The Story Up Until Now
In the past couple of blog posts, we’ve been talking about automation, using software to do simple, repetitive tasks that free your staff up to do the more important things that they need to do. We’ve talked about how marketing can be massively impacted by email automation and how sales results can drastically improve by using automation to keep connected to leads and keep staff reminded of tasks.
As we’ve talked about these things, a website has been connected in some ways to the automation that we’ve spoken about but I want to take a moment to talk about how your website could be the heart of your automation.
Let’s get into this.
Website at the Nexus
I think at this point in the game, we can dispense with the conversation about the importance of a website. While I don’t seem to have to convince companies about this as much as I used to in the past, I do find myself having to convince business owners about why their website should be at the heart of their operations.
If you think of your website as this online thing where users can get information, you’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg, not the whole thing. Yes, a website is a marketing tool to convert users into customers. But what about your current customers? Is there a way for them to use your website to improve sales and operations? Does your sales staff have forms on the website that they can use to take in and qualify leads? Do your customers have ways to provide feedback to your customer service staff? Does your billing staff have a way for customers to pay?
These are just some of the ways you can use your website to be the heart of your operations. What connects all those other elements of your business is automation.
Automation + Website
Automation is web-based technology that repeats specific tasks when triggered. Your website is already made of the same technology. You just need to the find the places where it can connect.
Here are two examples of situations I’ve encountered and ways that I have (or would have) addressed them:
Last week, I stopped by a company to discuss making some t-shirts. I spoke with the woman behind the counter for a little bit, having a nice conversation, then she pulled out a piece of paper to start a file on me. She was literally standing next to a computer and writing down on a piece of paper my information. Do you see the opportunity here?
If I could build them an automation platform, I’d create a new lead intake form on the website that a user could fill out right there at the counter. That would create a lead automatically in her CRM (say Zoho or HubSpot) and fire off an automatic email to me just to make sure that we can communicate. Then, in her CRM, she could make any further details and create some tasks (or those could be automatically created by adding some tags for my record) for her and me regarding the possible project. This way she could keep on top of the lead and I can communicate directly with her on the digital assets she needed.
Honestly, this is just the beginning of what I could do for them…
I worked with a company where about 80% of their sales (at the time) was coming from repeat customers. Customers would call sales staff and order a couple of times a year pretty much the same order. The business owner knew that while customer service was obviously important, how could their business grow if they were only taking the same orders from the same customers again and again and not really having the time to find new customers?
In this situation, we built a client portal that current customers could log into. They could reorder previous orders or place a new order They could do this at 3 AM if they wanted. From the order, the right people in the company were notified and everything was processed. Not 100% of their current customers went for it but it did free up a fair amount of time for sales staff to start looking, tracking, and converting new customers.
Not as Complicated as it Sounds
You might be saying to yourself that this sounds super complicated but, to be honest, it only sounds complicated to you. I imagine what you do on a regular basis would sound complicated to me. I build automation platforms to the business’s needs and then take the time to show them how to use them. Often, I’m having conversations as I am building them to test ideas out and build knowledge in the process. I’m there after things are launched to provide support. I am there.
The hardest thing about this is having to change some of the ways that you operate. But, those changes can result in big gains in efficiency, sales, and customer service. Clearly, that’s worth the troubles that it might bring, right?
I have one more post (I think) in this series to dig into some of the software that I’ve used for CRMs, Project Management, and Automation. Then I think I’m going to write a series of posts about website development and how I build websites.
If any of this intrigues you and you want to hear more about how this connects to your business, you can drop me a line through my contact form or you can set up a time to talk to me: https://cwtwebsites.zohobookings.com/#/customer/4321453000000026017