RPA In Customer Service: Definition, Benefits, Use Cases & Case Studies
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Customers can now access services via multiple channels in today's modern world. Customers only had access to rotary phones and call centers in the past. However, now customers expect to have numerous options to resolve their questions and inquiries.
Today's customers want high-quality customer service available around the clock via the most convenient channel. Customers have gotten so used to this that they are more likely to give up on a request or even the company itself if they get forced to use an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, compose lengthy emails, or deal with a poorly designed chatbot.
Consequently, customer service companies must adapt to such changes to thrive and succeed in the customer service space. This opportunity is where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) enters the picture to help bridge the gap between human interaction and automation.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation is a type of technology that facilitates the development, deployment, and management of software robots that replicate human activities in the way they work with digital systems and software. Like humans, software robots can comprehend what gets displayed on a computer, complete the necessary keystrokes, navigate systems, locate and extract data, and carry out predefined operations.
On the other hand, customer service RPA software robots go above and beyond human capabilities since they can complete tasks more rapidly and consistently than people.
What is an RPA in Customer Service?
RPA in customer service specifically refers to RPA technology being applied to the customer service field. This can include automating call center processes, deploying chatbots to assist customers, implementing voice assistants, and much more. Using RPA to automate certain customer interactions frees up the time for agents to focus better on critical interactions while providing simpler customer inquiries and immediate responses and solutions.
The Rise of RPA Customer Service
Customer service is one of the most common and longest-standing RPA application functions. But why?
RPA customer service essentially improves customer service by lowering administrative and back-office workloads. Software robots expedite customer service by gathering data from several systems, executing service requests, and updating client records.
By delegating regular, mundane tasks, such as processing customer service request updates, to robots, customer service organizations can free up their agents to focus on client engagement rather than manual labor. Implementing customer service RPA can also enable new service models for their clients and improve other company divisions.
However, taking a more comprehensive approach to automating customer service initiatives can streamline other elements of the business and improve the customer experience as a whole.
In the end, RPA customer service tools allow businesses to automate a variety of time-consuming and labor-intensive jobs. Furthermore, by employing customer service RPA to acquire data, the risk of human error is greatly decreased, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. As a result, customer support agents can communicate with clients in a more quick and personalized manner.
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Benefits of Customer Service RPA
RPA customer service tools offer a plethora of benefits; some of the most notable include the following:
Reduced costs lead to increased efficiency, and RPA customer service technologies are one of the finest options for cost savings. When a customer service representative employs an RPA-powered system, the average handle time (AHT) is significantly reduced. Consequently, the processing costs also get cut in half.
Taking advantage of customer service, RPA improves process predictability, maintains compliance, conforms to regulations, reduces errors, and increases efficiency. Essentially, it may ensure that all changes to your system get recorded smoothly.
Aside from that, RPA customer service robots work in the background to run inspections and keep your workflows up to date.
Improved Customer Experience
With 40% of customers preferring self-service customer support, RPA allows you to easily cater to these customers while also improving the overall customer experience. By implementing effective chatbots, customers can reach your company 24/7. This allows your customers to resolve all common issues at all times of the day and on any day of the week.
A frustrated customer waiting on a customer service agent to get back to them can be a thing of the past with RPA.
Enhanced Agent Satisfaction
It is not only the customers that benefit from customer service RPA adoptions.
Agents spend a significant amount of time locating and tracking consumer information across multiple systems. RPA customer service systems can perform this duty by looking up the process rapidly, allowing agents to reduce lead times and provide better support.
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Top RPA Use Cases and Case Studies in Customer Service
You can utilize RPA to automate various tasks associated with customer service. Thus, here are some of the most notable use cases and case studies of customer service RPA.
Assist Customer Service Representatives
Most of the time, customers expect customer service representatives to understand their specific requirements and expectations, such as who they are and what they have purchased.
An RPA bot can gather information about the consumer to address this problem, such as demographics, sales, previous complaints, or tickets, and send it to the customer service representative ahead of time, allowing them to anticipate customer questions and rapidly resolve the problem.
According to an IBM case study, Cobmax, a sales call centre, used IBM's RPA solution to cut back-office activities by half, sell 20,000 products per month, and provide client reports in half the time, from 2-3 days to only a day.
Automate Common Customer Questions
Customer service RPA bots or AI-based customer service chatbots can collect and enter issue information into a ticket system. RPA customer service bots can also access the ticket database and tackle simple client concerns like:
- Password or login information renewal
- Updating orders, such as changing delivery address and requesting return code, among others
- Making changes to payment information, such as credit card number or pay-at-the-door
By utilizing RPA customer service chatbots, companies can save significant time in both understanding customer issues and resolving simple customer issues. Varma reported saving roughly 330 hours a month of customer service time from implementing chatbots. As the chatbot grew and further understood common customer issues, it ended up with an average 85% automation rate. So, most customer concerns are completely handled by the chatbot, and those that are not handled by a chatbot are sent to a human agent who already has full details of the customer’s issues.
