Is Automation Killing Business?
I was reading a discussion earlier in the week about automation in business. The consensus from the original poster was that by using automation in your business you are doing your clients/ customers a disservice. We should all go back to basics where business was about authenticity, conversations, and real business.
It made me think about my business and how I operate. I will admit I do use a certain level of automation. This blog post, for example, will be written, saved, and then uploaded onto WordPress and scheduled ahead of posting. I will then schedule for it to be posted onto social media a couple of hours later.
My reason for scheduling blog and social media posts? Time-saving, I will quite often bulk schedule blog and social media posts in one go. Occasionally I may write a post that I will schedule shortly after, but sometimes that will mean rescheduling other posts. The point is, I do not have time to post myself every day, so I have set up a system that does it for me.
I wrote the post; however, I schedule my blog and social media posts. Does that knowledge take anything away from my authenticity? After all, it is my words, they will just be sent in the future rather than now. Is it really that different from the days before post scheduling when businesses would have to remind themselves to physically post something they wrote days ago?
Automation in business
It is amazing what processes you can automate when you really look into it, scheduling your blog and social media posts really are just the tip of the iceberg. I mean if you think about the things you automate in your personal life. How many of us have set up direct debits? Or have set up our TVs to auto record something. What about our heating and hot water? There is automation all around us, so why should business be different?
So, examples of things you can automate in business include sales, leads, communication, content, e-commerce, appointments, and office management. The possibilities really are endless, so why wouldn’t you save time and make the most of these time-saving tools.
Remember why you started your business
If I take you back to the reason I decided to write this blog post, I was reading a discussion about automation in business. The original poster was mainly talking about email marketing, autoresponders, and chatbots. She was concerned that businesses reliance on using AI to talk to their customers/ clients was detaching them from the very people they wanted to serve.
If you think back to why business start in the first place, they want to solve a problem. Shoe shops want to provide shoes to customers, hairdressers want to improve their customer’s hair, banks want to protect your money, training providers want to teach you, etc.
If all these businesses stopped talking to their customers/ clients/ students and allowed AI to take over, how will they know what their customers are saying or feeling? I am sure they will probably get reports, but do figures really convey the feelings and emotions?
Losing the human touch
I think the biggest fear people have had with technology is the fear that technology takes over and the human touch is lost. Technology can easily make us detach from the world around us. Let’s take direct debits and standing orders for example. When you set up a direct debit or standing order, chances are you set it up so that you can forget about having to remember to pay money to someone who you are required to pay on a regular basis. You don’t have to remember to do it, the bank will do it for you. Brilliant.
However, if you have a constant flow of money coming in and money going out that you don’t have to think about anymore. How do you keep track? If I was to ask you, right now, how much money do you have in your account, do you know, or would you have to check? You may have a rough idea, but I think most people would struggle to know the exact amount they have in their account because automation means that we don’t have to keep track anymore.
The same process is happening in many areas of both our personal lives and our business.
Technology is wonderful, and it has enhanced our lives tremendously. However, I think it is important for everyone to remember to keep a handle on things, do not lose focus and forget about the things that matter.