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customer service automation

Image – Tiffany Terry, Flickr (CC license)

Contact centre agents who loathe their work, from constantly updating fields to completing repetitive tasks associated with customer interactions may have a negative impact on your brand. They spend hours in thankless admin so that the interaction can be taken forward or so that their own efficiency can be monitored. In a desktop environment, this is no longer a necessary evil; with desktop automation or Robotic Process Automation (RPA), you can free up those agents to focus on servicing the customer in the best possible way.

As Vijay Singh puts it, robots are good at things that are structured. In a contact centre situation, you have multiple tasks that are structured in nature, requiring agents to tick many boxes and complete compulsory fields during an interaction – completing forms, updating databases and spreadsheets, and sending partially-completed documents to initiate a process or workflow, to name a few. All of these tasks take the agents way from customers and, by default, your company’s ability to achieve more successful call resolutions. Many of these tasks are simple to the point of being dull and repetitive, potentially having an impact on motivation and performance.

That’s where desktop automation comes in: rules-based processes are by nature structured, and these can be automated. It’s said that Robotic Process Automation takes the robot out of the human, and that’s exactly what it does; automated processes take away those tasks that don’t require human input, freeing up agents to perform far more complex tasks that require human characteristics such as insights, reasoning or empathy. It doesn’t replace humans, it just takes over parts of jobs.

Boosting productivity and profitability

It’s stated that one bot can perform the rules-based tasks of three humans, and, bear in mind that these bots can be used in a variety of business-wide applications, not just within the contact centre environment, and you get to see the scale of opportunity this presents. The ROI of desktop automation has been calculated at between 30 – 200% within the first year of deployment, and it’s easily deployed since you don’t have to worry about back-office integration with multiple applications or systems.

Bots can work around the clock, which is of immense benefit to sectors that are particularly time-sensitive and that rely on multiple processes – the financial services sector, for example, where huge amounts of information must be captured, stored, accessed and transferred. RPA success is measured in terms of hours given back to the company post-deployment, where time is directly related to cost.

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