We all dream of being able to work less and accomplish more. With today’s technological advances, that idea is becoming reality. Whether you start with a pre-built template or create a multi-step flow across several apps, Microsoft Flow connects the dots and allows you to work smarter.

Cloud services make it possible to do almost anything – new apps are being developed every day that solve problems and make it easier to communicate with customers, automate time consuming tasks and, ultimately, operate a business.

These changes are coming at lightning speed, which means that not every issue has been flushed out. One major problem is that is hasn’t been easy to get these problem-solving apps to connect and talk to each other. If one area of your business is automated and works more efficiently, wouldn’t it make sense to apply that to the rest of your workflow? Microsoft Flow was developed to do exactly that. Whether you start with a pre-built template or create a multi-step flow across several apps, it connects the dots and allows you to work smarter.

Automating Social Media

Social Media is a wonderful way for businesses to interact directly with customers. Not only can we get immediate feedback, but we can also respond instantly and start building a deeper relationship. In order to do this effectively, however, processes need to be put into place for managing this new communication channel. With Microsoft Flow, that stream can be fully automated, which means your customers get the attention they need and you can scale accordingly.

Let’s say, for example, someone tags your business in a tweet on Twitter. Rather than having to assign a resource to monitor and respond manually, you can build a workflow to automatically start following that person, send them a thank you response, add them to a spreadsheet tracking activity and then enter them into your database or CRM platform for follow up. You can set the timing of this activity up-front, so that is happens as fast or slow as you need. As your business grows, you can scale accordingly.

Automating Processes

We’ve all experienced the pain of paperwork. You need a quick change to your employee profile, but for some reason it doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d like. Something as simple as changing your address with HR can take weeks to be completed due to the process being so manual. Typically, you would need to fill out a form, send that to HR, wait for approval, and then wait for the change to be implemented.

Every company hires new employees who need to go through some amount of training or onboarding. Most commonly, that onboarding process is haphazard, divided amongst several departments and completely reliant on a particular employee having enough time that day to adequately deliver the information needed. In reality, your current employees are busy and don't have time to sit down with each new employee. This means your new hires receive the bare bones as far as training and are entering the company confused and frazzled.

Using Microsoft Flow, both of these real-life examples can be streamlined into an automated, more effective workflow. Employee profile updates could start with an online form that then talks to your HR database to make the updates. You could even build in a follow-up email that gets sent to the employee letting them know their change was made. The entire process could be completed automatically, without having to take valuable HR resources away from bigger tasks.

With the onboarding example, a workflow could be created to start off new employees with required training videos, then automatically notify your training team that they are ready to be scheduled for a tour of the office. That workflow can talk directly to calendars to get the appointment set and relieve your current employees of that step. By automating your training and onboarding, you ensure that all new hires receive a consistent, efficient and adequate amount of information that sets them up for success and sets the tone for their tenure.