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Robotic Process Automation: 3 Ways Digital Employees Can Improve a Contact Center

customer service 

With continued advancements in automation, today's workplaces as we know them will certainly look different in the years ahead — and perhaps unrecognizable in many ways from just a few decades ago. Indeed, even though upgraded technology has positively impacted so much in our personal and professional lives, even larger changes are ahead.

Today, robotic process automation is still in its nascent development stage. But even now this technology is slowly being embedded into the operations of insurance companies, banks, contact centers and in various other sectors.

In particular, cloud contact centers have already adopted many practical, common-sense applications of RPA. In fact, many are being used today to increase efficiency, improve accuracy, and free up employees to take on more valuable, high-level work. Here are three ways RPA systems can improve operations within a traditional call center.

1. Customer Service Chatbots

While modern-day contact centers go far beyond simply providing customer service and support, that remains a primary function for many of these operations. But the introduction of chatbots is helping to make the customer experience even better. For the most part, a large percentage of customers who seek assistance share similar concerns — and in this day and age, many people, especially younger generations, don't want to pick up the phone.

This makes chatbots the perfect solution for handling inquiries via social media or live chat on a company website. Today's chatbots are smart enough to recognize many of the most common issues that customers have — even when they express the problem in different or unusual ways. In that sense, resolving these issues becomes an exercise in fulfilling a repetitive task — and that tends to be the perfect application of RPA.

Best of all, your company's chatbots can continue to learn cognitively and improve their customer care performance over time. And if they can't solve the issue quickly and efficiently, your system can escalate the issue higher up the food chain to allow a live agent to address any remaining questions and concerns.

2. Data Analytics

Beyond the ability of communicating with customers, RPA also has the dynamic capacity to help a cloud contact center transform its data and better manage operational analytics. This is usually a less-heralded application of automation, but it can be incredibly powerful due to RPA's capability to quickly produce and compile a slew of data before processing this information into something actionable.

For example, if a company is attempting to hit certain benchmarks in terms of customer satisfaction scores, adding RPA into the mix can make it much easier to realize those results. Perhaps a company is currently using just three or four metrics to produce the end score. But by putting RPA to work on these tasks, this technology ultimately makes it easier to keep track of a dozen or more components without bogging down the process.

The same goes for the company sales and operations side of the house. In fact, it's easy for chatbots embedded into existing company systems to monitor customer buying preferences and how long it takes employees to complete various internal tasks. In the past, these metrics would then need to be individually monitored and analyzed.

But your so-called "robotic employees" can perform these tasks autonomously and produce reports that allow key decision-makers to adapt if the end results don't happen to meet any preconceived expectations.

3. System Integrations

Due to their long histories, many contact centers have a variety of existing systems and program protocols in place. Some store basic client account information, while others may log previous customer care interactions. Another may be able to handle billing, and some could be used strictly for communication purposes.

But in a modern contact center, the expectation is that these full-scale systems are already in place. Still, even in the sleekest of operations, a support agent may need to go back and forth between various systems or applications to complete a single task. In many cases, however, RPA can eliminate that level of inefficiency. Because bots can be embedded into entire systems, they can act as a go-between to retrieve important customer information, without the need to jump through as many hurdles.

While the time savings may seem minimal on an individual task, it becomes incredibly beneficial at scale. For example, if you multiply those few seconds RPA solutions can save across an employee's entire day, and then multiply that by the number of workers in your contact center, you wind up getting hours and hours back from your investment. And just like that, your operations become infinitely more efficient — all without needing to overhaul entire operations through a full-scale, costly digital transformation.

Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 10:24 AM by David Marshall
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