Sustainable, smart, successful: how automation can help your small business soar

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While financial events like funding rounds and acquisitions get a lot of press attention, they’re hardly representative of the average profitable small to medium-sized Aussie enterprise.

Australia is home to two million such small businesses. They employ around half the workforce and add $380 billion annually to GDP, according to McCrindle’s 2021 report: Australia, The Small Business Nation. Many of them do an extraordinary job of serving their customers; meeting and exceeding their expectations for quality, value and service, week in, week out.

Those that don’t typically don’t last long: almost half of all new businesses started four years ago are no longer operating. Conversely, the longer a business remains in operation, the greater the chances it will survive long term.

Building loyalty and trust

While getting customers through the real or virtual door is a goal for businesses of all sizes, having them return again and again is the key to long-term success. Earning that trust and loyalty takes passion, purpose and commitment; something many small-business owners have in spades.

It may also require them to adopt strategies and practices that are difficult, if not impossible, to scale – the endgame for start-ups looking to race towards unicorn status as quickly as possible. Typically, those practices include offering service that’s highly personal and goes the extra mile. On our end, we offer free migration and one-on-one strategy sessions with every customer, no matter how small they are and it’s proven on each occasion over the years to be a valuable two-way exchange of information between our customers and us.

That’s where many small businesses continue to have an edge over their larger and better-resourced rivals – and why their customers very often turn into fiercely loyal ambassadors whose word-of-mouth advocacy, online and in the flesh, convinces others to give them a try.

Harnessing the power of automation technology

Using a customer experience automation platform that’s designed for the layperson – small businesses like yours that want to see healthy growth – can help you find and grow your target market and capture their attention with tailored messages that address their needs.

Once only within reach of the largest enterprises that spent millions of dollars capturing and retaining customers – this technology has latterly become accessible and affordable for businesses whose dimensions and budgets are much more modest.

Having the freedom and flexibility to choose which aspects of the customer journey can be automated and which are best left alone allows you to harness the power of technology to win hearts and minds, without giving up the secret sauce that makes your small business special. As Australia’s economy continues to reopen, it’s an investment that’s likely to serve your enterprise extremely well.

Staying up close and personal

Judicious deployment of automation can enable you to keep offering that winning personal touch, while your small business slowly but surely becomes larger and more successful.

Sound counter-intuitive? That’s because automation is typically seen as a substitute for genuine, person to person customer contact: the impersonal note addressing every person on the customer database by name, say, versus the message that’s actually been handwritten and signed by the proprietor.

But it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, implemented smartly, automation can create more opportunities for customer contact, rather than fewer, and bring you closer to your customers, even as they grow in number.