5 Proven Ways to Make your Contact Center RPA Successful

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Since the industrial revolution, companies have relied on robotic technology to increase their operational efficiency. Think sewing machines, factory conveyor belts, and even traffic lights. With the digitalization of industry, more and more manual or routine repetitive activities can be automated – a phenomenon known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). With RPA, companies can scale operations quickly and effectively, eliminating the possibility of human error and relieving employees from simple, nerve-wracking tasks. Best of all, RPA robots don’t take extended lunch breaks or expect any business benefits. One area with enormous potential is the implementation of contact center RPA by companies.

RPA in contact centers

A standard contact center is full of repetitive and boring tasks that are definitely necessary but rarely require a human level of decision making. Gathering contact information, reviewing guarantees, and explaining return policies are some quick examples.

Sometimes it is the contact center processes that slow down the agents, e.g. B. multiple logins required for different systems. When an agent has to log into the ticketing system, the CRM system, and then the payment system, it takes longer to complete their job, which has a negative impact on operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Given the sheer number of inquiries each contact center answers on a daily basis, using RPA to reduce some of the contact center workload has a huge impact on streamlining processes and improving profitability.

The potential value of RPA in call centers

There are two types of RPA – attended and unattended – and both have value to a contact center. Attended RPA are automated processes that are started by the agents themselves as part of their daily workflow. For example, you can log into multiple systems at the same time or start a number of post-call tasks such as customer emails and future follow-up tasks. Unattended RPA generally works autonomously in the background, e.g. B. for monthly invoice processing or customer reminders. Both types of RPA make contact center agents more effective by outsourcing repetitive tasks and giving them the space to focus on areas with more value – keeping customers happy.

In addition to efficiency and customer satisfaction, RPA also has a positive effect on company results. AT Kearney reports that RPA costs 1/3 the price of an offshore worker and 1/5 the cost of on-site workers and can cut costs by 25-50%. With these numbers, it’s no surprise that Forrester data shows that over 44% of organizations are already using RPA.

Despite the clear value, some organizations are still struggling to realize the benefits. Forrester reports that despite the market potential of $ 12 billion by 2023, more than half of the RPA solutions deployed have not scaled beyond ten robots. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up five tips to help you overcome common barriers to properly implementing and scaling your contact center RPA project:

Tip 1: choose the right use cases for RPA

Consider your contact center workflows and determine which use cases can be automated. The best use cases are large and simple tasks that affect operations. These can be RPA use cases where automated processes are started by agents, or unattended RPA use cases that run in the background. For example, a visited RPA use case can be related to the onboarding process and automate the series of documents a new customer must fill out and sign, or the entry of information where a human agent can trigger an RPA task to provide customer information about several systems to update. Examples of an unattended RPA use case include monitoring compliance with deadlines, automatically updating customers when a field technician is behind schedule, or validating the new customer’s documentation by analyzing and referencing thousands of data points far faster and more accurately than any human could ever do. When choosing a use case, avoid choosing a process that changes frequently or where mistakes are particularly costly.

Tip 2: Communicate the changes to the agents

The new automation strategy should be clearly communicated to the contact center agents. Realize that while agents see the benefits of offloading repetitive tasks, they may see the move as a step towards the unemployment line. Make sure each agent knows how the new RPA processes are affecting their career and how automation is focusing on productivity so they can focus their efforts on the quality of their work. RPA in contact centers should give agents the confidence they need to be successful at their jobs. They know the company focuses on quality indicators like customer satisfaction rather than number-based KPIs like number of calls handled etc.

Tip 3: Establish the Right Success Criteria

Measuring the results of your contact center RPA project is critical to the success of the initiative. Depending on the application, success criteria can range from productivity metrics such as AHT or call volume to performance metrics such as employee satisfaction (ESAT) and customer satisfaction (NPS). Another way to evaluate the efficiency of your RPA processes is to measure the amount of work that has to be repeated due to human error – before and after implementation.

Tip 4: Pick the right team and collaborate with IT

Organizations that have succeeded in incorporating RPA into their workflows use mixed and diverse RPA teams to run projects geared towards business initiatives. A team should ideally combine business, contact center and IT managers and include roles such as AI researcher or data scientist, as well as roles in strategy, project management, programming and user interface design. Different backgrounds and perspectives on automation can bring significant business benefits.

Tip 5: give your RPA eyes

The success of RPA customer communication depends to a large extent on the machine’s ability to interpret the customer’s phrases, nuances, and complex reality. Adding the element of Computer Vision AI to RPA capabilities results in instant, clear understanding while building confidence and reducing frustration. In the future, visual communication will be at the center of most interactions with machines and will enable many more use cases in various industries.

For example, the process for insurance claims will be revolutionized with claims handlers using computer vision to get automatic claims detection and assessment. Technical support is also updated with visual assistants that can identify the customer’s devices and fix problems automatically.

Successful introduction of Contact Center RPA

RPA offers immense potential for contact centers in terms of efficiency, agent and customer satisfaction and cost savings. To make these projects successful and maximize their potential ROI, the organization must ensure that the right use cases are selected, the changes are communicated to the contact center team, the success criteria are properly measured, the right team is supporting the project, and advanced technologies such as Computer Vision AI are being studied to further improve the RPA initiative in the contact center.

This article was first published on the TechSee blog.

April 11, 2021