The coronavirus pandemic has put a lot of pressure on small businesses. With the economy slowing and consumer spending starting to dip, business owners are looking for ways to cut costs and bring in more revenue. At a time like this, many small business owners are asking, “how automation can help their small business?” Automation can be great for increasing efficiency, generating more sales and improving the customer experience. Beyond that, there are several automation solutions that are affordable and accessible to small businesses.

If your small business is feeling the pinch in these tough economic times, the following automation solutions could provide some relief.

automation for a small business

Customer Service

With so much uncertainty, customer service during coronavirus should be a priority. Many consumers are feeling less confident. Some of these people will be more likely to change their minds about a purchase. They may also be more likely to change their mind about shopping with you. That is why small businesses need to do what they can to stay in touch with consumers and reassure them.

One thing you can do is to automate some of the responses to customer service requests. When a customer puts in a request, there should be an automated email that lets them know you received the request and that there will be a response soon. Furthermore, you can also automate the process of directing the request to a customer service representative to make sure it gets a timely response.

You could also automate surveys to gain valuable information about the customer experience. Any time a person buys, receives customer support or has any type of contact with your business, you can automate a process to send a relevant feedback survey. The information from these surveys can then be used to improve the products and services your business provides.

Ecommerce 

Automation can be very effective at increasing sales for ecommerce businesses. As one of the more obvious examples, you could use automation to email personalized offers to customers. This could be something like a discount voucher sent to customers on their birthday or emails to let customers know about sales that align with their purchasing history.

One of the more effective options is to send cart abandonment emails. The online cart abandonment rate was close to 70% in 2019. You could just accept that these items did not get purchases. Or, with a little follow up, you could convert many of these sales. All you need to do is automate emails. These emails will remind the customer of the items in the cart at strategic intervals. 

You can also use automation to keep customers coming back. If you run a subscription service or sell a product that will need to be ordered again, you can automate reminders. This will make it easy for the customer to continue shopping with you. When you know the subscription is almost up or their supply of the product is almost depleted, you can automate emails that remind them to buy again. You can include a link that makes it easy for them to get back to the product page.

how to use automation in a small business

Lead Nurturing

You are putting time and money into collecting leads, so you should try to make the most of them. With the right automation solutions, you can get more effective at lead nurturing and increase your conversion rate. 

If you are collecting email addresses, you can use automation to verify email addresses and to send an introductory email. When a lead fills out a contact form, you might think that responding within 48 hours is a good response time. However, research has shown that the rate of contact drops by 10x after the first five minutes. The hard part is that it will continue to decrease with every minute that passes. 

To increase your chance of making contact and qualifying leads, you could automate some of the process. An example of this would be automating an introductory email that could be triggered by a person filling out a form. Another example could be automating notifications that will prompt someone on your team to call the person as soon as possible.

At a time like this, automation won’t solve all of your problems. With that said, it could help you save money and increase sales. Along with that, it will save time and allow you to focus more of your time on running your business.

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