Outsource HQ

Time-Saving Magic The Power of Business Automation

Episode Summary

We're diving deep into automation today. Join us to uncover the immense potential of automation in saving valuable time and resources. We'll explore its role in streamlining critical tasks, including data analysis, administrative responsibilities, and optimizing customer service. Plus, we'll delve into the decision-making process of whether to outsource your automation setup and management. Don't miss this episode for essential insights and strategies to enhance your business's efficiency and growth.

Episode Transcription

Hey there! It’s Adam from Outsource HQ. For today’s episode, we will be talking about saving time using business automation.

Let’s talk first about automation. Since the dawn of time, humanity has been pushing toward automation.  

As a consumer, have you noticed that we went from normal shopping to shopping online in a span of just a few years? And most of the processes around online shopping, from payment to reviews, are automated.  

All of these automations save time for everyone involved.  

Automation is the logical progression of every endeavor. Manufacturing evolved so much when automation revolutionized production, packaging, and even delivery. The same can be said of most industries, from transportation to education. Now in the age of digital, business is benefiting from automation. We don’t even think about it anymore. We just expect automation now as consumers and as entrepreneurs.  

As consumers, we expect automation in notifications and the way we do transactions. As a quick example, it’s already unthinkable now to receive ads about products we have never searched for before, or to do actual bank transfers for payments. No, we now have personalized recommendations and instant payments.  

On the business side, the biggest impact of automation comes in these three categories:

Data is the reason why even before the pandemic, many businesses considered going online because there is a wealth of information available to you once you do go online.

If you have a physical location, the only way to know your customers is through conversation.

But online, you have the customer’s data at your fingertips. Even people who are not customers yet, you’ll have useful information about them: how they found you, their demographics, what they’ve searched in your store, and so much more.

So you have a mountain of data for customers and potential customers, sorting through what’s useful and what’s not can take so much time, and interpreting the data to make it actionable requires expertise.

The best way to sort and analyze those gigabytes of data is to use automation.  

Google Analytics already has built-in automated data analysis for you straight from Google themselves. You can learn how to interpret and apply the insights or simply outsource the analysis to specialists.

Data analytics pulls from so many different data sources, sorting them, compiling them, and analyzing them. Automation is great for doing multiple tasks at once, maximizing efficiency.

Next is administrative tasks. The best tasks to be automated are the ones that are easy and repeatable. Most administrative tasks are both.

You can automate invoice tracking using Zoho, time tracking using Clockify, project management using ClickUp, and so much more.

Some platforms are actually toolkits, capable of multiple administrative tasks on one license. CRMs like Oodo and Camunda provide a wide array of automation for admin tasks. This saves time and you also avoid the pitfalls of human error, since automation is synonymous with accuracy, as long as you enter the right data.  

Lastly, customer service. Automation also shines when you need a very fast solution for your customers.  

Your customers need information? Automate an email that gives them the resources they need pre-sale or after-sales. Email platforms like Klaviyo can send emails to customers when triggered by various actions such as signing up for a newsletter, having bought for x amount of times, being subscribed for 6 months, and so much more. The possibilities are endless.

If a customer needs a quick answer to a query like: “How much is your product?” “What’s the return policy?” “Where is my package?” Chatbots can have answers. That is the best first layer of customer service that customers can interact with a chatbot can provide the answers for them very quickly.  

This automation for data, administrative tasks, and customer service saves you and your team time and effort. You don’t get stuck in the middle of operating your business. And they also vastly improve the overall customer experience.

Now you might ask, “Hey, if automation is this great with all these benefits and I can set them up myself, why should I still need to outsource?”

Think about it this way. You’ve bought a brand new car but you haven’t learned how to drive yet, there are 2 ways you can use the car. You either pay for driving lessons while driving the car or you hire a driver to drive the car for you. Both of those solutions are outsourcing.

First, outsourced companies can do the automation setup for you. Yes, you can do it yourself. But with so many ways to do it, so many platforms to choose from, and so many tasks you can automate, it’s better to outsource the automation setup process. The whole point of this podcast is time-saving, and the learning curve to these automations can be huge at the beginning. That part does not save time.  

Having an expert set up for you will be faster, more secure, and they can explain what they did so you can do it the next time.

And to be more specific, outsourcing does not always mean that you hire someone for good. In the scenario we had earlier where you have someone teach you driving lessons, you don’t have to go back and still take lessons once you’ve passed. It's the same thing with outsourcing.

You can hire only for the setup process. If you want the outsourced partner to stay a little longer and explain the process to you, you can too. You can decide when you want to continue partnering with outsourced agencies or work with freelancers or move forward.

Another aspect of outsourcing is maintaining and working with your automation. Like all tools that we use regularly, automation systems, platforms, and applications need to be well-maintained.

With agencies like USource, you can hire an individual or team, or upscale or downscale according to need. You may need a team during peak season. Or you might need someone to debug something from time to time. And that’s the beauty of outsourcing, you have the flexibility to choose solutions to fit your exact use case.

Lastly, you can outsource partners if you want to upgrade or make changes to your automation. This is the most common scenario for outsourcing.  

Let’s say that you’ve already set up the chatbot yourself but you don’t have the time to learn how to upgrade and make changes. You can then talk to an outsourcing agency or a freelance partner to work that out for you.

So to sum it up, automation is the ultimate time-saving hack for businesses. It’s the logical next step to making sure that your business is efficient and is always ready for growth. And while you can certainly DIY it, you save time and resources when you outsource your automation to run things smoothly.  

That’s it for this episode! Thanks for listening and next time we’ll tackle multiple things! Catch you later