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How Robots Can Help Humanize Contact Centers

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Do you think of your contact center as a necessary evil? Is it a department that eats up a sizable chunk of the budget but doesn’t add much to the bottom line?
 
If you do think this way, you’re not alone. Over the years, businesses have invested a lot in contact center technology to improve customer service. But many are still waiting for the payoff from those investments. Why? It boils down to the following three reasons:
 
  1. Inflexible processes that don’t keep pace with changing customer needs
  2. The inability to move the needle on waiting times and first call resolution (FCR)
  3. The high costs of recruiting, training, and retaining agents, and supporting a patchwork of poorly integrated systems
 
But things are changing. The contact center is undergoing a revolution—and automation is driving it. With robotic process automation (RPA), contact centers are reinventing the way they engage customers. They’re becoming more flexible, improving key performance metrics, and evolving from a cost center to a revenue accelerator.
 
Here’s how:
 
  • Improving self-service. AI-powered robots are helping more customers help themselves. Customers can resolve many of the most commonly encountered issues themselves, in the channel of their choice, with the help of a robot agent. In addition to quicker resolution of many customer issues, this improves the availability of the contact center’s human agents. For example, a UiPath customer automates over ten-thousand customer requests per day by pairing UiPath robots with the existing interactive voice response (IVR) system .
  • Increasing agent effectiveness. Speaking of agents, they can spend a lot of time on a call accessing information from different systems to help the customer resolve an issue. But software robots can do a lot of that work for them. Robots can locate and combine information onto a single console, so agents have everything they need in one place. The agents spend less time searching and more time listening and responding to callers. A recent UiPath customer estimated automation reduced wait times by 50 seconds on every call, saving the company an estimated $20 million per year and increasing customer satisfaction resulting in a 1% uplift in upsells .
  • Automating back-office processes. You can’t improve the caller experience without a smoothly running back office. Agents rely on information from a wide range of systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). In most cases, those systems weren’t designed to work together and share information in on-demand scenarios. The resulting information silos create bottlenecks—resulting in delays and inconsistencies that hurt the quality of service the agent provides. But software robots can fill in the gaps and help those systems work in an integrated way that makes everyone more efficient. In our final example, UiPath helped a leading healthcare organization combine over 60 pieces of data from multiple back-office systems into a single view of the caller to save time, but more importantly, help boost accuracy and throughput between the front and back offices.
 
The takeaway is that software robots have enriched the person-to-person interactions between callers and agents more than we may think. They’re tackling many of the repetitive issues through self-service. They’re giving agents more time to focus on the caller and not the supporting technology. And they’re streamlining enterprise operations, so the entire organization stays on the same page and thinks and acts in concert. Thanks to automation, the contact center experience is getting better for customers and the people who serve them.
 
Want to learn more about how software robots can help you get a better return on your investment in your contact center? More information is available here.

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