Automation basically involved using machines to reduce human intervention in certain tasks. A simple example might be using a slow cooker to prepare a meal – you put the ingredients together, set the program and the machine does the rest – most importantly without the need for you to supervise the whole process.
How can the principle be applied to your team’s productivity?
The advantages of automation
Reduction of repetitive tasks
Imagine you’re working in a small business that’s looking to grow, by finding new customers. With a new website and an aggressive social media marketing campaign, you manage to attract them in good numbers, but your new clientele keeps asking the same questions, leaving you little time to accomplish other tasks.
First and foremost, automation cuts down on repetitive tasks. In this case, a chatbot app installed on your website can answer your customers’ most frequently asked questions. This gives you enough time to take care of more important tasks.
Valorisation of high value-added tasks
You have undoubtedly asked yourself these questions: Why did you agree to be a manager? Why did you decide to become the leader of a team? Chances are, your aim was to take on new challenges, develop the potential of your teammates, or even to become an inspiring leader. It certainly wouldn’t have been to repeat the same tasks every day of the week!
Allowing automation to reduce repetitive tasks frees you to focus on what really matters to your team. For example, perhaps you belong to a team of developers, and a customer raises an issue that your chatbot can’t fix – your team can provide a personalised response to your customer. Your customer will appreciate the attention, which may also have a positive impact on the reputation of your business.
Decreasing human errors
Some mistakes cost more than others. If you’re responsible for performing repetitive administrative tasks, such as billing for your customers, errors may slip into your calculations, however rarely. Automation helps you minimise such errors.
Another example is sending bulk newsletters – this can be adapted if you have already taken the trouble to set up a registration form for your customers. The simple act of having asked your customers for their first names avoids naming errors, and also lets you personalise each newsletter by inserting a “first name” field in your message.
Reduced stress level
With the cumulative effect of this kind of advantage, you will see an emergent effect of automation on your team – lower stress levels. Your teammates no longer have to deal with boring tasks and will be less afraid of making mistakes. Since they also have more time to complete high-value tasks, it has a huge effect on your team’s productivity too.
Examples of automation
Reaping the benefits of automation, your team may already be experiencing its positive effects with existing software. Here are some examples that may apply to your situation.
Planning your social media posts
The presence of your company on social networks is essential, if only to maintain a good reputation with your customers. With the help of an editorial calendar, you can create content to liven-up your social media community.
Did you know that it is also possible to automate the publication of your posts on social networks? Apps like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule your content and even track the performance of your posts. All you have to do is program your texts and images for the desired dates and times, freeing you up for your day’s tasks.
Organise your meetings
If your business or team meets clients on a regular basis, using a calendar app becomes essential for managing your appointments. With such a tool, you can enter the name of your client, the date and time of the meeting as well as the place of the meeting, as required. You can even add reminders ahead of time, so you don’t forget anything.
If you have experience with automation, you can also create a form, which will allow your customer to select a time convenient for them on your web page. It is even possible to synchronise your Facebook calendar with your Google calendar.
Replying to emails
When it comes to managing emails, a good idea is to establish fixed periods for reading them (for example 20 minutes at the start of the day and 20 minutes at the end of the day). What about when you’re away from the office for a time? You can configure your e-mail to send an automatic message to tell your customers when you’ll be back, or to redirect them to one of your colleagues.
Managing tasks between teammates
If you are familiar with project management software, you’ll know that it is possible to manage tasks between colleagues using a common platform. This allows everyone to see which tasks are still to be done and which tasks are complete. But to save management time, you need to automate.
Fortunately, project management software can automate various actions, as long as you indicate the trigger for them. For example, you can schedule the automatic assignment of one of your team members each time you create a new task in your table. Or, when a task is accomplished, the status can be automatically changed to “Complete.” In the long run, these simple steps will save you time.
Automation can be used to your advantage. The Nutcache team has been working tirelessly to bring you a new automated rules feature, to be revealed soon. This functionality will allow you to add automation rules to your collaborative table, which you can program as you wish.
Why not try this new feature! Subscribe to Nutcache and take advantage of a 14-day trial period now!