Robotic process automation (RPA) is an umbrella term for advanced systems that can be programmed to carry out a number of tasks that were previously done manually. RPA is not one specific tool. Instead, it’s a type of technology with various programs available. Each program has its own strengths and some are specifically designed for CRM work. This technology helps contact centers achieve more while delivering a better customer experience.
Robotics automate the repetitive, rules-based actions that contact centers perform manually on a regular basis. These tedious, routine processes are important – they make up the basic operations of the contact center – but they take up time that can be better spent on more pressing tasks. RPA is valuable in a number of ways:
- Boosts agent efficiency
- Enhances the customer experience
- Raises contact center ROI
- Reduces workload
- Lowers training costs
- Eliminates human error
- Improves quality and accuracy of work
- Decreases customer interaction times
Automating and Streamlining Data with RPA
There are numerous kinds of contact center processes that can be automated, including customer information and order history updates. Processes can be automated at the time of transaction as well as in a batch at one time.
Many contact centers face the same problem: during a customer interaction, the agent needs to gather account information in order to find out about the order history. Once they have the customer’s information, they have to start a new process to look at the customer’s order history and other information, such as if a support ticket has been filed or the status of the order. With RPA, the agent can get all of this information as soon as they look up the customer. The process is simpler for the agent and the customer can spend less time with customer service, which increases customer satisfaction.
Working with different systems can also be problematic in the contact center. For example, if one system is used for CRM and another is used for orders, it can take time to transfer information between the two. Agents have to transfer all types of information back and forth, like order status and call logs. This data has to be transferred quickly and accurately so that records are always complete. With RPA, exchanging information between systems is easy because it’s done automatically, no longer requiring agents to handle it manually. Contact center agents have to enter information just one time and it will sync across all systems immediately.
The Difference Between Standard Automation and RPA
RPA is called a lot of things, including intelligent automation and smart automation, but it’s important to understand the difference between standard automation (doing the same task over and over) and RPA. RPA is more similar to artificial intelligence than to standard automation. With standard automation, you can do things like automate workflow and auto-update data between systems. With RPA technology, though, various CRM systems are synced, data is manipulated, reports are reviewed and problems are flagged. Plus, RPA software has the same security and access as your contact center agents, with the added benefit of being able to work uninterrupted. According to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation, it’s like the difference between a car’s cruise control and a completely driver-less car. Cruise control can automate a certain process, but it can’t adapt to the environment. A driver-less car, on the other hand, can identify the current conditions and adjust to meet those changes. In the same way, RPA adjusts for changes by following the set of rules you give it during the programming phase.
What You Should Know About Programming RPA Software
RPA is separate from your other CRM applications and systems, but it can be easily altered to communicate with those systems. Human work is necessary for both maintenance and quality control. If one of your contact center systems is updated, the RPA software should be adjusted to make sure it continues to perform the related tasks correctly. Most RPA software doesn’t require coding knowledge to program; it simply needs you to have a clear understanding of contact center processes and workflows. RPA is scalable and can grow along with your contact center.