Three Things Your Business Can Automate Today
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Automation has gotten something of a bad rap, thanks to its association with job losses in a number of different industries. However, the term automation actually encompasses a wide range of different technologies, many of which offer nothing but unbridled benefits to their users. Businesses save time on everything from social media management to customer support and can funnel their employees to higher-value positions.
In fact, automation is one of the fastest-moving fields in the entire tech sector. Considering the vast benefits, it’s easy to understand why so many of them are attracted to effective solutions to automate daily tasks. In this article, we’ll cover three key areas that are perfect targets for automation within any business.
First-Line Customer Service
You have probably noticed an increase in the prevalence of chatbots over the last few years. Once something of a rarity, these AI-driven customer service tools have proven an invaluable resource both for businesses and for customers. Chatbots are just one example of customer service automation.
The goal of any customer service department is to identify a problem as quickly as possible and then shepherd the user towards a solution as fast as they can. Automation can deliver a level of responsiveness that is simply unattainable for a person and chatbots are a good illustration of this.
Users simply enter a question or keywords and the AI searches its database, returning the information that it thinks is most useful to the customer. Of course, these are not perfect systems. However, you might be surprised by just how quickly they can search through massive databases for specific keywords. Not only are they very fast, but they are also becoming ever more sophisticated in terms of what they can understand.
Chatbots and other similar automation methods can massively alleviate the pressure on a customer service department by taking care of the most basic issues that customers might face. With the most basic issues, automation software will be able to assess the customer’s issue and provide them with a solution without needing to involve an actual person.
The larger a business is, the greater the benefit to them from introducing customer service automation. Helping users to help themselves means that the business can focus on its second and third-line customer service resources – these are where the really difficult problems lie, the ones that will require a person to intervene.
With such an unfathomably large number of e-commerce businesses out there, it’s impossible for a human to compare prices across all of them. Sure, a single person could easily find several hundred websites to compare prices, but this would be incredibly time-consuming. Fortunately, most businesses are going to primarily be concerned with how their most immediate competitors are pricing their products.
Keeping an eye on relative prices compared to their competitors might be possible for a small business with a relatively limited product range, but it’s simply not practical for a large business to do this. This is where automation comes in.
Many individuals and businesses that sell their products on Amazon make use of automation to automatically adjust their prices so that they can undercut their competitors. Alternatively, they might be trying to see how high they can push the price without putting their customers off. According to a report from Xsellco, automated pricing has provided some Amazon sellers with profit increases as high as 145%, taken over a 30-week period.
By using repricing tools, sellers avoid the tedious and laborious task of manually updating their prices to reflect changes being made by their competitors. Businesses can customize the algorithms that underpin this automation, enabling them to take into consideration multiple variables when determining what adjustments to make to the product’s price.
Automated repricing tools save businesses time and improve their efficiency. They are not without their faults, however. There are some infamous cases of multiple automated repricing tools entering into a never-ending contest with one another and massively inflating prices.
Perhaps the best-known example of this is ‘The Making of a Fly’, an obscure genetics textbook. For a while, this book was available from a few Amazon sellers for over $20,000. It was eventually determined that this absurd pricing was the result of automated pricing tools from a number of competing businesses entering into an infinite loop. One tool would raise their prices, and in response, the others would also rise. This would then trigger the original tool to raise its price again and the cycle continued until a single book was priced over $20,000.
Social media platforms are hugely important to businesses today. Not only are they highly sophisticated marketing platforms that businesses can leverage in order to massively boost their sales, but they are also an important point of contact between a business and its users.
The problem is that there is so much to do when managing an active social media account. Some people struggle to keep up with the demands of their personal social media account. A business account is considerably more demanding, especially if the business is big and popular.
Social media bots can be configured to carry out just about any action that a human user could do on the platform, except that bots are able to constantly watch for very specific triggers. The main benefit of using these bots is the huge efficiency gains, especially for those who are managing multiple social media accounts.
Social media automation tools can also be used to share new content across multiple networks simultaneously. Combining this with bots enables businesses to share content to multiple networks and then have that content automatically shared and promoted.
Unfortunately, social media platforms generally aren’t very keen on automation, although some are stricter than others. However, by registering for a proxy service and having your automation tools connect via a proxy, these automation tools can look just like human users.
Automation technologies have been advancing at an incredible rate over the last couple of decades. Both artificial intelligence and machine learning, two technologies that are advancing prodigiously themselves, are intimately tied to automation. As all three of these individual strands of technology continue to evolve and grow, they will continue to augment one another and broaden the scope for their implementation. Any business can benefit from automation, as long as it is deployed with thought and care.
Adam Dubois. I am a proud geek, reviewer and expert in all things proxy at proxyway.com.
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