Decoding RPA and Intelligent Automation in the Contact Center

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Today’s customers are fast. The rise of messaging apps and smart phones have enabled them to reach whomever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want. That’s why your contact center associates need to be faster and better prepared to handle increasing demands while delivering superior service.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) are emerging software that contact center leaders are deploying to tackle the mundane tasks that burden associates.

Research has indicated that while over 40 percent of employees reported better experiences because of automation, almost the same amount claimed they are spending more time than expected on this technology.

Before your organization invests in RPA/RDA, here is a quick guide to help you better understand the technology in general, as well as the differences between the two.

RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

What is RPA:

RPA is unattended software with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) that handles common, high-volume, repetitive tasks. By unattended, we mean that once the program is running, no further human interaction is required. It runs on a virtual machine and can complete several tasks simultaneously for a wide array of associates – even when the office is closed.

Who is using RPA:

Because there is no human involvement in RPA deployment, organizations leverage this automation technology in their back office, operations, and are even outsourcing work in customer care, finance, HR, supply chain, and IT.

When is RPA used:

RPA is changing the way organizations do their daily business. Workflows that can be laid out step-by-step and executed without human manipulation are ripe for RPA intervention. Your organization may already have several of these opportunities:

  • Data entry is a manual process – leading to errors, delays, and fatigue
  • Information comes from disparate sources – like paper, fax, scanned documents, email, messaging, and voice calls
  • Legacy systems are not performing optimally to meet the new demands of customers
  • Accessing and retrieving data is challenging
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance is met

RPA has really revolutionized end-to-end process completion.

Where does RPA fit in:

Short answer, everywhere.

RPA solutions have been incorporated into desktop, web, mainframe, Java, .Net, cloud/SaaS, Citrix, virtualized applications, and legacy or custom applications with or without APIs

Why use RPA:

RPA solutions help associates process back office work quicker and with minimal errors. Specifically, case classification, queries, calculations, and basic maintenance of records and transactions are automatically kept current, freeing your human workforce to hit the ground running with every client interaction, every time.

RPA does not require access to source codes or APIs, and there are no changes to underlying applications.

RDA (Robotic Desktop Automation)

What is RDA:

RDA refers to attended automated solutions that help associates work faster and more efficiently by simplifying and automating business processes and transactions on their desktops. This is freeing the associate up for more meaningful tasks. It is akin to giving all your employees an executive assistant to make it easier for them to consistently WOW your customers.

Who is using RDA:

Front-line associates, particularly in the contact center and retail space, who need to deliver personalized service and input in situations that require empathy

When is RDA used when:

IT environments are stable (i.e. legacy systems are in place)

There are highly manual processes across different applications

Stakeholders are all onboard to cut busy work

Where does RDA fit in:

Due to its attended nature, RDA needs to run on an individual associate's desktop.

Why use RDA:

It streamlines workflows and optimizes application navigation on associates’ desktops. This reduces rework and the costs associated with errors, and frees them to focus more on higher value, strategic activities such as engaging with customers, problem solving, and decision making that can only be solved by a human.

What does automation have in store for you?

RPA and RDA are two very intelligent automation applications that can cross-off time-consuming, repetitive tasks from your associates ’to-do’ list in both the front and back end of business. But it these ‘helpful bots’ are still relatively new to organizations. Progressive CX leaders who understand the extreme benefits of RPA and RDA are already using them to simplify the path to exceptional employee and customers experiences.

Join us for future blogs as we continue to dive deeper into these exciting uses for automation in the contact center.