Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Business has always been about the survival of the fittest, and it is not any different today. With the pandemic disrupting the face of business and creating a paradigm shift into the new normal, innovation in service-led firms has become even more critical. Long gone are the days when businesses are content with just staying afloat. Either you are innovatively adapting to the times or preparing to bite the dust.
Now, a new category of technology is enabling firms to take their services to another level: productization. That category is called intelligent automation — the computerization of processes traditionally carried out by humans.
Adopting intelligent automation to create more revenue streams
Intelligent automation is at the center of brands’ efforts to give their customers the very best experience. It is becoming increasingly important for firms aiming to provide superior customer service. By automating processes and tasks that humans traditionally carry out, businesses can free up their experienced employees to focus on more proactive, customer-centric activities.
For example, insurance claims handlers now don’t need to be claims experts, so you can hire people who are simply good negotiators. If you embed expertise into intelligent automation systems, you create a high-quality service that can operate at tremendous scale, independent of the size of the labor force, as services are more resilient than people and are available 24/7, 365 days a year. The result is improved customer experience which, in turn, leads to boosted revenue.
Service-led businesses can’t ignore the need to automate more while ensuring customer needs are met. This can be achieved without going through the long road of software engineering or overhauling entire existing systems. There is a menu of no code SaaS-based intelligent automation platforms to choose from.
Related: 11 Ways to Automate Your Business and Boost Efficiency
Productization takes intelligent automation further
Intelligent automation is about generating new streams of revenue, too. Right now, it is driving professional service firms away from the traditional status quo to turning their intellectual property into AI-powered products and services. These are generating new streams of recurring revenues. Indeed, a professional services firm client of Rainbird rapidly generated hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue with an automated tax credit solution.
Other industries have seen healthy growth, too. Take robo-advisors, which have enabled a new suite of automated investment advisor and manager products to hit the market. According to Investopediathe industry has experienced massive growth as client assets managed by robo-advisors reached nearly $1 trillion in 2020, expecting to reach $2.9 trillion worldwide by 2025.
Interestingly, robo-advisors don’t necessarily require machine learning, though many imagine they do. Instead, robo-advisors can be powered by transparent, auditable decision automation — a key component of intelligent automation. Decision automation goes beyond the capabilities of the humble decision tree and enables intelligent automation to help service-led firms become more agile and responsive to customer needs by productizing expertise. In other words, it’s an important tool for firms seeking to gain a competitive advantage.
How service-led firms can productize their knowledge to boost revenue
Productizing knowledge may not be at the top of your strategy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t rapidly be integrated into your business growth plans. Below are a few insights your firm can adopt:
Identify what you aim to achieve and its purpose, then proceed to find a trusted advisor who has the empathy to understand what you want to achieve and the reputation for supporting change.
Research, be well educated and informed so you can differentiate between the possible and impossible.
Experiment and A-B test. Allow your education to turn into experimentation leveraging no-code tools to enable you to start and learn as you go.
Engage colleagues and brainstorm. Automation is here to stay. It is best to take your workforce on the journey with you, as organizations that embrace the citizen developer mentality evolve faster.
Related: 6 Ways Your Customer Service Department Can Generate More Revenue
Adaptation has always been the name of the game, and one-way service-led firms can innovatively evolve is by adopting intelligent automation. Not only does it provide other streams to generate revenues, it also makes your firm resilient, scaleable, competitive and differentiated from your competitors.