payment and don’t receive it on time, your business can suffer for it. To minimize the risk of such invoicing errors, you should explore the options for automated billing. It also increases efficiency, making you spend less time agonizing over invoices and payments and more time running your business. Not only can you create, manage, and track invoices much more easily, but you can also remind customers if their bill is overdue.
There are many options available for you to choose from, so you should look for a billing service that suits your specific needs best. Factors might include the number of people who need access to the service, whether or not it can combine with your existing accounting software, and the quality and manner of customer service you can expect.