Don’t Overuse Automated Processes in Your Business

Automation is convenient and can save time but be careful about how exactly you are deploying it within your company

Don’t Overuse Automated Processes in Your Business

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There is no doubt that using automation in a home-services company can be a game changer for the office staff, the customer, and the business. However, while all that is true, there are things that should never be automated or automated fully.


When it comes to cyber security, you should never rely on automation alone. There should always be a level of manual checking of security systems to make sure everything is optimized so that you can rest assured the data you have for your business and your customers remain secure and away from harm.

One thing that gets missed often is changing or strengthening your passwords for all the software, banking, and emails that are used. Hackers and thieves are always on the prowl, so make sure they get stopped if and when they get to your business.

Customer Communications

With so many systems out in the stratosphere that are communicating with your customers, the one thing you cannot afford to put on automation alone is customer communications. People are starting to get wise to the ways businesses are communicating with them and can smell a bot a mile away. Because we are human, we want to deal with other humans, not a machine.

That’s not to say that there are not some very legitimate things you can use automation for when communicating with your customers. You just need to know when it’s useful to your business and when it’s not.

Anything that reminds a customer about an appointment, rescheduling notifications, or instructions around an appointment are examples of good things to automate. Automation is not suited for things that need to be discussed. Using bots to diagnose issues, resolve a problem of some type (payment, appointment change, etc.), or handle any type of creative input (measurements, color, fixtures, etc.) are all problematic and should be avoided. 


There are several marketing-related items that should not be totally automated as you are putting your hard-earned cash into AI platforms that have not been 100% successful. The two that immediately come to mind are Facebook and Google ads. It’s OK to use the automation, but not left unchecked on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

We have seen some crazy swings on both platforms so be aware not to let them just run. Depending on your spend, they might just run away with your money with little return. We do believe as they learn and grow there may be a time this will change. However, for now, don’t totally automate.


This area includes social media organic posting and messages. What business doesn’t wish there was a way to automate these areas so you don’t have to worry about them? For most businesses we talk to, social media marketing is not only time-consuming, it’s also not something they think they need to bother with. It’s no surprise that many will want to put these areas on auto-pilot. Don’t do it.

Unfortunately, your business needs social media and it needs messages from those platforms. Because it’s a creative process (the posting) it can’t be farmed out to just anyone either. You’ll need to find a professional and reputable social media manager who does more than post. They need to specialize in optimizing engagement. When you find the right person or company to do that, you will realize your investment. Just remember, when it comes to anything social, humans will always outdo automation. 

The automation tools you can use with social are the posting tools that can be found on most social platforms. Using these you will be able to schedule the day and times for each post. Don’t get talked into trying their AI creative tools as they are not very good at this point.

As for answering the messages that come across on social media, many companies are using bots to answer and try to navigate what potential customers are wanting from the business. While the bots are getting better, people know what they are and will move on, which is not what you want. Those businesses who are making the effort to personally answer their customers are winning the game.


While there are some great software packages in the market that can help with putting together proposals, make sure there is a place somewhere where you or your technicians can write a personal note. For those who are making this happen, it’s making a difference. Sometimes a personal touch is all you need to put your proposal over the top.

To be clear, automation is a fantastic way to up your game. But using automation for everything is a mistake. You don’t want the reputation that the only thing anyone talks to is a machine.

Automation will never replace those moments when a real human being is needed. That will still take the hard and compassionate work of great office staff who understand the “personal touch” and when it's needed.

About the Authors

Carter Harkins and Taylor Hill are the authors of Blue Collar Proud: 10 Principles for Building a Kickass Business You Love and the owners of Spark Marketer, a "no bull" digital marketing company that’s been getting sh*t done for home service businesses across the nation for a decade. They’re trusted thought leaders in the industries they serve, which is why you’ll find them regularly speaking at service industry trade shows and conferences and writing for trade magazines. Tired of empty promises and ready for focused digital marketing and balls-to-the-wall dedication that gets your business seen? Visit

This article was originally posted December 2022.


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