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Robots eliminate frustration in customer service

by Marco van der Hoeven

Customer contact must deal with a fairly complex ecosystem of fragmented data across different sources. To manage this mission critical ecosystem, a robot can play an essential role and eliminate challenges like fragmented data and delivering personalization. And above all, to eliminate the frustration a lot of customers experience (CX) in their dealings with companies: ‘30% of a total call duration is silent time.’

Customer demand is changing. They want more, they need more, and they want to be understood. But to address this one of the main challenges organizations are facing is fragmentation of their customer data.  “That information is stored in pockets, and it takes contact center agents and customer service representatives a long time to find it”, says Huw Williams, Global Practice Leader CX & Contact Centre at UiPath. “So often they work with a very narrow set of data. And as a result, they ask the customer lots of questions, or put them on hold. An interesting metric is that around 30% of a total call duration is silent time, where the agent is taking the time looking for the answer.  That is frustrating.”

Another challenge, personalization, is linked heavily to this. “Because high tech businesses can predict a lot about their customers, customers now expect  more personalized experiences from other brands as well. But enterprises like banks, insurers, and Telco’s still struggle to understand where you are in your customer journey, what you need, but also who you are, or how many times you have called. Customer experience is becoming a market differentiator.”

Connect the dots

Because of this fragmentation of data, it is difficult for businesses to efficiently manage the customer journey, more data is also being spread outside the business,  housed with third party platforms, vendors, outsourcers or in the field or store . Williams: “Automation can not only connect all of those dots together and orchestrate data, but also remove human intervention . This  enables a customer journey to be managed without friction, ‘end to end’ from either self servicing, being served by an agent or field engineer, to fulfillment and follow up.”

Customer experience is managed using  a complex ecosystem with fragmented data across different sources. To manage this mission critical ecosystem, a robot can play an essential role: “We can put a robot in the middle of it, without humans touching it, to make the data flow better and faster in purely transactional tasks that are easy for a bot to perform. This frees the human up from low value mundane tasks to focus on more meaningful and personal conversations with the customer. This allows the ecosystem to be far more efficient and effective in its ability to serve the customer.  Where more complex tasks exist, the robot can present to a human to manage the complex exception, once managed the robot can go on to complete the task, this is known as ‘human in the loop’”


But although Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is now one of the most disruptive and influential technologies in CX, he still sees a lack of understanding from the CX industry of where and how that fits into their business. “When you hear the term robotics or RPA, people are still thinking that the robot is going to be visible to the customer and ‘dehumanizing’ the experience. But it is not the case, it’s far from that,  it is not just one thing, it is three things: yes, Robots can serve the customer directly for example adding functionality to Chatbots, portals and apps, but this is just one element. The second element is where an agent is assisted by a robot, empowering them  with more data, helping the agent to drive more meaningful and personalized conversations with each customer. And the third element is orchestrating the end-to-end customer journey.”

He therefore would like to see  the customer experience industry recognize the fundamental impact that an automation platform can have on brand and customer experience. “The impact is so big; you can demonstrate a 40% reduction in cost to serve in 12 weeks with many customer journeys. But results like this are almost met with cynicism by people who have spent a  lifetime of trying to drive single digit efficiencies, and then to find a platform that can do more then that in a short time scale? An automation platform is becoming core technology in every business, no longer a ‘band aid’ but a strategic capability.

This is now a unique opportunity to  remove the friction from the entire customer journey to enhance their experience, at the same time driving  compliance , delivering brand advocacy, quickly and cost-effectively.”

Read also this blog post on how to use UiPath AI Center and UiPath Action Center to prevent customer churn in the telecom sector before  customers reach out to a customer service agent to cancel their subscription

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