When I talk to people about automation, they nearly always think of increased efficiency first. And while this is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of automation, it is certainly not the only one. Equally important is that automation raises the level of quality in different critical areas of the organisation:
- The outcome of the work and its impact on the daily operation
- The employee’s work environment
- The relationship with the customer
Quality of the job
If software – or in a broader sense, technology - is implemented to automate tasks, then the quality of the work is guaranteed. Once the software or technology is installed and configured, the tasks will always be performed in the same way, according to predefined processes and standards. The quality of your output will improve at first and remain consistent from then on. On top of that, technology is active 24/7, providing you with uninterrupted processes so tasks can be delivered in a timely fashion. Every time. Every day. It seems an obvious start, but it’s the best one.
Quality of the employee satisfaction
Several successful companies live by the management credo: "No satisfied customers without satisfied employees."
A work environment that can motivate and engage employees each day allows those employees to make the best use of their time and attention so they can deliver a stronger quality of work. Surely, no employee wants to spend his/her entire day cutting and pasting. Automating such repetitive tasks reduces the mountain of tedious work and takes away the constant pressure of approaching deadlines for these repetitive tasks.
"No happy customers without happy employees."
Automation ensures that employees focus on work that utilises their strengths, so they can bring their added value to the organisation.
In his latest book, Wouter Torfs, CEO of Torfs (the biggest shoe retailer in Belgium) describes how they implemented a people-oriented policy in its staff satisfaction strategy. Not only did it make the employees more content on a daily basis, it also increased customer satisfaction. It was one of the key drivers that doubled their sales figures in the past 5 years. Which brings me to the next point…
Quality of the customer satisfaction
A successful customer relationship requires human involvement. So ironically, in this digital age, companies can again make a difference and show their added value by offering customers a human touch.
In his book "When Digital Becomes Human," Steven van Belleghem refers expressly to the connection between technology and the human touch. The strength of technology lies in automating the customer relationship and the added value of people in creating an emotional bond with customers.
"The human touch makes the difference."
The added values that employees bring to the customer relationship include creativity, empathy, and passion. It is no wonder, then, that 73% of customers would like to connect with real people, even though the digital channels are working perfectly.
The key point here is to use technology to increase the efficiency of the organisation so that employees have the time for human contact. This personal contact makes the customer happy, and happy customers are key to the success of any organisation.
Quality in action
In an era when we are all strained for time, automation can lift the humanisation of companies to the next level. The Colruyt Group is an example of an organisation that lives by these principles. They have used automation to increase efficiency, create higher job satisfaction among their employees, and establish better communication with their customers.
Take a look at how they did it in this video.
Had a similar experience with automation in your company? I’d love to hear/read all about it.