Automation trends that are set to stay beyond 2021
In the last few months our industry has been talking of how organisations have delivered digital transformation in a matter of months rather than years as organisations had to quickly adapt to new circumstances and focus on supporting their customers more now than ever.
Many already had a digital transformation agenda, or had begun their journey, yet we have seen a rapid acceleration of these strategies over recent months. AI is becoming an integral part of the modern business landscape, and contact centres are no exception. Research has found it can generate ROI up to 186%, which translates into millions of pounds for organisations.
As we continue into the new decade, the implementation of contact centre automation is being fast-tracked, so it is essential for companies to implement best practices or risk falling behind the competition.
However, just because you can automate something in the contact centre doesn’t mean you should. To know which tasks to turn over to artificial intelligence and a machine is a challenge.
Automation’s role in CX optimisation
Automation is a natural fit in the contact centre and across the customer experience. A customer journey touches many different touchpoints—some customer-facing and some in the back office. Many customer interactions are high-volume and repeatable, which can be done in channels like chat, messaging, IVR and others that lend themselves to be easily automated. Automated bots work best with simple, repeatable interactions.
Reducing human dependency along these parts of the customer journey helps to drive down costs and errors while at the same time increase process compliance and interaction speed. Unattended Robotic Process Automation (RPA) removes humans completely to speed up efficiencies and makes contact centre agents available for more complex customer centric interactions. Attended RPA, meanwhile, is used to assist agents to help them make better, quicker decisions when dealing with customers or administrative tasks.
Each of these RPA applications has tremendous upside. McKinsey & Co. found that companies that automate 50-70% of a task see average results including; 20-35% annual cost reduction, 50-60% process time reduction and “most often” in triple digit percentages ROI.
Automation’s economic impact on processes
Forrester researched many process benefits of automation in the contact centre. Overall, brands decrease end-to-end process time after automating steps within a process. Processes are conducted faster and with higher volume and fewer errors. It increases improvement times and creates better efficiencies, reduces costs and employee effort, and has sizeable financial impact. Other benefits include employee productivity savings and improved employee and customer experiences.
Automation’s economic impact on people
In addition to process benefits, there are also significant benefits to employees and customers as well. Forrester found that experiences become more effortless and lead to impressive quantifiable benefits. Some examples are streamlined back-office capacity, fewer errors and rework, long term automation resiliency and reduced training costs.
How to move the ROI needle
Organisations can take swift action to generate ROI from automation with the right approach and technology. Look for quick wins on the low-hanging fruit opportunities across all customer-facing processes. Rapid implementation that show results will build momentum and encourage the organisation to keep on moving forward.
Once automated processes are in place, you can add ongoing intelligence and insight to take your customer experience to the next level, which will also open the doors to create additional value from your customers through next-best-action strategies and continuously improve the customer experience.
There are more examples in TTEC’s latest white paper that provides research from Forrester, McKinsey & Co and others that support the positive economic impact that intelligent automation has on organisations. It also shares actual client results to see how automation is being applied and working in different organisations. Download the free whitepaper here.
Iain Banks, Regional VP International Markets, TTEC is responsible for developing TTEC's full International go-to-market business plan for sales, marketing and solutions. Iain is an experienced, senior-level business development professional with a career spanning more than 18 years in the Global BPO/Contact Centre environment, with a proven...