7 Ways To Future-Proof Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you don’t always have time for the little details that help your business run successfully. Answering every email, following up with every lead. These can all slow you down especially when you’re managing accounts and nurturing prospects.

Work process automation

If the administrative aspects are occupying too much time, here are some resourceful ways to automate work processes.

1. Automate customer communications

First impressions matter. About 58 percent of customers open welcome emails versus 15 percent that receive offers for promotions (when they’re not shopping). After a sale, use automation software like MixMax to send a welcome email to new customers. This can be done using triggers and rules and you can even personalize these emails based on customer information. For example, you can have unique welcome emails for each landing page. These auto emails let customers know they’re valued. Word the text to include a thank you, intro to your business and suggestions about products and services.

If customers or clients make a second purchase, use automation software to send a thank you gift. It can be a discount code or 10% off their next purchase. This improves brand equity and decreases churning or negative sentiment. For birthdays, send an automated email wish which can make customers feel valued. Your automation software can automatically add customer names and you can include a discount or special promo code.

2. Use AI for basic customer inquiries

Having loyal and happy customers is important to business growth. Around 91 percent of customers will leave if they’re unhappy. Hence, businesses need to enable interactions across multiple channels (voice, email, text).

CRM software integrates with artificial intelligence (AI). It can help you to improve customer interactions. Customers can ask basic questions and AI can offer suggestions or refer customers to videos and FAQ pages. Customers can always select a live help feature to reach human agents.

3. Give your customer support a needed boost

Working in the sales and marketing industry? Nearly 67 percent of customers will state a bad experience was their reason for churning. But, a great way to effectively reach out to customers is with customer support that’s responsive. Customers don’t like when agents don’t know who they are and can’t readily help them. And, increasing customer engagement is important when nurturing leads. You can use your CRM to instantly retrieve customer data. With the helpful pop-ups, agents can view customer details without having to put customers on hold and find their files.

4. Use advanced calling technologies that integrate with CRM

Another innovative technology is advanced call routing. You can use this feature if your business has voice over internet provider (VoIP) phones. Ask your phone provider about advanced calling features. These can include voice-to-email and designated call forwarding. You can simplify how agents receive calls and increase productivity. Take calls on the go or set up free video conferences for remote workers. With VoIP, most calls are free or low cost and the service works with CRM and other software integrations.

5. Let machine learning reduce fraud incidents

More businesses are using machine learning to help with advanced is fraud detection. The software can scan millions of financial transactions to find common patterns that can reduce fraud.

There are various types of software that can alert you to suspicious transactions. And, it can make recommendations for steps to take to avoid illegal transactions. It can even streamline how you handle customer resolutions to get money to customers faster and avoid fraud.

6. Increase your customer intelligence

Various types of AI features can help with business intelligence and customer interactions. Customer intelligence looks at Big Data or all the information that comes in based on your customers. It can look at sales, social media interactions and all customer correspondence.

Smart response technology in chatbots can help with making recommendations for future interactions. You can also use the predictions and recommendations to upsell products and services. You can also benchmark customer data to see how other businesses are performing to help you with your own. As you improve customer satisfaction scores, this can help to improve your brand.

7. Use robotic process automation (RPA)

This smart software is a way to help you improve the products and services you offer customers. You can install it on your computer and the RPA can complete repeatable tasks. It can transfer files from one software to the next or automatically print attachments in emails. You can also use it to make suggestions to customers in the knowledge base or self-serve area of your site.

Conclusion

Automating routine features and incorporating AI are a few ways to use emerging technologies. With machine learning, you can better interpret customer data for effective decision making. While call routing features can save you time and reduce communication costs. Use these new innovations to help your business grow and scale.

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