In our blog, we’ve talked a lot about business process automation and how it can do miracles with your business. And it’s true that companies that implement such solutions generally demonstrate great performance growth overall. However, just like virtually with anything in life, this applies only if it’s done correctly.
And just like you would expect, even top business automation systems can do more harm than good in bad hands. So, this article will be dedicated to 5 ways you should NOT implement automation software.
5 Incorrect Uses of Business Process Automation Solutions
1. Going numb with tech
Very often, when companies want to increase their productivity with business automation technologies, they face the exact opposite of expected. You hope that BPA tools will help you streamline workflows and boost performance, but when you install too many tools, you’ll end up spending so much time managing them and making sure they don’t come into conflict with one other.
Downloading too many tools is a common mistake that even most experienced companies can make. Your goal should not be to become lazy and abandon everything.
2. Automate everything
One of the biggest mistakes that we see people do all the time is trying to automate every single thing in the company. While it might seem logical, after all, why not do everything in bulk and not waste any time.
Well, when you do so, and if (or rather when) something goes wrong, you have no clear understanding which of your processes are actually faulty.
It is much better to roll out automation in phases. This way, you and your team will have a leverage to actually test each individual process and repair any issues as they occur.
3. Replacing, rather than enhancing
When implementing some sort of business process automation solutions, people tend to forget the very core principle – you are looking to enhance an existing process, not replace it. Introduction of new workflows is tough by itself, and there is no need to make it even harder.
The first commandment of engineering: if it works – don’t touch it! The same rule applies here as well if your existing process is functioning well, then, probably, there is no need to automate it. The BPA only required when your existing workflows are not functioning well, or when they are no longer sufficient to facilitate business growth.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your team first, after all, they know first-hand what is not working and what is stopping them from achieving the desired results. Furthermore, since your employees are ones who will be most crucial parts of automation. If they are not fully onboard with changes, then implementation can make more harm to your business.
Speaking of people being more important than software.
4. Self-governing software
At this point in time, technology has reached a whole new level, where you can serve an enormous customer base, without talking to a single client ever. And it’s not exaggerated by any means, if you wish, you can replace all of your sales reps with robots.
The software cannot govern itself properly and it cannot replace human interaction. Of course, one of the benefits of business process automation is to reduce the human workload where it is necessary. However, there are certain areas of business, where human capacity is still paramount.
A good rule of thumb, usually we are talking about certain tasks, where you need accountability for actions. A machine cannot be held responsible for a lost opportunity. Nice automation balance is when you give software to deal with tedious tasks where it’s easy to make a stupid error while leaving the complex decision making to people.
5. Said. Done. And forgot.
Probably the most common rookie mistake ever that even some large companies do is to implement BPA and leave it be. Business automation is not a magic wand that can resolve your problems. It still needs administration, constant monitoring, upkeep and overall management from a specialist, who understands business requirements and can use the software to meet them.
Moreover, something like marketing automation cannot facilitate the entire customer journey. It only can do so much. No automation software can actually manage visitor’s engagement. Granted it can provide a valuable set of data that might be useful to understand why such parameters are low, or on the contrary, what makes certain web-pages better than others. But making a change in a positive direction is something that can only be done if you keep a close eye on the software and use it to solve challenges.
BPA & Customer Lifecycle Management Best Practices
If you’ve got an idea for business process automation at your company, bear in mind that incorrect or careless implementation can do more harm than good to your business. That is why it is so important to create a structured plan for step-by-step setup of BPA software that will go alongside your existing workflows and will allow you to leverage your existing IT and business assets.
One of the more effective things you can do with business process automation software is to improve your customer lifecycle management.
Customer lifecycle management automation
The concept and discipline of Customer Communications Management (or CCM) is not a new concept, but it is one that many organizations may not have fully understood or embraced.
Clear product and service differentiation becomes harder to articulate as mature verticals and business lines such as financial services evolve. Customer Communications Management therefore becomes a critical initiative requiring a well-thought roadmap that is executed at every level of the organization. The aim is to execute superior experiences at every customer touch point, building interaction and engagement from transactional communications and ongoing customer correspondence that would otherwise be regarded as routine or perfunctory.
One reason organizations struggle with CCM is the fact that most do not manage their customer communications centrally; aspects surrounding design, content, production and strategy are often isolated in pockets of technology, people and process. This can result in redundant systems, disconnected stakeholders, and a process that makes it virtually impossible to effectively control and optimize branding, messaging, and campaign strategy. When you centralize customer communications management through one strategic platform you increase control, cost savings and effectiveness.
One of the ways you can avoid such challenge is through in-depth analytics and CCM strategy automation. Using CRM with implemented BPA as your primary customer communication system will ensure that all of your customer communications are centralized and can be used for further analytics.
Taking Control Over Data in BPM Lifecycle
The notion of “Customer Lifetime Value” (CLTV) is a concept and calculation that helps organizations determine the dollar value associated with their long-term relationship of any customer, determining just how much that customer relationship is worth. Used by marketing managers, MBA’s and executives, CLTV is a prediction of the net profit associated with the entire relationship with a customer.
While the calculations can be a bit arcane, the idea of customer lifetime value is an important one because it encourages firms to shift their focus from customer acquisition to the long-term health of their customer relationships.
However, trying to collect ALL OF THE data, can really negatively affect your business, since you risk getting the wrong conclusions and getting lost in a vast field of information. The trick is, again, not to overdo it. The great rule is to focus on customer lifecycle value.
It’s hard to sell more to your customers when you don’t really know much about them. Savvy organizations gain value through high value analytics; collecting data from new and disparate sources to gain a 360-degree view of their customers. Our own 366° Degrees can drive deeper levels of engagement by centralizing disparate systems and processes surrounding transactional, marketing, and social communications that improve customer and brand experiences.
There are multiple analytics tools that can be integrated to your business process automation software. Such systems allow an in-depth view of you current customers and allow you to better understand their needs.
And deeper analytics means deeper relevance and deeper impact with your loyalty programs. Build success with integrated, cross-functional loyalty programs and campaigns that take advantage of a more in-depth understanding of customer preferences and predispositions. One way is with 366 Degrees as the tool to create loyalty programs to maximize customer lifetime value and experience.
BPA Implementation by OMI
Here at Outsource Management Inc. (OMI), we specialize in delivering automation solutions for business environments. Our team has developed a full-scale marketing automation application, called 366 Degrees that can streamline your sales, attract and convert new leads, drive more opportunities. Furthermore, our team is no stranger to delivering stellar custom solutions that are built specifically to suit the needs of your business.