Automating customer experience – Where is the market heading?

Automation has become a part of everyday life, with examples of its use in every sphere of society from supermarkets to phones to homes and even cars. Those companies who deploy correctly are experiencing a boost in company growth, with some experiencing up to 15% revenue growth and beyond.

Customer experience (CX) automation is the use of any form of technology that assists customers with common tasks, sometimes replacing the involvement of humans, to improve customer interactions and decrease waiting time. The aim of the RPA is to deliver improved business outcomes to organisations by enhancing their customer experience. The technologies utilised will differ depending on the pain points that the organisation wishes to address and the level of engagement they wish to achieve with their customer.

A survey by Deloitte found “53% of respondents have already started their RPA journey. This is expected to increase to 72% in the next two years. If this continues at its current level, RPA will have achieved near-universal adoption within the next five years.”

Given our focus on customer experience, there are a number of potential areas of focus depending on company objective, some of which are outlined below:

Process automation – This is primarily focussed on delivering operational efficiencies through activities such as eradicating or simplifying unnecessary processes or simple, repetitive tasks, examples of which can be seen within the contact centre environment where contact handling times are reduced by automating processes such as the DPA, agent desktops or payment handling, with some organisations using voice recognition technology, a market currently valued at $10.7 billion, demonstrating its growing importance,  as part of this process.  

Adoption of mobile channels - With over 55.5 million smartphone users in the UK alone and the continued investment by tech providers, in improving download and response times, this has provided organisations with the opportunity to migrate activities once handled by a person into the mobile channel. For example within the health sector, booking doctor’s appointments, reordering prescriptions, or in the case of other practitioners, sending automated appointment reminders to patients as part of their objective to reduce the number of no shows, through to mobile banking, where the mobile is used by many people to manage their day to day banking and even the growing use of smart meters and security in the home.

Human to human contact automation – The growing use of chatbots is an example of this, where bots are used to handle customer interactions whether text or voice based. Chatbot are computer programs designed to replicate conversation with human users. This allows queries to be dealt with directly with a bot releasing the human to handle more complex tasks. This type of automation can either be rules based or predictive, driven by the customer query.  The chatbot market is projected to grow from $2.6 billion dollars in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024.

Advanced analytics – Although not specifically RPA, advanced analytics provide automated data manipulation, and predictive capability. When combined with RPA, AI and machine learning, this can provide organisations with a powerful ability to transform unstructured data into structured insight that can be used to drive decisions. The power and impact of advanced analytics can be enhanced when fully automated and linked to algorithms and machine-based learning capability.

Voice search - Almost 60% of consumers used voice search to find information on businesses in the last year and almost half of those, use voice search daily, to find local businesses. Businesses will need to enhance their SEO and content marketing strategies to account for voice search. Forecasts suggest that by 2024, the number of digital voice assistants will reach 8.4 billion units – A number higher than the world’s population.

Technology is now more advanced than it ever has been, setting consumer expectations for increased speed, security and accuracy, in addition to those technologies mentioned earlier, google algorithms can understand human speech with 95% accuracy.  

Artificial intelligence is becoming part of everyday life, for example face detection and recognition technology  have extended their use to snapchat filters and Face ID is often used to unlock mobile phones, through to making bank transactions, with many more business related used cases, such as the growing adoption of smart technology in the home, in the car, in urban developments, occurring.

Global spending on AI and cognitive systems is expected to reach $57.6 billion in 2021.

Automation can hold many benefits for CX leaders, including saving time, operational efficiency and delivering an improved user experience, if deployed correctly. When combined with predictive insight, can drive innovation and action based on real time insight.

Further benefits include, releasing human capital capacity, to focus on transitioning change processes that maybe required as part of a resilience strategy, through to handling more complex operational and business tasks.

Within a customer focussed environment, RPA enables CX leaders to integrate systems, streamlining both the end-customer’s experience, as well as their cx’ backend workflow. Empowering them with additional opportunities to deliver further efficiencies, and enhancements to customer experience that keep up with advances in technology and are in line with best-in-class providers.

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