Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to work quite so hard? If your meetings just got scheduled automatically? If that spreadsheet made itself? If those emails just got sent?
Business process automation can help you do all that and more. In this article, we'll go over 10 ways to turn daily business management tasks into automated processes, so you can get back to the things that really matter.
Business process automation (BPA), is the use of technology and tools to automate repetitive tasks. These automation tools fall under the umbrella of your larger business process management (BPM) system.
BPM systems include non-technical elements like employee meetings, document management, or keeping the office fridge stocked. BPA software is a slightly more specific term that refers only to tech processes.
As part of your business process management software, BPA tools help create efficient, automated workflows that streamline the business management tasks.
These automations can support your customers (sending emails or organising contacts into a list), or they can support your employees (automating data entry and file management, or standardising your employee onboarding).
💡 Tip: Curious about the difference between BPA and RPA? BPA is an umbrella term that includes RPA, but can also include non-robotic automations. Robotic process automation refers to specific tasks that can only be automated by a rules-based “robot.”
Business process automation can help anyone simplify their business. But, it can be particularly helpful for those businesses that are struggling with the following challenges:
If you and your business are experiencing any of these challenges, using BPA to automate some of your workflows can help lighten the load by taking some of the more mundane tasks off your plate.
When you automate repetitive tasks, you free up yourself and your team to focus on the more important, human-centric aspects of your business. This could be anything from finding creative solutions to problems to maintaining excellent customer relationships or playing more video games.
You can streamline everything from lead management and payment processing to employee onboarding and customer support. Let’s get into some of the business processes you can automate:
Bringing customers from a twinkle in your eye to a potential lead to a qualified lead is a time consuming and highly involved process. It’s often impossible for a single person to evaluate and categorise leads in real-time based on data.
That would mean a lot of email queries, landing page data, and marketing stats to sift through. Luckily, that kind of analysis is precisely the kind of automation task machines love.
Tools like Paperform can help categorise and automatically target specific types of customers based on their attributes and behaviours. For example, you could use conditional logic to only send certain leads to your CRM based on their answers to your form.
You can even use the scoring feature to give each lead a statistically-determined score that shows how likely they are to buy your product. This way you can focus on building customer relationships, rather than sifting through leads.
Before the digital transformation, this level of analysis in the lead management process would have required weeks of tedious research and monster spreadsheets. With Paperform, you can let the software do the heavy lifting of the lead targeting process for you.
The lead capturing process is another that can easily be automated to save you time and provide your users with a better overall experience. This can be especially beneficial if you have a dedicated landing page for capturing leads.
Let’s say, for example, you’ve made a landing page to advertise your flower delivery service. You can include a contact form that gathers all the essential information you need about your potential leads.
Then, rather than manually uploading this data to a CRM tool, you could set up a Paperform integration to do it for you. You can have contacts added, customer information updated, or inquiries tracked and organised for you, all without you having to lift a finger.
If you run an ecommerce business or an online store, a large portion of your time may be spent managing repetitive processes like payment collection and invoicing.
Handling all of that for every transaction at your business is necessary, sure. It’s also boooring. By automating these functionalities, you can be sure that your business stays above board, your customers get the right goods for the right price, and you don’t have to whip out the calculator ever again.
Whether you’re making an order form, a donation form, a subscription order, or running a full-fledged online store, you can accept payments with Paperform quickly and easily with leading payment processors like Stripe, PayPal and, Google Pay.
You could also set up an automation to organise your orders into a spreadsheet by integrating Paperform with Google Sheets. That way, when you’re looking to make a new budget or see how much your business has grown, you don’t have to search through mountains of emails and order forms. Every order will be documented in an easy to read way.
From there, you can use Google Sheets formulas to whip up a quick tally, assess your rate of growth, or see how much revenue you’ve made in a given time period. Save time and watch the cash roll in.
Calculating and charging tax is another repetitive process that can be made simpler by automating. With every online sale, there’s a legal need to ensure that monetary processes are handled accurately, that all appropriate taxes have been added, and that a receipt is provided to the customer.
Paperform can help automate both the taxation and receipt generation processes. By setting a tax rate within your form or page, a standard tax will automatically be applied to every transaction, every time, so you don’t have to worry about the IRS banging down your door.
And to make sure you and your customers can keep expert records, you can set up your forms to automatically send receipts after every purchase. You could even use answer piping to customise the receipts, and thank customers by name.
