Let’s face it. There’s a small part in all of us that find it difficult automating tasks once reserved for ourselves, or our employees. Why should we hand over communications so vital to our business to a computer system?
The challenge is that a lot of people never consider their process for executing simple business tasks. They take for granted the fact that if they were able to automate activities that are routine it would provide additional time for the important items on their to-do list.
I had a client named Bob (named changed for privacy) who was using a spreadsheet to manage the times that he should be sending standardized emails in response to a customer signing up for a free trial. These were emails where the only information that changed was the first name and email address of the recipient.
After we mapped out his process, I suggested to Bob that he consider using an email automation system to deliver these messages. This would save him time for more important communications like selling the service to those who were using the system and customer questions and other types of support inquiries.
At first, Bob’s response was akin to if I suggested he get shot into space out of a cannon. It was like I was trampling on his contribution to the process and possibly jeopardizing his role in the organization. His perspective was that no person, or thing, could be trusted with getting these highly important communications delivered.
After we reviewed his process a second time, I pointed out that he had designed an elegant process for getting people interested in paying for the service but he was missing out on creating even better solutions for the conversion by spending his valuable time on something that is standardized and should be automated. I asked him to test out the system for 30 days and if he wasn’t benefiting from the system then he could always switch back.
Needless to say, he spent the 30 days a little nervous. Over the course of the month, Bob’s time was well spent as he had already brainstormed ideas for overcoming certain objections that his prospects had and even came up with solutions for how to automate some basic customer support questions. He was also a little shocked that people still replied to his emails even though he technically wasn’t sending them. After the 30 days, Bob was ready to consider automating anything.
I used this example because it illustrates an important point about using automation:
>> It is important to see results from a process before you make judgment.
So…Is it evil to automate? Add your thoughts in the comments below.
Stay tuned for more in this series. Next up: Automating Social Media.