The Best Workflow Automation Tools to Increase Team Productivity (+ Examples)
Grunt work. Repetitive tasks. Menial jobs. Whatever you want to call them, nobody likes doing them. On top of that, these are exactly the kind of tasks that are prone to errors as they're hard to stay focused on.
Luckily, you can often take this kind of work off your team's plate with some smart workflow automation.
What is Workflow Automation?
Workflow automation refers to the use of technology to automate manual work by setting up logical rules, such as "if this, then that". These automated processes can help businesses improve productivity and efficiency by saving them time and money as well as removing the risk of human mistakes.
5 Workflow Automation Examples
Sounds good? Then make a list of all the manual workflows that exist in your business and see if there's a way to automate them. To help you with this, we've listed a few workflow automation examples below, followed by workflow automation software that can help you set everything up.
1. Customer Support
Time is of the essence when it comes to customer support. People expect to be helped quickly but this isn't always easy when it concerns complicated issues, or when the workload is distributed unevenly among team members.
Gmelius helps with customer support workflow automation, by letting you
- send auto-replies so customers know their ticket has been received.
- auto-assign tickets in a round-robin manner based on team members' workload.
- set up SLAs to make sure emails get a timely response.
- auto-tag tickets based on their content to provide further context.
An example of the latter could be an email from a customer asking for a refund that automatically receives the tag "refund".
Additionally, you can set up SLAs to make sure emails get a timely response.
2. Marketing & Sales
Managing and nurturing leads manually takes a lot of organization. You need to ensure timely follow-ups, constant engagement and fast replies.
Luckily, a lot of this can be automated as well. With Gmelius' Gmail automation, you can:
- bulk send personalized emails to a large list.
- set up email sequences to nurture your leads.
- send automated follow-ups and replies.
- create SLA rules to prioritize high-value conversations.
You can also tag and label emails in Gmail after which they'll be automatically assigned to the right person on your sales team.
3. Project management
The option to automatically distribute tasks isn't limited to your customer support and sales team. You can apply it to any team project and use workflow automation to have automatic notifications sent to team members when a deadline for one of their tasks is coming up.
But not all of your team members might be using the same tools all of the time and if this is the case, there's a risk that they're missing out on important information or that things are being done double.
To avoid this, you can use Gmelius to have different tools sync automatically. Task cards in Trello are, for example, synced with your Gmail Kanban Board while email notes automatically show up in Slack as well. And then there's Gmelius' public API and Zapier integration which make it possible to create workflow automations using a wide range of tools.
4. Employee Onboarding Process
There are a lot of steps involved in onboarding a new employee:
- You need to collect their details.
- You need to add those details to your HR system.
- You need to make sure they have access to all necessary documents and information.
Each of these steps holds the risk of human error, but when automated, that risk is removed. When using workflow automation, the above process could look like this:
- The new hire automatically gets an email with a link to a form where they can input their details.
- Those details are automatically added from the form into your HR system.
- Once the new hire has filled out the form, they get a new automated email with links to all the files and folders they need access to.
Generating and sending invoices isn't a particularly fun task. Regardless of whether a client needs to be invoiced for the same amount every month or just once, there are tools you can use that automatically create and send those invoices. If a client is on a monthly retainer or subscription, you can have the invoice sent the same date every month. If you're billing for one-time purchases, an "if this, then that" trigger can kick off the invoicing process once someone enters their payment details.
Once a client or customer pays their invoice, that payment can be automatically linked to the invoice you sent, which means your finance department won't need to do any manual matching.
Lastly, you can create a rule so that each invoice that is overdue is marked as such, and even set things up so that an automatic reminder is sent to late payers.
5 Top Workflow Automation Tools
Kissflow has a sleek interface that allows you to create workflows with a visual builder. It offers real-time reporting so you always know how your workflow automation processes are performing. Used by companies such as Domino's and Michelin, Kissflow is targeting enterprises and teams that are looking to scale up their workflow automation efforts quickly.
Because of its elaborate list of features and pre-installed process management apps, it can help you automate anything from your sales outreach to your customer support. At the same time the wide range of options Kissflow offers may make it overwhelming for smaller teams with a limited number of workflows.
Integrify is a workflow automation tool that allows you to visually design your automation processes with a drag-and-drop builder. It also includes a form builder and allows you to audit your workflow automations to find areas of improvement.
Integrify can be used for anything from onboarding new hires to automating your project management but it is quite complex to use as it only integrates with other tools through WebServices. It also looks a bit outdated.
Flokzu is another visual workflow automation builder that allows you to automatically assign tasks, set up rules, and send out notifications. Thanks to its reporting dashboard, you always know what stage each project is in, how long it took to complete a task, and whether there are any delays.
A downside to using a visual builder such as Flokzu is that you can't simply write a set of rules but need to make a visual model, which can get complicated for more complex processes.
Zapier supports workflow automation by allowing you to connect the tools you already use to make them work together without any manual input required from you. It works based on the "if this, then that" logic and allows teams to collaborate across folders and tools.
Zapier is great if you're looking for an easy way to have different tools "talk" to each other but it doesn't offer much more than that. If you also want to be able to create SLAs, automatically label tasks, and set up lead-nurturing sequences directly within Gmail. Gmelius is a better bet. It integrates with Zapier, so you can have the best of both!
Thanks to its integration with Zapier and its own public API, Gmelius offers a ton of workflow automation opportunities. We've already mentioned some of them above:
- Create SLAs to make sure you reply timely to urgent and high-value emails.
- Automatically distribute workload across team members to avoid bottlenecks.
- Set up automated email sequences to nurture leads.
- Send automated follow-ups and replies to provide great customer service and save time.
- Bulk send personalized emails straight from Gmail, without needing an extra email service provider.
All of the above can be done in a highly visual way, making it easy for you to get an overview of your workflows and adapt them when necessary.
Gmelius is the perfect solution for teams who want to make the most out of the software they're already using. As it works directly from within Gmail, Slack, and Trello, there's no need to add yet another tool to your stack.
Automate for Growth
Workflow automation allows you to save time, reduce the risk of errors, and increase your team's productivity. Use the workflow automation examples and tools in this article as a starting point to figure out which of your team's processes could be automated so you can work more efficiently and focus on high-level tasks.
Want to know more? Learn how to automate workflows with Gmelius.