How To Use Automation To Deliver A Better Customer Experience
Automation in Customer experience (CX) requires a strategic approach and will need to follow a continual improvement programme in order to keep pace with changing customer needs.
Customers’ expectations have changed so significantly from 5 or even 2 years ago: they expect a personalized experience is expected as a given when they interact with a business.
According to a report from Epsilon, 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when businesses provide a personalized experience. There are numerous benefits of CX automation and it will go a long way to solving some of the commonplace customer experience challenges that need to be overcome:
- The inability to collect and understand customer feedback across all channels
- Lack of a single view of customer feedback.
- Being unable to provide a personalised customer experience as the underlying legacy systems cannot meet customer expectations.
- Lack of workforce availability for a job that requires a high number of mundane and time consuming tasks.
As CXA reflects on how it can help all companies across all industries
“Warm fuzzies are great, but what really happens when you give customers a meaningful and authentic experience? They buy more, spend more, stick around longer, and tell their friends.”
Automation First Approach
In order to stand out when delivering excellent customer experience, it is apparent that your CX strategy should embrace an ‘automation first’ approach and not as an afterthought.
An automation first approach will need a mindset change to the organisation’s culture. Also, an automation first approach will ensure people are put at the top of the pyramid, it creates new possibilities for utilising the right skills for the right job. This also builds enthusiasm and organisational buy-in, which in turn fosters a culture that promotes automation.
uipath is a leading brand in automation, their spokesperson suggests “…an ‘automation first’ organization has a different set of principles than traditional organizations. When there’s a new problem, they don’t think about how humans or software can address it but how a hybrid workforce can best solve it.”
A clear understanding of the business processes and customer journeys which are part of CX will help you to identify the gaps and improvements. After identifying the list of processes that needs to be optimised with automation, the next step is identify the right IT solution for this.
CX Automation demands use of a wide variety of technologies to help improve customer experience. As the organisation matures and starts automating, so the automation tools become even smarter.
Hence the next focus should be on the tool selection for Automation.
Boomi talks about how promoting and implementing automation also means choosing right tools to do the job. Firstly getting a grip on how your current landscape looks is a critical first stage. And you will see further challenges if you have a legacy infrastructure. With the right new IT solution, it is possible implement one which will work with both with the legacy infrastructure/systems as well as the new one.
You will also need to fully understand your customer data. This provides another dimension for defining the end solution as you need to consider how data is stored, accessed and profiled. The solution should investigate various methods of automation
At the very heart of automation, integration should be considered as the first focus. All systems support integration one way or the other (by API’s, file based etc), yet there might be some legacy systems that don’t support out of the box integration. At least 60% of your automations should be based on integration. Integration also provides a seamless experience for customers switching channels used to engage with your brand.
RPA is a form of business process automation that will initiate a bot to perform a set of predefined instructions. RPA should become a second choice after integration. A business process that utilises a lot of time-consuming and mundane human actions with high volume will generally be candidates for RPA. Similar to integration, RPA will enhance and improve the customer experience across all digital channels resulting in better service.
AI allows machines to act like humans and expands to machine learning and deep learning. AI can understand the data gathered for customer engagement and customer interactions, then can provide personalised content for customers in real time. As AI gets smarter and more data-driven, it can provide more relevant and highly personalised content enhancing customer engagement.
A solution would require a combination of tools to support automation, hence choosing the right set of tools with the right infrastructure is critical to successful CX Automation.
Always ensure the tool you select is from a vendor who includes automatic upgrades/ new releases for their tool. You should see a solid roadmap detailing how the tool will be updated with emerging trends.
Another leading product is Automation Anywhere and they suggest that:
“RPA can accelerate processes completions, reduce errors, boost compliance, save audit time and related costs, and free up your staff for higher-value work. Those are the typical benefits of basic automation. And many RPA vendors can deliver them. But the question is, do you need more than just a basic RPA? Will that solution fit your individual business requirements today? Will it be able to keep up with your needs if you continue—as most businesses do—moving forward with your digital transformation journey?”
Now that we have understood what would be required for a good automation infrastructure, the next steps are to understand who to define and implement a plan with continual improvement.
Implement Automation with Continual Improvement Cycle
A well-defined implementation plan should also include a continual improvement cycle. The initial plan should include a set of milestones including identifying the list of business process candidates for automation, onboard tools, implementing infrastructure and successfully implementing automation. The key success for automation is not to just implement automation as just one single project but to encourage continuous improvements for CX.
Continuously review your CX business process and identify opportunities. Prioritise opportunities based on the benefit they provide.
Pick your top 5 opportunities and plan how these can be implemented including time taken, who will be needed, tools required and cost implications.
Now it’s time to implement the opportunities for improvement. Again, each opportunity should identify the solution in order of priority including integration, rpa and ai. Implement the changes, test and go-live.
Finally monitor and review all implemented automations. The list of automations can fall into 1 of the 4 categories of the TIME model including
- Tolerate – Continue to be run
- Invest – Modernize by enhancing them to gain more benefits
- Migrate – Migration between the categories including integration, rpa and ai
- Eliminate – Disable for a period and then decommission
This continuous improvement cycle will help organisations stay up to date with customer feedback allowing the team to work towards consistently increasing customer satisfaction.
How Can ACS Help?
We are well-known for our success in devising automation strategies that improve customer experience. We have built a team of specialists with a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping organisations implement automations. We provide a totally comprehensive service- we start by understanding requirements and client landscape and then provide a fully bespoke and tailored solution that satisfies the organisation’s needs. Book a free consultation and discover our class leading customer experience solutions.