Online Tools, Small Business

Working Out Your Workflow

Sometimes it helps to take a few steps back, look at the complete end-to-end experience of your website / shopping cart ordering experience / sign-up process for your newsletter / registration or donation form experience or any other online automation running and see if it is still working for you. If it’s not, fix it! Your future customers will thank you and summer is a great time to dial it in.

As the online space matures, consistent house-cleaning is crucial to figure out if that process or system that was put in place 1/2/3+ years ago is still necessary/relevant/useful today. People who visit your site are expecting a higher level of experience as the buyer has gotten way more sophisticated.

Get out a clean piece of paper and write/walk through the steps of your ideal customer experience. Think as a new customer. Think as a sceptic. Think as someone on their mobile phone. What would you change? What is working or not? 

Sometimes the greatest pain points happen AFTER the transaction has taken place. They submitted that form on your site, now what? That donation came through but what is happening in-house that could maybe use some help in terms of process? Optimizing not only the buyer’s journey, but also the back-office management is critical when dealing with today’s online marketplace. And with the crazy (dare I say awesome) tools at our disposal, there’s no reason to accept anything less than amazing.

Here’s a few questions to kick around:

  • Is there something your employees are doing manually with data right now that could be handled by an automated process to free them up a bit? What if you could get better info while shaving off time from your employees? What if more time could then be put into consuming and acting on the data you’ve found?
  • Is your data in a central place so real-time info can be a accessed and shared throughout the organization?
  • Are the tools you are using now still doing the job? What is it costing you and is there a cheaper/better solution?
  • Are they ways you could consolidate or even integrate systems better?
  • What do the people around you think? Sometimes the best ideas and solutions are right in your group but nobody cared/dared to ask.

Yes, we all have no time. And guess what, in a few years there will be even less. Take 20 minutes a day for the next week and review your current workflows (lead generation process, sales tool processes, back-office processes, web forms, Adwords campaigns to name a few) and then optimize like crazy. Show them a bit of attention and get them working better for you and ultimately helping your business grow.

One final tip, but bring in some fresh eyes. They can join you on the review journey. You will be shocked at what you find, guaranteed.

Photo credit: golbenge

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