Hackernoon logo4 Ways Startups Can Use Tech and Automation to Be More Efficient by@elaine-bennett

4 Ways Startups Can Use Tech and Automation to Be More Efficient

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@elaine-bennettElaine Bennett

Freelance blogger, digital marketing specialist and tech enthusiast

Your startup has become too big for your staff to handle day-to-day business operations on their own. To scale your business and gain a competitive advantage, you will need to automate your business. With the evolution of the IT landscape, businesses can now choose from a wide array of automated tools. Apart from being cost-effective, they will help you minimize costs and help your team get more work done in less time. 
So, how can automation help your startup grow?

Streamlining HR Tasks

HR professionals are responsible for handling a wide range of administrative tasks that require significant time investments. By investing in automated HR tools to handle repetitive tasks, your HR staff will be able to focus more on people, not paperwork.
There are many HR processes to automate, including:
Employee onboarding and offboarding
For example, you could use onboarding apps to allow new employees to complete paperwork and meet their coworkers before they even start working at your company. The same applies to employee offboarding. Automated tools will collect leave requests and deliver them to the right people, letting managers approve them faster.
Candidate screening
AI-based recruitment chatbots can shorten and simplify candidate screening. They will provide candidates will highly personalized and engaging experiences with your employer brand. On the other hand, for you as a recruiter, using chatbots means boosting job application completion rates, collecting candidate data, and selecting the right persons for your team faster. 
Managing payroll
One of the most time-consuming tasks for any HR professional is managing payroll. Luckily, there is a plethora of tools that will help your HR staff automate payroll processes and tax fillings, helping them reduce paperwork. 
To eliminate traditional paper checks and avoid unnecessary fees, many companies have also started using a payroll card. Payroll cards integrate with the most relevant payroll service providers, placing cash directly in your workers’ pockets and helping them access their salaries faster.
Analyzing employee performance
Using augmented analytics software based on machine learning will provide your HR team with greater insights into employee performance. This way, they will analyze employee performance more efficiently and use it to provide better feedback and reward employees.

Automating Customer Support

In 2020, customer experience has become a key brand differentiator, surpassing product and price. No matter if they are mentioning your business on social networks, chatting with your live chat support, or dialing your call center, customers expect you to address their problem instantly. Given these facts, it is not surprising that the number of companies implementing omnichannel customer experiences has skyrocketed from 20% to 80%.
Now, there are many ways to automate customer support.
Start with your call center. While the number of users interacting with brands via networks or chatbots is growing, many customers still rely on phone calls. For businesses, it is important to track, monitor, and analyze customers’ calls to understand their brand sentiment and assess their satisfaction with customer service. 
That is exactly why companies are now switching from a traditional landline to voice over internet protocol (VoIP) providers. Some of the best hosted VoIP providers offer integrations with all tools relevant to your business, such as CRM, billing, or reporting software, letting you collect and analyze customer data easier. 
You can automate your online customer support, too. 
For example, integrating an AI chatbot with Facebook Messenger, Slack, or email will help you provide relevant and highly engaging feedback 24/7.
On social networks, you should start using social media monitoring tools. They will track your brand and product mentions and help you stay on top of customer conversations.

Boost Financial Management

Many cash-strapped startups cannot afford to hire an in-house accountant or a bookkeeping company. That is why they decide to invest in cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks. 
With these tools, you can pay bills, send invoices, and monitor your cash flow instantly, across multiple devices. These tools let you create easy-to-understand reports to help you minimize paperwork and analyze your company’s financial state. 

Managing Social Networks

Just being present on social networks is not enough to attract the right customers and inspire them to convert. To grow a sold online community on social networks, you should build a consistent brand presence and start sharing high-quality content regularly. Apart from the content you create, you should also curate and share content created by other relevant sources in your industry. 
Now, finding and sharing quality social media posts is tedious. To simplify this process, you should invest in a social media management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite. With these tools, you can connect your social media accounts to schedule content and get it published at the times you choose. You just need to determine your perfect posting schedule, plan your editorial calendar, and start creating queues of quality content. The tool will do the rest for you.

Over to You

Automation is the foundation of your startup’s growth and success. It gives you the opportunity to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks and focus on more creative and complex business processes. Sure, those are just some of the numerous examples of how to automate your business operations. Before you start investing in automation, you should first audit your business performance to identify the tasks that need to be optimized.

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