Communicate Customer Complaints
RPA customer service bots can leverage Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to comprehend customer complaints in emails or text messages, extract complaint data, input it into spreadsheets and text documents, and generate reports. These resulting reports can be:
- Distributed to pertinent customer support personnel
- Used for issue pattern detection
- Registrable for compliance and audit
Enfo Group utilized robotic process automation to automate its entire reporting process. By automating this process, the company saved roughly 70 hours per month while still generating all 300 necessary reports. This same type of automation can be applied to any type of reporting, including customer complaint reporting.
Automated Customer Refunds
Companies can use RPA solutions to automate the entire customer refund process. Automating this process allows customers to immediately receive a refund for returned products without a lengthy customer service interaction. This helps improve the customer experience.
IBM’s Cloud Pak for Business Automation can utilize customer data to automate the entire customer refund process. It can understand a customer’s previous purchase, find the reason for the return, and refund the customer once the item has been returned.
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Implementing Customer Service RPA
In implementing RPA customer service tools, the first thing is to decide which metrics are important.
Here are a few things to keep an eye on:
- Error Reduction: You can complete many more difficult customer support activities without human intervention. As a result, client complaints and callbacks get reduced.
- Customer Service Agent Training: Traditionally, call center agents receive a script and a phone. To obtain client data, they had to work through sophisticated processes. Today, customer service RPA provides all of the information they need to their fingertips in real time. You can see how RPA customer service solutions improve productivity by tracking how long it takes them to finish a task or please a customer.
- Internal Best Practices and Regulatory Requirements Compliance: RPA customer service bots are meticulous in following regulatory guidelines and never miss a step. Thus, you can effectively develop a process to comply with regulatory standards or internal best practices. Following these standards is a critical metric to monitor.
- Employee Satisfaction Improvement: One of the most significant advantages of implementing RPA in customer service is the liberation of employees from mundane tasks. This way, employees can focus on higher-value tasks. Surveying agents regularly is a good way to keep tabs on employee satisfaction levels.
After deciding on the metrics to consider, companies can then proceed to do the following RPA customer service best practices:
Begin with Simple Tasks that can be Automated
Instead of placing customers on hold to run necessary programs and collect data, customer service RPA bots could do it for them and enter it into the appropriate fields, reducing errors.
This basic automation lets the agent focus on the consumer rather than the paperwork, allowing them to complete more work. Begin with something basic and uncomplicated, and work your way up. You will witness an improvement in agent productivity and efficiency, a decrease in errors, and increased customer happiness.
Retrain and Upskill Agents as RPA Deployments Progress
RPA will alter how your agents work, forcing you to reevaluate how they operate.
As organizations produce more sophisticated products, RPA enables them to keep up with the increased volume while improving customer service.
RPA will enable agents to focus on duties directly affecting the customer experience and higher-value business operations like cross-selling. Consequently, you might need to enhance your agents' skills so that they can do the more delicate task of managing relationships with customers.
The good news is that these new, higher-level responsibilities are fascinating and varied, which will assist agents in being more interested.
Automate the Customer Experience Across Touchpoints
Customers can now communicate with your firm via mobile, social networking, or texting apps on the web or through a customer portal. At each location, you must be prepared to meet client expectations.
RPA customer service systems can help you gain a complete image of your customers across all touchpoints rather than simply the fragmented portrait gleaned through siloed phone, email, and app engagements. Make sure that customers will have the best experience possible regardless of how they interact with your company.
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What is RPA in a Call Center?
In this day and age, businesses that strive to deliver good customer service are modernizing their call centers to guarantee outstanding experiences for their customers. First-call resolution rates need to increase to complete this process, and average call processing times should be lower.
In this context, businesses are increasingly turning to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to improve their call center service by:
- Speeding up client interactions
- Providing more detailed responses
- Reducing the amount of human labor required to handle incoming inquiries
- Increasing customer satisfaction by reducing human error
Can RPA Replace BPO?
Concerns are being voiced concurrently with the minute-by-minute increase in adopting Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Many workers in the customer service industry see the widespread use of RPA, particularly at BPO organizations, as a potential danger to their employment.
While RPA adoption holds a plethora of business potential, you cannot deny that human labor remains a vital component of any company. RPA can thus be considered as a complementary tool to enable BPO providers to speed up and offer excellent new services to clients at a much lower cost rather than as a threat to replace human labor. So, although nothing will change immediately, RPA can lead to minor incremental gains.
Read more about Robotic Process Automation on Nanonets