I attended a very interesting “round table” lunch recently hosted by Teleperformance. It was titled RPA and Making Customer Service Easy.
I was intrigued. What was RPA? How had I missed it? After all, I hear about most new products or innovations that effect the Contact Centre. Had we invented a Robot that sat there 24×7 and answered each and every question quickly, efficiently and effectively? Did this herald the demise of the Contact Centre agent? Not quite, thankfully.
In fact it wasn’t anything new! It was, as the title suggested, merely automating some of the boring, more repetitive, actions that Contact Centres need to do, …… and more. After the discussions had started (chaired by William Carson, Head of Market Engagement, Teleperformance and led by Andrew Burgess, Director, Symphony Venture), I realised, as with most subjects, RPA is all about how you perceive it and how you embrace it. 20 years ago a number of companies purchased large (and expensive) CRM solutions, many of which never saw the light of day as they were never implemented. That said, many/most/all companies use CRM in one way, shape or form.
So what does RPA mean to me? Maybe more to me than others, as I deal with a variety of different companies in different sectors. Again I looked to my past, and 20 years ago some of the larger companies were already using RPA but called it a different name. IVRs were, and still are, very popular. Automated answering services giving balances, or automated messages, have been around for many years. So sometimes it just needs a fresh pair of eyes to look at your business and suggest methods of improvements. Sometimes it requires an innovative approach in order to reach your goal. Predicting the future isn’t easy, however what is inevitable is the Rise of the Machines. Not “Terminators” asking you to “have a nice day” but using technology to help us achieve more, and provide a better Customer Experience. Faster, slicker, smoother. If an agent requires information from 3 or 4 legacy systems, why not allow an RPA to do the leg work? Allow RPA to present the information on one screen making it easy and quicker for the agent and customer.
RPA isn’t necessarily new but it can be different, innovative and a huge benefit to us all. Andrew Burgess is a leader in this field and companies such as Teleperformance (outsourcing) and OysterCCConsultants look specifically at the Contact Centre market place and how RPA will need to become part of the mechanics supporting customer experience. Why not contact them and discuss how RPA might help you? What have you got to lose? What is there to gain? Simple implementations of RPA are available to the customer care component of businesses right now, you probably just need to think about where and when you switch them on. More intense implementations probably require a little more thought and help, but with ROI’s measured in weeks rather than years, I suspect RPA is here to stay? What about you?
Roy Holmes, Vocalcom
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