One of the first things I do when I meet with a new client is to do a kind of ‘automations audit’. That is, I look at every single process in their business to work out what processes are happening that could be automated. Some are obvious, some are not. If this is something you’d like to do yourself, it’s relatively simple. The best way to approach it is to take the customer-centric approach by looking at their journey through your business. Throughout that process, I’m asking “Can that be automated?”.
Take for example a personal trainer (PT) who would like to systematise their new lead process, in a way that is unique to them. Before automation, their process looks like this:
- Prospective client completes website enquiry form
- PT tries to call client to book in a time to talk/meet
- PT talks to client, takes notes on a piece of paper or a post-it
- Sends client a new signup document and indemnity waiver to complete and email back
- Takes payment details over the phone for their monthly dues
- Client emails their monthly progress photos and diet worksheet
There are a number of different touchpoints here that are done manually, and there is a bunch of wasted time trying to organise a first consultation, and getting the required documents back. There’s also no central system for all of the information, at the moment everything is living on post-it notes and scraps of paper.
An automations implementation would look something like this for this case:
- Website form integrates with client management database (e.g. Podio or AgileCRM), and redirects to an appointment booking app like Acuity Scheduling for the client to book their first consultation
- Record for new lead/client is automagically created in the database, PT can then take notes in that app
- Email or SMS automatically sent to client with link to new signup form, which includes all the basic details they need, an online signature tool (like HelloSign), and a payment processor to deal with the monthly dues
- Client can upload their progress photos and report into an online form each month, which is integrated with their file
All of this is achieved with a few low-cost apps, and Zapier, a user-friendly and powerful integrations app.