By Sarah Hayward Topping, Intelligent Automation Consultant at Ciklum and Adam Harrold, CEO at Humley
The way in which brands support their customers at all stages of their life cycle has always been a fundamental part of a business’s strategy, however in recent years the way consumers expect to receive that support and information have changed. This has been partially driven by the pandemic, which has meant that customers now value the service or experience they receive, often above the product itself.
One study conducted by Superoffice found that businesses who focused more on the experience of customers received more loyalty than those focused more on product marketing. Additionally, the advancements in technology and communications have vastly changed the customer service landscape.
Nearly all consumers surveyed by BPO provider GCS stated that they expected customer support to become more technologically advanced, however, at the same time, 69% within the same survey still preferred a phone call as their main contact channel.
So, the question for organisations is, how can they adapt and evolve their existing customer service processes to meet expectations and ensure retention?
Hyper-automation could offer the solution. The term hyper-automation could seem on the surface to be another one of those technology buzzwords which, as often is the case, does not deliver on its promise. The technology, however, is rapidly delivering real benefits to businesses.
The phrase was first coined by IT research and advisory firm Gartner in 2019 and in its simplest form, is a framework for the strategic deployment of combinations of automation technologies such as RPA, process mining, and AI to optimise business processes and deliver efficiencies. Historically, these technologies have been applied to back-office processes, for example, in the case of RPA to automate repetitive and manually intensive tasks such as data entry.
Business leaders are now starting to realise the benefits that could be achieved by applying the technology within the front office and customer service departments – helping them to adopt a blended approach to customer service and experience. For example, by using a Conversational AI Assistant (a more advanced version of a chatbot), businesses can offer customers on-demand access to support and their services in a wide variety of channels.
Conversational Assistants can be combined with RPA bots or integrated directly with a business’s internal system (CRM or payments, etc) to deliver personalisation and self-service to customers. This application of hyper-automation enables customers to perform actions such as sending forms or checking on the status of an order, all within seconds.
This application of technology significantly improves customer experiences and satisfaction by minimising call and response waiting times as the Conversational AI Assistant take on the mundane tasks and take on a supporting role. In addition, this frees up Human Agents to focus on complex problems that require a higher-level of thinking or the human touch, making employees more productive by increasing engagement, and creating teams that have time to focus on empathy, creativity, and judgment.
Through utilising hyper automation and the technologies within it, businesses could transform the way in which they deliver experiences to customers and ensure their long-term success.
If you would like to find out more about how hyper-automation can help you transform your customer service and contact centre operations, get in touch today. To learn more, watch our latest online seminar to explore other solutions that Ciklum and Humley can help you with.