Tonya Mork is the Founder of Know the Code, with an impressive engineering background of 22 years building and leading teams in automating equipment and processes. In today’s episode, we discuss balancing automation and people, and measuring the cost of automation.
When have we gone too far with automation?
5:54 “From the customer point of view, when we go too far with automation, it can isolate them to where they don’t see the humanity in your business.”
Make sure that you’re having a two-way conversation and create channels for your clients and team to communicate through.
Finding the balance:
You can build trust by automating and then balancing that with a human reply. Tonya shares how she implements this in her own business by automating the email process, but then personally replying to her clients who respond to those automated emails.
She says that you have to listen to what your clients want to tell you and communicate with them, while also balancing your automation so that your business is scalable.
Automation and development:
Utilizing automation for onboarding teammates and clients, setting things up, creating processes, validating, and looking for errors is fruitful. The benefit is that these sorts of automation save time and money, and create a scalable, consistent, and repeatable system.
However, she says it is important to realize when you can’t bend automation to fit a process. If it doesn’t make your workflow better and faster, don’t automate just to automate. Sometimes there are pieces of the equation that require people.
The cost of automation:
Any process will come with a cost. And you can’t just look at the initial cost savings, but at the total cost. This includes lost opportunities and the potential of isolated clients.
20:14 “Over the years that I’ve been leading engineering teams, I see people sitting down and saying ‘This will be cool, let’s automate this,’ or ‘Ooh let’s do that,’ and then minutes of trying to automate something… become hours, become days… that possibly during the next project we don’t use again.”
She says that step one is to know your process step-by-step-by-step. You can’t automate something if it isn’t defined. And don’t be afraid to only automate parts of the process, rather than the entire thing.
Tonya has utilized Active Campaign for a while, although she is testing out ConvertKit to see what the benefits are. She also automates different email automation strategies based on people’s interest and activity on her site so that they receive relevant information.
Questions to ask yourself before you automate:
- Does it make you better and faster?
- Is it scalable and repeatable?
- Can you define your process?