RPA: A New Frontier In Customer Service 

Customer service has always been a crucial business differentiator. In fact, the history of customer service possibly goes way back to the first commodity service that was ever sold to a buyer. For many decades, and even centuries, customer service has evolved and transformed in numerous ways. Still, its core has always remained unchanged—using technology in all its various forms, businesses have always strived to provide the best customer service in the shortest span of time.

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Nowadays, thanks to recent technological progress, greater consumer choice, and the trend of eroding loyalty, the sophisticated customer is no longer standing for sub-standard experiences. Over the last ten years or so, millennials have substantially fueled the trend of instant and best customer service driven by organizations that put the effort in to engage with their customers round the clock. As a result, the past several years have seen a renewed focus on the consumer. 

The ever-rising customer expectations and decreasing customer service response times matter so much that the most prominent companies out there now respond to customer requests within a matter of seconds. But, what if this is only the beginning? What if organizations can offer superior customer service in real-time while controlling operational costs and enhancing customer satisfaction levels?

Although all this sounds nearly impossible, the ground reality is that cutting-edge robotic process automation or RPA software and artificial intelligence-powered systems are ringing in a brand new era of revolutionary change in customer support. The following blog post will exclusively focus on RPA, how robotic process automation is the new frontier in customer service, and what it can do for your company and customers.

The Era Of Digital Transformation 

The ongoing digital revolution has impelled further advances in customer experience, allowing customers to interact with their favorite brands and companies however and whenever they want. Presently, when digital tools like live chat, applications, and social media have become the norm and are frontrunners in the race to provide the best possible customer service, innovative and forward-thinking organizations are now experimenting and slowly utilizing the latest technology to create novel, value-added solutions for their customers. 

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Customer experience is all about convenience, so companies must stay on top of what convenience looks like these days. This includes integrating new communication channels to help companies interact on customers’ terms, which is why some of the most prominent organizations in the world use popular messaging platforms to deliver tailored communications in real-time. And while conventional customer support channels like telephones and email will always stay present and remain somewhat important, new technologies that arise and evolve all the time can help connect companies with modern-day digitally-smart customers. As a bonus, companies also get the kudos of emerging as an innovative and customer-focused brand.

The RPA Opportunity 

This is where robotic process automation or RPA kicks in as one of the newest frontiers in customer service. At its essence, RPA is the application of computer software to trigger responses, manipulate data, and process transactions, depending on the scope of the request. This groundbreaking technology owns the potential to unlock value across a broad range of different industrial sectors and companies that deal with a high volume of business processes and operations.

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When done well, RPA can deliver more streamlined, cost-efficient, and compliant operational processes. Simultaneously, automation permits employees, especially customer service professionals, to focus on higher-value activities that drive a better customer experience. Thanks to RPA, you’ll be able to automatically narrow down which customer tickets require instant attention and which ones don’t, so your customer service agents will have more time to tackle more complex issues that need human touch to be successfully resolved. This way, you can satisfy your customers with your customer service efforts and keep your agents more organized. In other words, RPA implementation is a win-win for organizations that get it right.

Robotic Process Automation Transformation 

It goes without saying that integrating robotic process automation is a considerable undertaking. While the details will depend on the business, the industry they operate in, and the degree to which they aim to automate their operations, there are three cornerstone components for successful robotic process automation transformation. 

The first and probably most important is that the RPA implementation must be a strategic fit for the company. Therefore, RPA needs to be assumed not as a process but as a strategic capability that enhances business value. This re-engineering process will be the key to strengthening the impact of RPA and maximizing ROI and must be given due diligence, so it's crucial companies comprehend which processes will deliver enormous business benefits when automated and construct a thorough roadmap accordingly. 

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The second component is that there also needs to be buy-in for automation and transformation from the C-suite managers within the company for the RPA to succeed. Cultural adoption often demands careful articulation and education of the business benefits of the robotic process automation solution, so lack of internal support at the senior level can be one of the most significant stumbling blocks to RPA enforcement. 

Finally, successful RPA implementation also relies on IT engagement, as legacy IT systems and IT departments' resistance can often be a barrier to automation and transformation. Having the IT department on board at the start of the RPA journey will help set a clear roadmap for change and discern any prospective roadblocks that lie on the road ahead.

RPA In Practice 

When thinking about how companies can utilize RPA, most peoples' thoughts, and rightfully so, turn to chatbots, virtual assistants, and other customer service helpers. Uber, Twitter, and Microsoft are just a few of the big brands that have launched intelligent solutions for customer service, some with more success than others. 

However, while they have the potential to go wrong, these automation solutions can be helpful to solve simple queries and straightforward transactions. 

Photo from Robomotion RPA

Moreover, robotic process automation can be utilized for more than just customer engagement. It possesses the potential to modify back-office operations, free-up employees from dull, tedious, repetitive tasks to focus on other value-added issues. It can also be utilized to transform more complicated processes, like commercial finance operations, for example. This is very beneficial in the financial services industry, where many service providers rely on their commercial finance division's efficient and cost-effective running to keep them in business. 

But frequently, the straightforward running of such operations gets hampered by expensive, inefficient, and cumbersome legacy technologies. And while many organizations recognize that this is exactly what holds them back, they may lack the skills, expertise, and resources to overhaul the old-fashioned processes and systems. Yet, by automating and simplifying processes and redesigning outdated operating models, many organizations can increase their productivity and reduce costs.

Final Thoughts On RPA 

It’s becoming more difficult to find leading companies that don’t offer the best chat solutions and have RPA software integrated as part of their vision to provide the best customer service solutions. In the challenging customer landscape we live in, highly competitive organizations can’t afford to lose their hard-earned clients to competitors who serve them round-the-clock using the best tools and technologies. RPA automation solutions are just that and represent the new frontier in customer service, a trend that you certainly should not overlook if you want to take your business to the next level!

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