Large Companies Are Adopting Automation at a Record Pace. But What About the SMB?

Small business owner team high fiving

SMBs Also Need Automation Solutions to Grow Revenue and Reduce Reliance on Staff

Amazon uses more than 200,000 robots in its warehouses. Ohio-based grocery chain, Kroger, recently installed their first warehouse in Orlando, Florida manned by 1000 grocery-picking robots. Grocery store self-checkout kiosks have been implemented to save on staffing costs across the US, including at Walmart grocers. McDonalds is increasing its touchscreen ordering in the US to cater to tech-savvy millennials who want menu customization and prefer not to have to talk to people. Multiple technology providers are developing smart “voice bots” to help callers self-service their needs, all without having to talk to a person!

Technical innovations from the last century including self-pump gas stations and bank ATM’s conveniently conditioned both consumers and business owners to the benefits of reduced human interaction.  Consumers can access what they want quickly and 24/7, in many cases, and businesses are able to serve more customers with less headcount while growing revenue and profitability.

Many of today’s innovations to help businesses grow profitably target larger enterprises due to demand and economies of scale. But, per the Small Business Association, small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy.

They create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for 44 percent of U.S. economic activity. And yet, many are understaffed and struggle with a lack of funds.

So why don’t today’s innovations target the SMB user?  After all, it is a large percentage of the business population and SMB owners are becoming increasingly technologically savvy.

Kroger Warehouse in Ocado FL
Robots Travel Kroger's Grocey Delivery Warehouse in Ocado, FL

Designing for the SMB User

First, designing technology for SMBs is particularly challenging.  Products need to be easy to use, not take a lot of time to set up and manage.  Second, they need to be very affordable.  This is hard to do.

Instead, SMBs are frequently relegated to using repurposed solutions from the enterprise world which are expensive and overly complex for the typical small business use-case.

Many of you will argue that there are products that target the SMB. There are, but note how many of them quickly move “up the food chain” and go after the enterprise audience. Economies of scale! The features become unmanageable and the price unaffordable in the process.

Technological solutions for SMBs need to be driven by simple questions like “How can a plumber communicate with their customers better?” “How can a local restaurant be more efficient with existing staff?” and “How can a dentist easily guide patients after hours?”

If the larger firms have access to time-saving and cost-saving automation, why can’t the SMB? At Agentz, our goal is to empower SMBs with suitable technologies and automation that enables them to be more competitive and more profitable. We recognize that SMBs benefit when the simple things can be done faster and cheaper.

How Agentz Helps SMBs

Today, we’ll focus on just two aspects of automation for SMBs that Agentz provides.

Operational automation. These help a business increase their efficiency around routine tasks. Things like scheduling appointments, taking messages, handling missed calls and answering basic questions. Using automation to fulfill these tasks reduces the burden on staff while allowing customers and prospects to be serviced 24/7. Seamless conversations across SMS, website, voice, Facebook Messenger and GMB Messaging provide ease of communication from anywhere and ensure that customers can use the means of their choice.

Learn more how Agentz helps SMBs automate these tasks and more.

Customer engagement. Automation makes it easier for customers to get the information they need or their questions asked – anytime, from anywhere. This results in capturing more customers from prospects (higher quality leads) and increased customer satisfaction. The increasing sophistication of question & answer automation provides an easy way for SMBs to respond to all types of questions relevant to their customers.

Automation Pays Off

Plumbers can now communicate with their customers any time of day, restaurant owners can take reservation requests and answer questions about their menu, and dentists can convince potential patients that their practice is right for them. All without picking up the phone!

SMBs can perform like bigger companies when using SMB-specific tools that help them automate aspects of their business. With an increasingly competitive hiring landscape, having an automation plan as your backup can save costs on staffing while increasing revenue and customer satisfaction.

Agentz Free Trial for SMBs

If you are a small business owner or know someone who is, learn more about how Agentz helps small businesses confidently automate customer communication very inexpensively.

Take advantage of our 30-day free trial of the Agentz no-code digital receptionist and start impacting your revenue today.

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