In today’s digital age, it is easy to think of technological developments as impersonal and inadequate for ‘people business.’ So much so, that many services professionals are apprehensive about ‘going tech’ with their operations. On the contrary, product-based businesses and professionals immediately see the benefits of going tech. Still, cash flow and workflow for service professionals are positively impacted when they welcome automation. Areas like product creation and delivery processes, payment processing, and customer service delivery tend to get the greatest boost.
Admittedly, service delivery feels personal by nature. As such, some service providers feel uncomfortable with what they perceive to be the depersonalization of their people-based offerings when they go tech. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is possible to use tech well by automating services product creation and processes (like service delivery and payments) while maintaining the human touch component of all you offer.
Below, we explore how the right balance between tech and personableness can help improve cash flow and workflow for service professionals.
First Things First: Trimming the Fat by Reducing Over-customisation
Many of the most significant challenges services professionals face stem from failing to streamline their service offerings. This is because they often create services to match clients’ needs as they come. However, this is not recommended. Importantly, we do not see this approach from the makers of physical products. Instead, we see the opposite.
Service-based professionals and businesses must learn that they simply cannot be all things to all men. The solution, in this regard, is to create product-like packages with clearly outlined itemised deliverables (i.e. benefits and features). For services, clear deliverables can be likened to the ingredients and quantity associated with physical products. By streamlining deliverables, service professionals can better lean into their target audience and leverage the same.
In a nutshell, clarity and not over-customising yields the following benefits:
- Avoid burnout and overworking
- Keep the quality service output high
- Increase productivity and the revenue generated from it
- Enjoy higher levels of creativity
- Develop processes and way of working that over time resembles the well-oiled machinery associated with the assembly lines of factories making physical products
The Impact of Tech Automation on Cash Flow and Workflow for Service Professionals
At the heart of any successful business is its operations. When operations are efficient and productive, consistency and results are sure to follow. For service professionals, tech automation should be used to systemise bookings, payments, and the services process for handing over deliverables.
a) The Impact on Workflow
Firstly, when technology is used in the aforementioned areas, the service professional is able to redeem the time. That is, he or she can now focus on doing the work that the client is paying for without the distractions of administrative work and the like. Similarly, there is likely to be a higher level of creativity and faster service delivery for the service provider.
Secondly, the client is likely to have a seamless experience when certain features and functions are automated. When administrative processes like booking, making payments, and the like are easy to navigate, the total customer service experience is vastly improved. The process moves along faster and both the client and service provider are less overwhelmed.
b) The Impact on Cash flow
Payments and deliverables naturally go hand-in-hand in service-based industries. Yet, the way most services are delivered and payment extracted leaves the service provider with cash flow issues. Usually, a 50% deposit is required to start. The rest is required on handover. However, many service providers find themselves chasing the remaining 50% after already doing the work.
The first step to fixing this problem and increasing cash flow is to break the service deliverables into smaller steps or phases. Secondly, each of these smaller phases should have a fraction of the total service cost attached. From there, each step or phase should be payment triggered. In other words, each step or phase will have its own tech-automated ‘deposit’ to trigger the start of a phase and the handing over of its deliverables. This approach helps ensure the following:
- The service is affordable for the client
- The service delivery is manageable for the service provider
- Cashflow is consistent and reliable
- Both client and service provider have clear expectations regarding payments and deliverables
The Final Analysis
Being service providers here at Awe-Inspiring & Bold Creative-Tech Solutions Limited, we have learned tech automation will positively impact cash flow and workflow for service professionals. Technology has helped us to become more organised with what we deliver and to earn consistently from it. Our automated processes have been a game-changer at all levels.