By 2020, the average customer will manage 85 percent of his or her relationships without having an actual person-to-person conversation, Gartner reports. Such streamlined business operations in the form of communication save time for busy customers and service agents while increasing productivity and pace of business.
Get your business operations on board for 2020 by adopting across-the-board automation hacks that save time. These five tasks are easy to implement no matter the budget and will help groom your business operations for the future.
1. Use project management software to reduce internal redundancies
Project management software streamlines employee productivity and workflow by making projects’ inner workings transparent at a glance, as SmallBizTrends highlights. After a slight learning curve, managers can spent 15 minutes as needed adjusting deliverables, timelines, and goals of projects, instead of hours following up on project status through meetings, emails or conference calls.
2. Process general email inquiries faster with an automated routing system
General email inquiries from potential clients, marketers or other staff can get lost in the shuffle. When aggregated, general email inquiries can take hours to process, and delaying their handling can lead to missed opportunities. Try an email routing system, which gathers general emails in one central place (like a group mailbox) so that all employees can view and process these without your having to review and delegate on staffs’ behalf.
Group inbox services include Email Center Pro, which costs $19.95 per user per month, or Google Groups, which costs $5 per user per month as part of Google Apps for Business.
3. Schedule social media to save time and expand the reach
To succeed at growing your brand via social media, you must post content on an ongoing basis. However, finding content to post regularly and remembering to do so can take 15 to 30 minutes several times a day. Instead, spent 15 to 30 minutes once or twice a week searching for content to post and scheduling it across several days using a social media scheduler, like the app, Hootsuite (which offers free and paid versions), or the free browser extension, Buffer.
4. Switch to an online payroll system to save time across the board
Online payroll systems that allow employees to self-record time, request time off and manage their own work schedules save managers time. If you regularly spend two hours a week reviewing employee time reports, reconciling payroll and processing checks, a payroll solution can save you time every day that you can use to better manage your business. Online systems are a convenient solution because they allow each employee to log in to a central system and self-report time.
5. Save data better with automated data backups
A data loss can grind your business to a halt as IT staff try to recover the lost data and restore systems’ functionality. Automating data backups can improve IT staff productivity by 55 percent and improve lost productivity caused by data loss by 81 percent, reports EMC.
Automated backup systems back employee data to a cloud-based solution or a physical hard drive on a regular schedule, such as nightly or weekly. After the initial setup, which can take several hours for IT staff, automated backups do not require hands-on time from any staff.