A lot of business owners put off automating parts of their business because they think automations feel tacky, as if your customer will feel like a transaction instead of a valued human being. But that couldn’t be further from the truth!
When done well, automations build trust and make your customers feel like a million bucks. (I’ll show you exactly how they do that in this post.) Best of all, automations support your customers at the moment they’re most eager and excited about the things you offer, which leads to more sales.
Of course, for you, automations also mean less time in front of your computer and a smaller price tag than hiring a VA or customer service specialist.
Which puts more money in your vacation fund and more time for you to enjoy it!
What is automation and how can I use it authentically?
You probably already use some automations in your business, either in your marketing or in the admin side of your business.
If your bills are paid automatically each month to pay for the tools you use, that’s an automation.
If you have an email list where new subscribers instantly receive an email when they sign up, that’s an automation.
Or if you schedule your social media posts ahead of time, that’s an automation too.
Automation can be described as software that allows you to set up systems and templates to automatically provide instant responses to your valued customers or team members.
In this day and age, we expect to buy products and services instantly: when and where we want them. The customer is always shopping and they always have another choice. Most will choose the one that made them feel good, on their schedule, when they were ready to pay attention and make a decision.
Setting up automations for your marketing and other tasks allows things to happen instantly for your customer (without you being online 24/7).
And it’s not difficult to set up. There is a mountain of software programs out there that make the process simple. (More on that in just a moment...) You just set it up initially, and then allow it to do its job.
Here's a list of different areas of your business you can automate:
- email marketing/newsletters
- messenger bots
- opt-in lead magnets
- onboarding systems
- project management systems
- team trainings
Of course, you don’t have to automate all those things!
And there are other ways to automate as well, but that’s a good place to start.
The key to successful automations is to use them authentically. Because authentic automations make your customer feel truly appreciated and supported which leads to repeat business and referrals.
What automations actually do
Most business owners know that automations save time because you can essentially “fix it and forget it.”
Automations also close more sales because they meet your potential customer at the exact moment they’re ready to make a purchase decision. And, depending on how sophisticated your automations are, they can personalize your offers to each shopper.
Automations are a bit like having a personal shopper available for each and every person who visits your website, signs up for your email list, or stops to read your ad.
Automations are like having a sales team online 24/7 to assist shoppers and help them find what they’re looking for.
Another way to use automations is to train new hires and team members. When someone new joins your team, they need to learn ALL the things about working with you. They need to learn how to use the tools you use to collaborate with your team. They need to learn the expectations and guidelines for working with you.
You could drop what you’re doing and train each person from scratch. Or you could record what you do with the first person and then hand those recordings to each new person after that.
That’s another way that automations save you time and ensure that everyone gets the same high-quality training.
How To Use Automations To Boost Your Success
Imagine - a new person sees your post on social media and clicks through to your site. They read a blog post that’s related to something they’ve been struggling with or something they’d love to improve in their own life.
At the end of that blog post, they see your offer for a free checklist related to that topic so they share their email to get it.
That checklist is instantly emailed to them along with an invite to check out your low-cost offer that focuses on the same topic.
They’ve been enjoying their experience with you so far, so they think about signing up, but the doorbell rings and they get distracted. When they come back, they’ve forgotten about it and go about their life.
Now, the business with authentic automations will win that customer back and 3 of his or her friends. While the business without automations will lose that sale and never hear from that person again.
Let’s look at one possible way authentic automations could win 4 new sales in this situation.
After completely forgetting about your solution to her problem, your new subscriber logs into Facebook the next day and sees an ad that says something like, “Hey friend! Thanks for signing up for the checklist! I’m dying of curiosity to know if you have any questions about it. Do me a favour and hit this link to open a chat with me right now.”
She’s curious, so she hits the link which opens an automated chat with your Facebook Page. She’s immediately greeted with a fun gif or a 5-second video of you saying Hi!
The messenger bot knows she clicked on the link specific to this topic and this checklist so it asks her questions that relate only to that.
She knows it’s an automation, but it feels so personal, that she can’t resist answering those questions.
After a few messages back and forth with your bot, she’s feeling better about her problem and remembers your low-cost offer (even without the bot mentioning it).
She goes back into that checklist email and clicks the link to check out the sales page. At the top of the sales page is a video of you that makes her feel like she’s getting to know you better.
She decides to buy it because she’s feeling so warm and fuzzy about her experience with you so far.
She buys it, and immediately dives in. A day later she has completed the offer and is starting to see results from it. As she’s finishing the product, she sees a link to a questionnaire that asks about her experience. People love talking about themselves so she answers the questions. Now you’ve got a shining testimonial about the product!
As soon as she completes that offer, she gets an email letting her know that she’ll earn a small referral fee for each person she refers to this same program and a unique link for sharing it with others.
She knows 5 people who are also struggling with this problem, so she tells them about your offer and she tells them how much FUN it is to work with you! 3 of those 5 people decide to buy the same product.
Now, you might be thinking, “But I’m a coach and I don’t have any low-cost courses or offers that I can automate like that.”
The same experience is possible with high-ticket services as well. You’d just use a webinar instead of a checklist or something like that.
And when your prospect says YES! you can add her name and email to your automated onboarding system. Automated onboarding systems can do all the work of welcoming her, getting the contract signed, sending the first invoice, and then giving her access to your Clients-only Area so she can get started on her “homework.”
And, just like our gal with the low-cost offer, your onboarding system can deliver everything she needs to get started, plus follow-ups at the end that lead to gleaming testimonials and referrals.
So now you know that automations not only make your work easier, they also lead to more sales and happy customers.
How To Create This Level Of Customer Service In YOUR Business
You could hire a team of VA’s and have them monitoring all these things 24/7 in order to get this level of personalisation and results.
Or you could set up the automations and pay one monthly fee to keep them running. A VA will cost you somewhere around $30+ an hour. To fully automate all of the above will cost you somewhere around $30/week.
For those who want to automate, you’ve got 2 choices - use a different tool for each part of the process (one tool for blog posts, another for automated emails, another for onboarding new clients, another for contracts and intake forms, and another for scheduling follow-ups.
There's a different tool out there for every different automation and you could do the research and figure out which ones are the best and how to connect them all together into an amazing sales machine.
Personally, I prefer to use a tool that's designed for online businesses like ours - coaches, course creators, designers, consultants, and such. Such tools have all the automation features built in so you don't have to research anything.
Just plug and play, baby!
All-in-one tools also have the benefit of only one monthly bill, which is often a fraction of what the total cost would be if you pay for multiple tools.
If the all-in-one option appeals to you, get in touch. I’ll give you a tour of the latest tools with the best features that are closing more sales for my clients. Just book a free no-strings-attached chat with me here.
Automations In A Nutshell
Every successful online business uses automations. Even high-touch businesses benefit from using automations to deliver a customer experience that feels more personal and high touch than you can possibly deliver on your own.
Automations create happy customers and happy customers become repeat customers who tell everyone else how wonderful it feels to buy from you.
But of course, the best benefit of all is probably the way automations help you get more done without being chained to your computer.
So you can keep making sales all day every day while you finally take that vacation you need and deserve!
Don’t be afraid of automating more of your business. When done with love, they make your customer feel like a million bucks!