What Should And Should Not Be Automated.

Have you ever felt the urge to automate everything? It’s an attractive prospect for business owners.

By replacing mundane and menial tasks with automated systems you can save both time and money while you focus on more mission-critical areas of your business.

However, when Automation Fever hits, it’s easy to lose sight of what automation makes sense and will actually save time and money versus what automation you will spend more time and money designing then you would actually save in reality.

What’s Automation Fever?

Automation Fever is the desire to automate literally everything in your business. When the idea of, “Set it and forget it,” becomes a way of living instead of an idealistic mantra. It’s when you throw logic out the window and spend enormous amounts of time developing systems and processes that will never actually save you time or money.

Is there such thing as “Set it and forget it?”

No, it would be nice though!

Both business and technology evolve too quickly for any true set it and forget it system to exist in reality.

As a business owner, you have to be involved in the business for it to evolve the way you want.

You can set up portions of your business with automation and ignore them for a while, but you should always plan on revisiting them because either your business has changed, or the technology has.

What should be automated?

Here are some examples of things which should be automated and will save you both time and money.

  • Lead Generation
  • Long Term Nurture and followup
  • E-commerce cart abandonment
  • Auto Res-ponders
  • Review Requests
  • Reporting and
  • Digital product fulfillment

These are all pretty simple and basic tasks that would be fairly easy to automate with a few emails and some timers. Anything that is a fairly linear process can be automated.

However, the following should be left well alone unless you have really deep pockets and an unlimited amount of time.

Things you should NOT automate (at least not fully).

Processes that generally require human intervention and thinking or decision making are where you should leave automation out. For example…

  • Human Resources
  • Customer Support
  • Live Chat (in some cases)
  • High ticket sales process (items which cost $1000+).

The above are examples of areas you should leave automation out of. Automation can be paired to enable these processes, but trying to automate them fully is a waste of time.

For example during the high ticket sales process you can have automation in the background following up with your prospects, but you should expect to be involved in the sales process yourself to close the deal and answer questions anyone might have. For higher ticket sales there is a certain level of expectation from your customers to have face to face communication to sooth their nerves before buying.

Automation is often seen as a way to remove yourself from the process and let machines do the work. Which to SOME extent is true.

But we prefer to look at it as something which enables you to serve your customers better, not replace you altogether. It’s a tool, not a person.

Think of the automotive assembly line as an example. Much of it is automated with machines and robots, but behind the machines there are still people repairing them, programming them and ensuring their quality of operation. Sometimes the machines pass off the work to real people because no machine can replace the human touch and a job well done.

What do you think?

Does set it and forget it actually exist? Have you tried to automate certain processes and failed miserably, or succeeded spectacularly? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

Picture of Adrian Tobey

Adrian Tobey

Adrian is the founder and lead developer of Groundhogg. He believes that marketing automation should be simple and accessible so any business can use it to grow.

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