How to Augment Contact Centre RPA Without Threatening Jobs

A picture of a human and robot working side-by-side

Noble Systems share some best practices for implementing robotic process automation (RPA) to better support contact centre advisors.

If you’re a contact centre manager, you might justifiably worry about having to cut your staff. You like your staff – they’re well-trained and personable and they make your customers feel great.

What you notice, however, is that other companies are investing in automation as part of their contact centre technology.

Automation, in your mind, means replacing your human workers with software in order to cut costs.

You aren’t alone in your reluctance to replace your workers. Research shows that 60% of contact centre managers say that automation should augment your workers, not replace them.

In that case, there’s good news: automation isn’t a zero-sum game. Automated contact centre technology isn’t good enough to replace genuine human interaction, but it is good at augmenting your workers’ abilities.

Automation can make intelligent routing decisions to help ensure that your customers have the lowest wait times, take care of simple transactional issues, and perform automated administrative tasks.

These all have the effect of optimizing your human workers – letting them spend more time helping customers and less time putting them on hold.

Meanwhile, you save money through a lower total cost of operations (TCO), get to keep all of your highly skilled employees, and end up with happier customers into the bargain. Here’s how it works.

Improving CX and Reducing TCO With Contact Centre Automation

Automation in the contact centre can reduce costs and delight customers in three main areas:

1. Reducing Hold Times

As we’ve mentioned, automation is good for handling transactional issues, while agents are good at handling complicated questions.

When you nudge customers with simple issues towards automated systems, your flesh-and-blood agents have more time to handle complexity.

2. Increasing Responsiveness

When on a call, your agents may have to spend a lot of time digging through customer records to understand the status of their account, orders, and previous conversations. This tends to increase your mean time to resolution without contributing anything towards solving the problem.

RPA does all that busywork for the agents instead. This means that the agent spends more time listening to the customer and solves their problem faster. And this is another way that automation can reduce hold times.

3. Collecting Information

After a call, your agents may have to spend some time recording details about how the call turned out – whether they resolved the customer’s issue, how the customer was feeling, if the call needed escalation, and so on.

Although this information is vital when it comes to capturing and evaluating contact centre metrics, it also means that there’s a delay before your agents can take the next call.

In addition, there’s no guarantee that your agents are self-reporting correctly.

Advanced automation, combined with machine learning, can perform post-call conversational analytics. This means that they can log – with high accuracy – all the critical contact centre and customer experience metrics that you want to record.

Not only is this data very useful, it also lets your agents go directly to the next call, reducing hold times even more.

Lastly, this data can be used to inform contact centre agents of real-time trends.

For example, if a lot of customers are calling in about the same issue, you can forewarn your agents that they’re very likely to be getting a call on the subject and provide them with answers and instructions that will help them satisfy these callers. This also allows you to create proactive programs to address the problem.

Automation helps solve a lot of ills in the contact centre world. For example, 41% of customers say that contact centre agents give different answers to the same question, but automation helps to standardize their answers on a given topic.

In addition, 84% of agents say that their desktop tools don’t give them the right information, and 26% say that it’s hard to find the right answer to a question. Automation helps here as well by identifying the issue and pushing the appropriate response.

A Quick Win for Companies and Employees

In total, automation prevents customer churn and agent attrition, and cuts TCO by up to 9%. This allows companies to recover the costs of implementation in as little as six months and contributes to increased profit within as little as nine months.

When companies invest in automation for the contact centre, everyone wins.

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 25th Oct 2019 - Last modified: 20th Oct 2023
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