The Key To Humanized Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) increases efficiency and makes agents’ lives more enjoyable, but Visual IVR is the key to successfully merging that efficiency with customer service channels.
By Johnny Rosa
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is transforming CX and customer care. The ability to automate the repetitive, tedious tasks often occupying personnel in back offices and customer-facing contact centers can provide meaningful benefits:
- reduce the need for a cumbersome back office
- streamline and speed up legacy processes
- free up contact center agents to handle high-value, complex service calls
- enhance the user journey
RPA takes hold of the dreary tasks that bog us down and automatically executes them without the help of a human interaction. The technology connects to databases and customer communication platforms to serve consumers faster and more efficiently than live agents can. Tasks with multiple steps like retrieving an invoice take time for humans to accomplish. Bots and automation are a key part of improving customer service, according to Microsoft. Their 2018 State of Global Customer Service report found “Bots can automate resolution while reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction, freeing agents to work on more complex issues.”
“RPA takes hold of the dreary tasks that bog us down and automatically executes them without the help of a human interaction.”
Reading an invoice request, searching the database for the appropriate document, downloading the invoice, copying the customer’s email address, writing an email, attaching the invoice, and sending the email to the customer is a multiple-minutes-long process for an agent. RPA bots achieve the same result in milliseconds. Other simple tasks like tracking an order or initiating the returns process are easily fulfilled by RPA. The bots can find recent orders associated with an account in an enterprise’s database. They can also verify a product purchase and return eligibility then populate forms and automatically create the appropriate labels a customer will need to print and use for returning products.
Robotic Process Automation bots complete time consuming yet straightforward tasks, freeing up live agents to focus on more complex, high-value tasks. The emerging technology will transform interactions for customers, enterprises, and even public sector agencies — if it can be implemented well.
RPA enhances customer satisfaction by automating the customer service process. Automation enables self-service capabilities, streamlining and speeding up customer interactions and solving customer problems more effectively. Consumers hate dealing with tiresome customer service calls. It is critical for every business to focus on avoiding long service interactions.
RPA is the engine that powers self-service, but on-demand channels like Visual IVR take things up another notch. With self-service, customers gain the power to solve their own problems, and Visual IVR gives them access to most of the options and activities they used to need live contact center agents for instantly. Customers don’t need to trouble themselves by working with an agent. They tell RPA bots what to do, and everything is handled automatically.
Efficiency is the defining characteristic of RPA. No matter how good a contact center agent is, an RPA bot is more efficient. RPA can handle more customers faster than an agent can, and can handle many times more customers at the same time. When bots are fulfilling the simple tasks that make up the majority of contact center operations, the calls that used to get sent to back offices are never transferred. With RPA implementation, enterprises can shrink their back offices and reduce their costs. When a major arts & crafts retailer launched a Visual IVR utilizing RPA technology, they saved $47,000 in 3 months.
Since RPA and self-service platforms like Visual IVR take care of the simple tasks, the calls that do make it through to contact centers are always compelling, high-value interactions. Without the burden of tedious interactions, live agents have the freedom to treat these complicated interactions with the attention they deserve. On-demand self-service options allow enterprises to not only shrink the number of agents they need but also empower the agents they keep and set those agents up for success.
Just like their private sector counterparts, government agencies are aching for better efficiency. Every day, incompatible software or outdated legacy systems make the job harder for those working to keep things running. With a lot of room for improvement in various areas, choosing the right solutions to achieve the best results can be difficult. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has laid the groundwork for the future, but the onus is on agency leaders to take the next step.
The Modernizing Government Technology Act officially calls on government agencies to apply for “modernization funding” and upgrade the legacy systems holding everyone back. With a world of options looming for decision makers, it’s no wonder why Mick Mulvaney singled out Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as a new technology agencies can use “to reduce repetitive administrative tasks,” with the help of the Office of Management and Budget last August. OMB emphasized the government’s efforts to streamline operations, reminding agencies in a memo that, “The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) prioritizes reducing the burden of … low-value activities and redirecting resources to accomplishing mission outcomes that matter most to citizens.”
The Visual IVR and RPA combination creates an incredible ecosystem able to elegantly answer customer questions without the need for live agents. When customers submit forms via these solutions, Visual IVR captures that information and RPA processes it.
When a self-service user selects an option requesting data, RPA bots pull the required information directly from the relevant back-end systems using API connections.
A customer calling a Visual IVR-enabled enterprise simply taps the order status option and is instantly presented with all active orders associated with the phone number they are calling through. Since all the connections are made via APIs, implementing an RPA-equipped Visual IVR solution takes only a few weeks and works with any legacy backend system companies already use. Instead of putting in months of effort to integrate RPA directly into those old systems, Visual IVR sits on top of what’s already there — enhancing customer service processes without costing businesses precious resources.
Processes like these, that would have taken multiple minutes of conversation with a live agent to complete, are reduced to milliseconds thanks to customer-facing Visual IVR solutions triggering efficient RPA integration at contact centers.
RPA is the engine driving the powerful self-service interactions that enhance CX and reduce costs for enterprises. Visual IVR is the key to swiftly and elegantly implementing this powerful emerging technology into customer service.