Robotic Desktop Automation (also referred to as Attended RPA in some circles) can be a major asset to contact centers, streamlining both back-office and customer-facing processes. That’s great news for agents who are continually asked to take on more complex requests now that self-service tools address the bulk of customers’ simple questions and issues.
Robotic Desktop Automation is especially helpful in the current climate, where remote agents can no longer depend on the assistance of nearby employees to help them work through any problems they can’t answer. Many companies have only begun to scratch the surface of RPA’s potential, though — that’s if they’ve even begun using this technology at all. Fewer than half of the contact center professionals who joined our recent RPA webinar said they were currently using RPA in the contact center, and only 9% were using RPA to assist agents.
It’s time to fix that. If you have ever struggled to find the right entry point with contact center automation, then this webinar is for you. Automation expert Scott Merritt sat down with Advantage Point Solutions’ Raun Kilgo and Scott Jones to discuss the most effective ways to discover RPA applications so you can make the most of your investment.
How to Discover the Best Use Cases for Robotic Desktop Automation in Your Call Center
Ways to Discover Robotic Desktop Automation Use Cases in the Call Center
There are plenty of avenues to go down when searching for contact center processes and tasks that are the best candidates for automation candidates. Where you should focus your attention, especially if you’re getting your first taste of RPA? Our webinar reviewed some of the best places to start your search:
1. Knowledge Base and Job Aids:
If you want to know how you can help agents automate their work, you first need to understand what they’re doing every day. The documentation offered by knowledge base systems, job aids and additional materials provides a lot of insight into how contact center employees carry out their day-to-day work, giving you plenty of food for thought.
2. Call Recordings and Speech Analytics:
Look for high-volume, high-frequency transactions when identifying your initial RPA candidates. Call recordings will show you how agents work through your most common call types and where those processes exist.
3. Observation and Agent Shadowing:
Having an experienced and qualified individual observe agent interactions can take a lot of the guesswork out of automation discovery. Someone with a deep understanding of RPA and its contact center applications will be able to readily see automation opportunities when shadowing employees.
4. Process Discovery and Process Mining:
Mapping out existing processes and understanding how they function is key to spotting the best landing spots for RPA. Process mining can give you a roadmap to streamline and improve internal operations through automation.
5. Questionnaires and Ideation Sessions:
Sometimes, the best approach is to go directly to the people who will feel the biggest impact of automation: your agents. Ask them about the work that takes up a lot of time or is a pain to manage to find potential RPA candidates.
These approaches are just a few starting points to consider. Leave no stone unturned as you search for RPA opportunities.
Call Center Tasks That Should be Automated Using RPA
It’s important to always begin with a particular outcome in mind when implementing RPA so you know that the automation is the right fit for the process. From there, you can work backward to figure out how RPA can help deliver those outcomes and which tasks need to be automated to streamline and improve related workflows.
When considering a particular RPA candidate, break down every step in the process so you can fully understand what it entails and what the role human operators play along the way. In general, any agent-facing process will comprise these steps:
The shared steps represent low-hanging fruits as these steps represent the repetitive tasks agents perform.
1. Get the Next Work Item:
When agents pick up the next work item, be it a new phone call, email or chat interaction, they need to gather contextual information manually from multiple systems — a very good opportunity for using robotic desktop automation to save average handle time and improve the customer experience.
2. Update Customer Information:
While most modern enterprise systems have APIs, the contact center agent often plays the role of human middleware copy pasting information across multiple systems on the agent desktop — another great candidate for robotic desktop automation using attended RPA.
3. Wrap Up the Work Item:
The ROI of Vertical RPA vs Horizontal RPA
You may find opportunities for vertical RPA — that is, end-to-end automation across the entire process. However, you’re just as likely to realize that there are so many exceptions to a process, that you would be better off trying to automate one aspect of it rather than try to deal with the complexity of accounting for all of those variables.
Taking a more granular approach will pave the way for horizontal RPA, where you automate tasks that overlap different business units and stakeholder teams. For instance, various departments within a financial services organization, including the call center, deposit operations and wire transfer teams, may need to put a hold on a deposit for a number of reasons. Automating that specific task could deliver more value because it affects more employees across the entire organization while requiring less work to implement.
Assess every RPA opportunity with this approach to accurately project the return on investment and prioritize automations that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Watch the full webinar to learn more about RPA discovery, including additional in-depth case studies and a closer examination of the assessment framework discussed above. Feel free to reach out to a member of the Uniphore team to answer any questions you might have or review your own automation opportunities.