Automation has been bringing higher levels of efficiency to the enterprise for decades – with one obvious example in the world of customer service. Contact centres have always embraced things like “Interactive Voice Response” (IVR) as an automatic way to serve customers in a queue, but now that today’s users are looking for more personalised, and enhanced solutions for quick service, there’s a new strategy in town: RPA.
Robotic Process Automation is the practice of combining machine learning and artificial intelligence software to automate high-volume routine tasks. In the contact centre space, that might mean using chatbots to provide modern customers with immediate responses to frequently asked questions, or digital assistants to allow your clients to book their own appointments. The question is, how can automation deliver fantastic new outcomes for contact centres?
The Age of Automation
The timing for RPA couldn’t be better. Messaging apps are growing to be an increasingly popular part of the customer conversation, and businesses are constantly turning to new channels to boost their service scenarios. Chatbots in messaging channels can help customers to experience a more reliable and personalized experience than any IVR system.
For the modern contact centre, adopting a level of automation can mean that your customers get their questions answered fast, while agents spend less time working on simple repetitive tasks. This means that your professionals have more time to work on complicated cases and support sensitive clients. It’s no surprise that automation is predicted to see significant growth in 2018.
RPA and the Case for Customer Experience
In a time where brands both online and off are defined by the level of service that they can provide to customers, contact centres have never been more important to modern businesses. On a strategic level, automation tools like RPAs that handle small, everyday tasks help to ensure that your key employees have more time to respond to significant customer needs in a more focused way.
RPA can also bring more consistency to the customer experience (CX), by ensuring that everyone gets the same initial interaction with your brand. The right automated services can even make sure that customer service agents have access to contextual information about a client when an issue is escalated, which reduces the frustration today’s customers feel when they need to repeat their issues to a service rep.
Automation is Cost-Efficient Too
Not only does robotic process automation give today’s customers a chance to improve their bottom line through enhanced customer satisfaction, but it can also help to optimise operational costs. As businesses begin scale, hiring new employees can be both time-consuming and costly. When you throw in the high turnover rates of contact centres, the whole process can feel like a serious drain on your ability to perform at optimal levels.
With Robotic Process Automation, instead of hiring new employees or outsourcing your labour, you can simply deploy efficient and cheaper robotic resources to free up more time for your valued employees. One report even found that RPA can reduce operational costs in an organisation by up to 75%.
The key to success with automation is finding the perfect balance between robotic assistance, and human involvement. The contact centre will always need the warmth and personalisation that a human agent can bring. However, that doesn’t mean that robotic services can’t make life easier for your flesh-and-blood employees.