Gathering and understanding customer feedback is an important way to improve your business. But organising heaps of survey responses and NPS scores is a bear. Luckily, you can get all the benefits of gathering customer data and cut back on the headache of the details by automating the repetitive parts of the process.
For example, you could set up an automation that sends customers a feedback form to fill out a few days after their purchase. Then, you can set up another automation that gathers the data found in that form and inputs it into Google Sheets, or a Notion Database, or even creates a task in a project management tool like Asana.
With BPA, you can gather the feedback you need to improve your business, without getting overwhelmed by reaching out to customers individually and organising their responses by hand. You can even integrate your CRM and email platform to address customers by name emails automatically.
Apply one of the below customer feedback templates to your account to get started:
We’ve all been trapped in what feels like an endless email chain trying to schedule a simple meeting. You send your availability, they send theirs, and there’s no overlap. All of a sudden a quick cafe catch-up has become nobody’s cup of tea.
By integrating your calendar with a smart application form, your interviewees can select a time from a pre-approved list, add their information, and the virtual or in-person interview will be automatically added to your calendar. You could even set up automatic confirmation or reminder emails.
Paperform's Appointment field can look after this for you. Simply block out your availability, and have people book meetings that automatically fit into your day. It's all synced to Google Calendar, and you can even send email reminders to make sure you don't get stood up.
Get started with these appointment and booking form templates:
Finding talented employees is both expensive and time-consuming. In some cases, the cost of searching for an individual to fill a high-skill role can actually exceed a year’s salary.
Typing out responses to candidates individually can take a lot of time, especially at the beginning of the hiring process when you’re swamped with hundreds—if not thousands—of applications. On the other hand, sending out mass emails can feel less personal and might reflect poorly on your brand.
By using a combination of form logic, and automated emails, you can look after this tiresome process without the manual busywork.
For example, with a Paperform job application, you could choose to automatically reject applicants who don't have a degree, or who neglect to submit a CV. You can then send personalised emails letting them know—all without lifting a finger.
Job application templates to help you get started:
💡 Tip: You can use forms for a variety of hiring and HR processes, from requesting time off, to filing an anonymous complaint.
Hiring an AI-powered chatbot service can be an affordable solution, and it’s one used by some of the biggest tech companies in the world.
Rideshare app Lyft now allows customers to request a ride from their Facebook or Slack messenger account, while Whole Foods now permits customers to ask its bot for recipe ideas or filter by special dietary requirements.
Chatbots can undoubtedly be helpful for automating simple customer interactions. But they don’t eliminate the need for human intervention. It’s best to think of them as support for your human-powered helpdesks or customer support teams, rather than a replacement for them.
Research from Forrester suggests that, while chatbots have risen in popularity, human-centred support is the way of the future. If you don't have the bandwidth for 24/7 customer service reps, you might consider a contact form.
Contact forms can go far beyond a few basic form fields embedded on a webpage. With Paperform's smart forms you can integrate your contact forms with the rest of your tech stack, to simplify your backend processes.
For example, you can set up an automation that sends emails based on the details provided in the form. You might choose to send certain queries to your Support team, and forward other requests to Sales.
This is just the tip of the iceberg: you could send form submissions to Slack, or send relevant how-to articles based on certain requests. It's about providing your customers with an easy way to reach you, and connecting them with a solution, while also freeing up your Support team.
Customer Support form templates to get started with:
→ Contact Us Form
→ Submission Form
→ Customer Contact Form
→ IT Request Form
Paperform is an easy-to-use, multi-purpose solution for streamlining your business processes. From contact pages to bookings, to online stores and automated emails, Paperform is here to automate the day-to-day management of your business so you can get back to enjoying your life.
We'd be here all week if we were to cover every single automation you can set up with Paperform. So, here's a preview of some of the most notable BPAs you can set up through any of your Paperform creations:
At Paperform, we’re a big fan of tipping that work-life balance a little closer to life. That’s why we give you the tools you need to automate the repetitive tasks, make them powerful, dynamic, and easy to use, and let you handle the rest.
These are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning. With a digital suite of tools this versatile, the options are truly limitless. Sign up for our 14-day free trial, and make manual processes a thing of the past.
Working from home with kids feels near impossible. Here are some tips to make it through with everybody (and your sanity) in one piece.
Make and Zapier are two of the most popular automation workflow tools in the market. This guide breaks down how to choose between them.
No-code tools are the future of creating applications. Here’s how your business can take advantage of the benefits of no-code platforms.
Setting up an effective home office takes work. These ten office upgrades can help you bring more peace and productivity to your work-from-home setup.