Every business wants to run like a well-oiled machine. No stalling, friction or fires under the hood (yikes).

To get everything humming along in an organisation, you need to look at how to improve each process. Think: streamlined and efficient with no snags. 

Business process automation is one way to do this. And with the rise of easy to use no-code tools — automating business processes is easier than ever. 

Read: No-code: learn to automate without knowing code

In this blog, we’ll give you the keys to start up your improved  automated business processes. Learn:

  • What automating business processes actually means.
  • The benefits of business process automation. 
  • 8 simple ways to automate business processes. 

Start your engines.

What is business process automation?

We get it, business process automation (BPA) sounds like a buzzword. But, before you swat it away — it’s actually simpler than it sounds.

Automating business processes is automating any digital process that follows the same set of steps repeatedly. That’s it. It’s exactly what it sounds like — automating processes in your work. 

Back in the ye’ old days (aka: the early 2000’s) automation business process management was done by a developer or specialist IT team who could code. But, not anymore. 

No code tools and technology have brought automation to the masses. Tools such as Zapier, TypeForm and even ClickSend can all be used as business process automation software. 

These types of business process automation tools help put repetitive tasks on autopilot. And thanks to integrations, creating fully automated workflows is easier than ever. 

For some context, processes that commonly get automated in businesses are contacting customers, managing data across platforms, or general admin tasks that keep the business running. 

The benefits of business process automation

Man balancing several tasks through business process automation

Lots of companies are jumping on the BPA bandwagon. No code tools have broken down the barrier to entry. And let’s face it, automation (when done correctly) saves serious time. 

But, business processes automation is not the right solution for every business — right now. To steal some words from Bill Gates:

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”. 

Wise words from Bill aside. If you’re ready to dive in, the benefits of business process automation are big. 

  • Faster work, that’s better too
    State the obvious: automation helps you save time and resources, by eliminating manual input. A secondary benefit is reduced errors and inconsistencies that happen with manual work.
  • Happier customers
    It’s nice to get back to customers right away. Automating business processes like customer service can reduce response times and improve the overall customer experience.
  • Seeing under the hood
    To learn how to automate business processes, you have to really look at workflows. Better visibility on processes can help you discover and deal with any bottlenecks and issues.
  • Simple scale up
    With the boring tasks organised, your employees are able to spend more time on the big jobs. Which should help to unlock innovation. Plus, it’s easier to scale automated processes, than manual ones.
  • Fulfilled employees
    People are happier when they get to do less of the menial tasks. And, more of the tasks that make them happy. When you automate — that’s exactly what happens.

8 simple ways to automate business processes

Our friends in the business process automation software game, Make (formerly Integromat), have created 8 automation templates. 

Yes, they’ve automated, automating for you (we love you Make). 

These templates will teach you how to automate business SMS processes. They’re a great place to start. But be warned — automations are addictive, in a good way. 

1. Sync contact data from your customer relationship management (CRM) software

App examples used: Salesforce, Magento, Pipedrive

Instead of manually pulling customer lists and uploading them whenever you want to send a text message blast, sync your contacts straight from your preferred CRM. 

You can send automated messages to contacts when they sign up, purchase or make a particular action too. But just make sure your list is up to date.

Use these automated business processes to automatically keep your contact lists updated in your ClickSend account. Instead of manually exporting and importing lists.

Which teams can use it? This automation is cross-functional and every team from marketing to support can use it.

2. Send personalised follow-ups to new leads

Example apps used: Google Sheets, Typeform, Mailchimp

78% of customers buy from the company that responds first. So it’s super important to send personalised follow-ups to your leads as quickly as possible.

Use this business process automation to talk to new leads via SMS, as soon as they submit a sales form, subscribe to your email list or get added to your CRM.

Which teams can use it? Marketing and Sales teams.

3. Keep your customers notified about their order status

Examples used: WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento

Whether an online order is placed, shipped, delivered, or cancelled — receiving order updates via text has become the norm. Plus it allows small online store owners to deliver the same customer experience as big business. 

Keep your customers in the loop about their order and boost your customer happiness with these order confirmation automations.

Which teams can use it? Marketing teams.

4. Improve your no-show rates

Example apps used: Acuity Scheduling, Schedule Once

Set up automations to improve no-show rates for intro calls, scheduled consultations, or demos.

For example, automatically send an SMS confirmation when appointments are scheduled, or respond to cancellations with a link to your calendar to find a new time. These templates are simple, but you can build more sophisticated automations using conditional logic. Using the time filter, you can automatically send SMS reminders to your prospects 5, 10, or 15 minutes before your scheduled meeting is about to start. The choice is yours.

Which teams can use it? Sales and Customer Success teams.

5. Seamless management of payables via SMS

App examples: Zoho Invoice, Xero

Get paid on time with invoice reminder automations. Improve accounts receivables and revenue collection, reducing the time to manually chase down invoices. You can also get alerted via text message whenever a large Square refund is issued, or a credit note is issued in Xero.

How? Take a look at these templates or create your own custom flows in Make.

Which teams can use it? Finance teams.

6. Improve your customer support experience with two way text messaging via Slack

App used: Slack

Unhappy customers tell twice as many people about their negative experiences than happy customers do. 

A simple way to reduce frustration is to let them know that your team is actively working on their issue and an ETA on a fix.

Doing this manually can be quite a task so put it on auto-pilot. Integrate your helpdesk software with ClickSend and keep your customers notified at all times via text. By doing this, you’re also making it easier for them to respond to your support agents.

Pro tip: You can also automate actions in other apps when you receive a customer response via ClickSend SMS.

Which teams can use it? Sales and Customer Success teams.

7. Notify your sales team of new pipeline deals

App example: Salesflare

When you have a high-volume sales funnel, it can be hard to respond to everyone quickly. Slow response times create a negative experience for prospects who want to work with you. And can result in you losing deals to your competition.

Integrate ClickSend with your sales CRM to fix this problem. You can create a workflow that automatically notifies your team  when a new deal is added to your sales pipeline. 

This will help them stay on top of every new deal that comes their way and get in touch with the prospects right away — reducing your team’s first-response time.

Which teams can use it? Sales team.

8. Notify your technical support team about critical bugs

App example: Site24x7

When there’s problems with your website, cloud, server or app server — you want to know straight away. But, often bug or system alerts get sent to your email where they’re easily ignored or missed.

So, how do you turn the volume on up alerts (without investing big in a new system). You can stay on top of any system glitches or critical bugs with notifications that get sent to the most read channel — your phone. 

Just add an SMS automation to your monitoring service via an integration. That way, you can get a text message whenever there is a critical bug or issue.  With a 98% open rate, text messaging is virtually unmissable. So you can find the problem and get it solved — super fast. 

Which teams can use it? Information technology and security teams.

Automate away with business process automation tools

Want to get started right away? The templates above will help you with some basic business process automations. Or, if you want to learn more about the world of automations. We’ve got you. 

Read our other recent posts: No-code: learn to automate without knowing code and workflow automation.

Happy automating!