Evolution has primed humans to seek connection with each other, to rely on each other, and to solve problems together. Naturally, this inclination permeates into customer behavior, with 36% of customers preferring to wait to interact with a human agent even when automated solutions are available.
While this preference for live support underscores the value of human interaction in resolving complex issues, automation – such as RPA for contact centers – plays a unique role in facilitating human agents, allowing them to deliver personalized experiences to customers at key touchpoints.
Robotic process automation (RPA), in particular, helps enhance the customer experience by providing customers with connected experiences, freeing agents up to focus on resolving customer queries.
How are contact centers primed for automation?
Contact centers play a central role in shaping the customer experience, by answering questions, resolving complex customer challenges, providing more information about products and services, and, when necessary, connecting customers to specialized teams for additional support.
The contact center is a prime candidate for automation because it includes many straightforward, repetitive tasks, like appointment scheduling, answering FAQs, providing information about policies, products and services, routing support tickets to relevant staff, etc.
In particular, contact centers benefit from attended automation, involves RPA bots working together with human agents. For example, consider a live chat interaction, where the human agent needs to pull up information about the customer from internal systems to deliver personalized support. In this scenario, an RPA bot can pull the information from different systems and display it on the agent’s system, instantly giving them access to relevant data. This allows human agents to respond quickly and effectively.
Types of tasks in a contact center that can benefit from attended automation include:
- Repetitive tasks. RPA can automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, call routing, and appointment setting to reduce the burden on live agents.
- High-volume tasks. Automating high-volume interactions like answering FAQs and handling routine inquiries can redirect agents’ time and effort to resolving complex queries and problems.
- Time-consuming tasks. Manually pulling up customer data during a call or inputting information takes up valuable time, and can be automated so that contact center employees can focus entirely on improving CX.
- Technical support. Attended automation can help employees provide technical support in several ways. For instance, RPA bots can provide real-time guidance to help troubleshoot technical problems, perform automated searches for solutions, and analyze large data sets to identify issues and solutions.
- Data-intensive operations. Bots can swiftly perform data-intensive operations like managing data and customer operations, ensuring accuracy and reducing chances for manual error.
Benefits of automating your contact center
Handling all customer interactions, contact centers play a fundamental and indispensable role in building a smooth customer experience. Automating your contact center:
1. Minimizes human errors
While humans are prone to making errors, like copying data incorrectly or making typos, RPA bots execute these tasks perfectly. Thus, they ensure correct customer data is inputted and pulled from different systems, every time.
2. Improves First Call Resolution (FCR) and decreases Average Handling Time (AHT)
Employing RPA increases the FCR rate, which is the percentage of times a customer issue is resolved in the first call, and the AHT, which is the time required on average to resolve an issue. The speed of resolution is important to 86% of customers, making it a crucial consideration for improving CX.
3. Helps tailor customer service interactions
According to Adobe, 64% of marketers believe that personalized customer support is one of the top factors in ensuring a good customer experience. RPA in contact centers can help to ensure customer service tailored to the customer by analyzing customer data to provide personalized service and recommendations.
4. Optimizes the time of human resources
Robotic process automation optimizes the use of resources by saving money on human resources by working 24/7, freeing up live agents to work on more profitable tasks, reducing error rates, and improving the allocation of resources. According to a global management consulting firm, AI and RPA can save how much time call center agents spend on processes by 40% by 2027.
5. Reduces the onboarding time for new agents
According to the State of Contact Center Training report, over 50% of contact centers spend 6-12 weeks training and onboarding new agents. Given how contact centers face a high annual turnover rate, this means businesses are losing valuable time training new hires every year.
Fortunately, RPA can help you decrease agent onboarding times by automating labor-intensive, back-end processes and reducing the amount of technical work assigned to agents. Thus, agents will practically need less training to assume their roles.
6. Enhances data security
Automation can enhance data security by enforcing strict access control measures to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive data, encrypt data during transmission, maintain audit trails, and perform other functions to maintain data security.
They also allow customers to authenticate themselves without forfeiting personal information to a human agent (e.g., through T-Pin verification).
7. Helps you manage large case volumes
Intelligent automation, which combines RPA with artificial intelligence (AI), helps contact centers manage peaks in case volumes by reducing the volume of issues routed to humans. For example, conversational AI chatbots can resolve low-complexity queries, and RPA bots can route customers with more complex issues to relevant personnel.
RPA also connects different systems and applications, including legacy systems, which allows automation to execute relevant tasks for resolving inquiries. This may involve, say, pulling up a customer’s data from one system and processing a request on another.
Common RPA use cases for contact centers
Using a combination of artificial intelligence and RPA, businesses can improve productivity in contact centers. Here are some use contact center automation use cases with proven business value.
1. Data retrieval
The extended wait times for call center agents to retrieve data can be frustrating for customers, regardless of whether their issues are ultimately addressed. Around 63% of customers also expect customer service representatives to be cognizant of their unique needs and expectations as well as their personal information and history with the company.
Attended automation in contact centers can ease the burden on agents, so that they can focus on listening to the client and addressing their concerns while RPA bots quickly pull up the required information.
2. Data entry and validation
Manually inputting customer data while on a customer service call or updating databases can take valuable time and effort that could have been spent on more meaningful tasks, decreasing employee productivity.
RPA bots in contact centers can automate the entry of customer data into applications, minimizing human errors and ensuring consistency across channels. Bots can also validate data against predefined rules and standards, ensuring accuracy.
3. Refund processing
Refund processing is a rules-based process that can easily be shifted from manual to automatic. RPA bots can extract customer refund inquiries from communication channels such as emails, text messages, or ticketing systems, and initiate the refund process.
Bots can verify details to ensure accuracy and send automated notifications for further details, updates and confirmation.
Handing over refund processing to RPA bots can accelerate the process, keep customers informed throughout and reduce the need for customers to make repeated calls to agents; ultimately improving the customer experience.
4. Report generation
RPA bots can quickly sift through large sets of data and consolidate data from systems to generate actionable reports. For instance, with the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP), bots can review communications with customers to extract incidents of customer complaints. The data can be processed to comprehend complaint patterns and areas, bots can also forward complaints to relevant personnel who can take the required action.
5. Predictive churn management
Combining RPA with artificial intelligence enables contact centers to predict customer churn and take proactive action. RPA bots can continuously monitor service requests and extract their sentiment using AI, before proceeding to categorize customers’ “risk levels.” Predictive churn management is an especially helpful use case for industries like telecommunications.
Automating contact centers? You might want to choose an RPA implementation partner
The contact center is a prime candidate for enterprise automation, unlocking business value in the form of productivity gains, reduced FTE, faster FCR, error reduction, and superior customer experiences. However, implementing RPA at scale comes with several changes; you’ll need to identify relevant use cases, account for exceptions, preemptively prepare for risks, prove ROI, and continuously manage and maintain your digital RPA workforce.
So, you might want to consider working with an RPA implementation partner like M.M. We can help you automate your contact center with:
- Experienced consultants who will help you identify inefficient processes and guide you regarding the right technology for automation.
- Proven use cases that deliver real business value for contact centers.
- Dedicated, round-the-clock support and maintenance services.
- Training for your employees to prepare them to work closely with RPA.
Book a free consultation today and get a proof-of-concept before committing to a contract.