The power of excellent customer service cannot be overstated. Customers these days demand more and better service from the businesses they patronize — and they vote with their feet. Many customers are willing to leave a brand even after a single negative experience. On the other hand, 78% of consumers would do business with a company again after a mistake — but only if the customer service is excellent. Thus, customer experience is a brand differentiator.
In this environment, you can’t afford to put your customers through long wait times only to talk to agents who aren’t well-versed in the customer’s particular challenge. Customers don’t want to have to wait, and your technology should be attentive to their time. Introducing probiotic process automation (RPA) solutions to the contact center can help compress wait times, reduce backlogs and free your agents to do their best work — ensuring your customers are happy and satisfied with your products and services.
Reducing Wait Times Is Just the Beginning
It’s a given: no one wants to be on the phone for long — especially these days. Automation tools can help agents reduce average handling time (AHT) by avoiding the need to ask customers duplicate questions. But beyond AHT, customers want agents who are informed and responsive. Automation can also help with that by feeding customers’ information to agents and prompting for responses that will trigger a positive customer experience.
For an example of how RPA can improve customer service beyond reducing wait times, let’s look at the case study of a large U.S. telecom company. The company wanted to leverage automation to create more self-service options for customers. Through its collaboration with UiPath, the company was able to demonstrate ROI in several areas. Saving a minute here and there adds up: Automation saved an average of six minutes on every technician call. Every minute reduced on non-value-add services was a minute gained for other tasks. Additionally, robots gathered and presented customer information during calls, saving agents’ time in having to hunt down such information — creating happier agents in the process. And of course, hold times dropped by 50 seconds per call on average, a $20 million estimated annual savings.
Automate the Easy Stuff
An artificial intelligence expert estimates that as much as 40% of jobs could be automated within the next 15 years. But robots won’t replace humans wholesale; rather, the promise of automation is that robots will automate tedious, repetitive tasks, freeing humans to concentrate on higher-level functions.
Your call center agents are a finite resource; why waste them on low-level work? Let’s face it, some things just don’t need to be done by humans. Tasks such as post-call updates and fulfillment activities can easily be diverted to automated processes. With robots taking care of the low-hanging fruit, your agents can be where you need them to be: on the phones solving customer issues. With agents’ time freed up, they can turn their time and attention to solving problems and providing great customer service.
Break Down Those Pesky Silos
Process inefficiencies can slow agents down, and if your operations aren’t modernized you probably have a host of legacy systems that don’t talk to each other. If your agents are working in a labor-intensive environment they might be checking nearly two dozen tools, just to resolve a single customer issue. Surely there has to be an easier way.
Data silos don’t help anybody. It doesn’t help your contact center agents if the customer data they need isn’t accessible to them. Connecting all your systems (CRM, ERP, IVR, chatbot, mainframe and others) with tools that will know when and how best to hand off customers to a human can also help reduce wait and handling times. Modernizing your systems by connecting all your technology tools can also provide a better end-to-end experience across the entire customer lifecycle. If the end goal is to create lifelong customers, you want technology that remembers who your loyal customers are.
Companies that devote thought and resources into improving the customer experience will have an edge over their competitors. Now more than ever, companies need to think long term. Rather than focus on individual sales, short term time savings and AHT reduction, organizations must consider benefits across the end-to-end customer experience over their entire lifecycle. By breaking down silos and introducing automation to take care of the easy tasks, you free your agents for the important task of providing excellent customer service, ensuring customers have great (and not repetitive) experiences.
Learn more about UIPath’s contact center automation solutions at uipath.com.
Brad leads UiPath’s customer experience and contact center practice for the Americas and evangelizes UiPath’s platform for customer experience and contact center automation. Brad’s built two CRM consulting practices from the ground up.