Automation is a part of our everyday lives without most of us giving it a second thought. We set our coffee makers to brew a cup of joe before we get out of bed; we use our banking apps to schedule bill payments so there’s one less thing to remember; and our voice-control systems can do pretty much anything we ask them: “Remind me to call Grandma at 5 p.m.”
Automation helps our productivity at home, but what about our work lives? When businesses rely on repetitive tasks to communicate with customers, they’re often done manually, which means employees dedicate less time to more meaningful work. With texting-for-business tools, it’s possible to save employees hours of time by automating tasks they carry out day after day – you’ve just got to use the right software.
What is task automation?
Task automation is the action of programming technology to complete tasks on our behalf. Human involvement isn’t needed; we just tell the technology what to do and when to do it. It’s an efficient way to clear up time in our day.
Task automation tools shouldn’t be thought of as a replacement to humans. While the technology helps send and receive information faster, customers still crave human interaction. In a recent consumer survey, 74% of participants revealed that they would rather talk to a real person than a chatbot when they need something. While consumers interact with automation tools like chatbots to get basic information instantly, consumers aren’t ready to give up chatting with humans entirely.
The key to successful automation is to integrate it with human interaction, and texting-for-business software allows this seamlessly: text messages can be automated to customers, but when a customer needs more help, a human can pop into the conversation and take over to assist.
What does productivity mean for your team?
If your business communicates with customers mainly over phone or email, think about how many repetitive tasks your team performs every day.
- Do they schedule appointments and send reminders?
- Follow up on outstanding bills?
- Answer commonly asked questions, such as “What are your business hours?” or “What are your rates?”
Now think about how your customers respond to those phone calls and emails.
- Are customers slow to reply?
- Are employees continuously playing phone tag to catch customers at the right time?
- Do clients take weeks to return documents or provide information because staff can’t get a hold of them?
Now compare how much time employees spend attempting to reach customers with how much time employees take to complete the affiliated task. Why let employees waste their time reaching out to customers again and again over phone and email when they can get an almost instant response with a text message and get on with their next to-do?
Customers can be a bottleneck to employee productivity because the longer it takes for customers to reply, the longer it takes for employees to complete their work. Texting works because the medium increases customer response times so teams can move along with their days faster.
Task automation examples: How teams increase productivity with business texting
- Build relationships with customers on a regular cadence. Building relationships with customers means building their trust in your business. The more they connect with the business behind the service or product, the more likely they’ll remain a loyal customer. For example, a gym can do this by automating personalized check-ins via text. The gym can schedule text messages to customers throughout the month with words of encouragement and suggestions for classes they might like. Texting automation tools make it easy to include a clients’ first name, even when sending to large groups.
- Answer frequently asked questions instantly. Allow commonly asked questions to be answered instantly via text message with Keyword-triggered responses. Instead of a customer calling to ask about pricing, for example, they can text the question and a pre-written response is sent based on the Keyword used. This helps staff stay off the phone, leaving less interruptions in their day and more time to better assist customers that walk through the door.
- Schedule appointments now not later. A recent survey revealed that 67% of consumers want businesses to schedule appointments and send reminders through text instead of over phone or email. The process of scheduling appointments over phone and email is tedious and inefficient for both parties. Customers are busy; they’re at work during the day, and they rarely check voicemail anymore. Businesses waste time with follow-up calls, adding unnecessary tasks to their to-do lists. Automate appointment reminders and schedule follow ups over text to get faster responses from customers.
- Strengthen internal organization. When teams aren’t on the same page, productivity suffers. With business-texting software, customer conversations are kept in one centralized platform, so it’s easy for staff to jump in and bring one another up to speed. A multi-user administration panel allows managers to keep track of customer conversations and ensure that employees are using correct sales processes, for example, and conveying consistent messaging to customers.
Choose business-texting software that can be integrated into tools you already use
Maximize team productivity by choosing business-texting software that merge features with the customer relationship management systems and web apps you already use. Doing so cuts down on adoption time and offers teams a seamless transition into texting for business.
Zipwhip business-texting software improves employee productivity
Increase staff productivity and spend less time on administrative work with Zipwhip business-texting software. We offer lots of automation features that streamline workflow and let teams do more throughout the day.
Work smarter with reusable text message templates to quickly send standard messages again and again. Never forget to keep up with customers—schedule messages ahead of time and personalize each message (even group texts) easily with Dynamic fields. Click here to see more features and learn about how Zipwhip creates high-functioning teams.