shiwaneeg

I am a marketing intern at Valuefirst Digital Media. I write blogs on AI, Machine Learning, Chatbots, Automation etc for House of Bots. ...

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I am a marketing intern at Valuefirst Digital Media. I write blogs on AI, Machine Learning, Chatbots, Automation etc for House of Bots.

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Personalization through Automation

By shiwaneeg |Email | Mar 27, 2018 | 5562 Views

These days we hear a lot about automation regarding the ways it can make life easier. There's also a level of trepidation about what an automated future might look like: robotic, stiff and impersonal. Automation helps in being more personalized and available in both business as well as daily lives.

There's a difference between something that feels personal and something that's merely personalized. An email can have your name at the top of it, but unless the content is directed at you and your interests, it doesn't feel truly personal. Personal means that it speaks to you in some way. It mirrors you, either in your interests or your needs.

Automation at its best isn't depersonalized at all. Instead, it's the opposite - it feels tailored just for you. We see this all the time online through recommendations and retargeting. When online recommendations began, they got it wrong a lot. As the amount of data we put into the various systems we use increased, these automated behaviors became more accurate and more helpful.

Automation can help amp up productivity, reach more people and do more work - something all entrepreneurs can benefit from. It just makes logical sense to let technology handle some of the heavy lifting. The challenge, however, is that it needs to feel like you didn't just put someone's email into a system, it needs to feel like you took action to provide them with real value.

The key to automation success all comes down to good rules. Set up your rules and the rest should take care of itself. Anyone who has experimented with Zapier or IFTTT knows that these services can almost seem magical. That magic requires good rule setting and an understanding of what you can automate.

Begin with looking at the points of repetition in your life -- is there any way that you can take the thinking out of these situations? Consider the following as areas for where to focus your automation efforts.

  • Apps and Devices: These days, no one should be wasting time acting as a middleman between two devices or applications -- get them talking to one another. Cisco estimates that by 2021, every person in the United States will have 12.9 devices and connections. Automation can send a text to your next appointment when you leave the office, make sure that your office is always stocked with the supplies (and snacks) your staff prefers, automatically silence your phone based on the meetings in your calendar and more. 

  • Initial Responses: You can't be responding to emails, texts and inquiries around the clock, and automatic responses can help you close that gap. However, no one likes a generic out-of-office message. By creating a library of responses that are set to various times, you can make sure that those who are trying to reach you receive a message that provides concrete details on when you will be in touch. This helps to immediately satisfy your contacts and avoids the possible frustration of those wondering when they will hear from you. 

  • Prompts for Next Steps: When we were building Contactually, one of the things we learned is that, in business, we take many of the same steps over and over again. So, we developed a series of workflows called Programs -- a customized sequence of actions that will automatically send emails, create tasks for your to-do list and more. If you do something in a similar fashion over and over, it's a prime automation opportunity and one that will save yourself valuable time to put forth towards the more unique tasks that come up.

  • Key Events: Go beyond marking birthdays, anniversaries and other significant events on your calendar. Services like Loop & Tie and Eva make it easy to treat people by setting up all your key dates in advance. When the date approaches, the person receives a gift and you get a notification and the kudos for being thoughtful. When your days are filled, this is a sure way to avoid letting a staff member, client or friend or family member feel forgotten. 

The goal of automation is to two-fold: to free up time for moments of presence in your life and to extend your reach and connection. Done well, automation amplifies you and the work you do in the world, helping you to grow your business, stay on track and do more than ever before.


This article was originally published in Forbes

Source: Forbes