Small Business Technology

Streamlining Your Business: 3 Ways To Boost Operational Efficiency

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Modern business is as fast-paced as it is ruthless, posing a serious challenge. If you’re going to succeed, you need to be agile and streamline your operations using the most innovative strategies.

Finding ways to streamline operational efficiency is more important now than ever before: it’s essential for the survival of your business, in fact. Ensuring that you’re not wasting any of your budget will help keep money in the bank and cash-flow issues at bay while entire industries are struggling, helping you endure until better times arrive.

And operational efficiency isn’t just about your bottom line. Failing to get smooth systems in place will heavily impact morale, leading to difficult working conditions that turn your employees against you and prompt them to question their job security. Having the right team in place is a mission-critical concern, and such a team needs suitable support.

So what can you do to cut through the unnecessary admin and build a stronger business? That’s what we’re going to consider in this article. More specifically, we’re going to consider how three key operational hacks can help you operate at the cutting edge of your industry:

  1. Embracing the Internet of Things to streamline your operations.
  2. Using chatbots to elevate the customer experience.
  3. Automating tasks to speed up internal production.

Read on as we unpack these topics, offer tips for streamlining your business operations, and tee you up for a brighter future.

Embrace the Internet of Things to streamline your operations 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a blanket term describing the technical innovations which integrate seamlessly with our daily lives: sensors, software, automation, and numerous other devices. 

Whether we’re talking about a struggling independent store using site builders like Shopify to set themselves up in ecommerce, or healthcare services using digital applications so patients can schedule appointments without risking unnecessary contact time, IoT allows us to continue safely and normally during these unprecedented times. 

Many businesses also use IoT to operate on the cutting edge of their industry, using new technologies to boost operational efficiency down to microscopic detail. 

For example, United Parcel Service (UPS) has pioneered a navigation system known as ORION, which plans delivery routes based on historical data to map out a path of least resistance on the go. 

We know technology like ORION isn’t available to every business, but IoT operates on all levels and there are some brilliant alternatives for collecting data and streamlining business operations. 

Use chatbots to elevate customer service 

Many businesses believe spending too much time on customer experience means sacrificing operational efficiency somewhere else in the company. But we don’t agree. Using IoT, you can have your proverbial cake and eat it too. 

Regardless of your service, product or size of your business, customer experience is a major differential point you can take advantage of, especially in an online world. 

What is this magic bullet we speak of that can improve customer experience without impacting your operation on an internal level? 

The solution? Chatbots.

When your doors shut for the day, potential customers and leads are still browsing your website, meaning you’re missing sales, marketing and support opportunities. Using a chatbot platform such as crisp to engage with customers, you can offer leads instant support rather than making them wait overnight or after the weekend for a response.

Not convinced about the pros of using chatbots for customer interaction? Here are efficiency  benefits sure to change your mind: 

  • Customer service staff spend less time on repetitive questions: at peak hours your employees may become inundated with customer requests, but chatbots can cut down the queue and give a quick answer to frequently asked questions. 
  • Customers get their answers faster: chatbots provide an instant resolution to customer problems at all hours of the day and can answer thousands of questions simultaneously, something no single employee can possibly be capable of.  

Chatbots whizz through interactions and streamline your customer service, both by providing an instant response and taking a load off the human element of your business. 

Automate tasks to speed up internal production

Automation reduces human intervention in favour of a more efficient computerised process — and despite the dystopian nature of robots replacing workers, there is a case to be made for automation in the workplace. 

When correctly integrated, computer programmes free the human side of your operation from mundane and otherwise pointless time-consuming tasks, so they can focus on the value of their work. 

Automation isn’t so much about replacing workers as it is refocusing their efforts on something more important. Here are some examples of automation at work:

  • Desk support: many online businesses use smart bots to communicate with customers, but some use these features internally to answer questions about password information and company policies. 
  • Hiring process: hiring a new employee takes time and a critical mind, but automated recruitment tools like BreezyHR speed up the process by filtering for keywords and specific job criteria. 
  • Employee analytics: software such as Timedoctor allows managers to wade through masses of data to make sense of payroll, time tracking, and benefits usage among many other internal business factors. 

You needn’t be worried about implementing automation into your business, more often than not these computerised processes can help you and your employees become more efficient without impacting the human quality of your work. 

Even though modern business is fast-paced — and at times rather ruthless — streamlining your operation isn’t all that difficult, especially if you have the Internet of Things, chatbots, and automation tools to lend a helping hand. 


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