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Intelligent Automation: Modern Tools for the Modern Contact Center

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Contact center agents are tasked with providing an exceptional customer experience for the brands they represent. They’re the first line of defense and an integral representation of the values and expertise of an organization. To do this well, they need the right tools. Unfortunately, many organizations have failed to equip them with the right technology to enable success.

This is where Intelligent Automation can significantly reduce the amount of effort associated with servicing customer inquiries leading to operational savings. Let’s explore how.

What is Intelligent Automation?

Intelligent Automation is an umbrella term for several automation capabilities working in combination to deliver improved business results. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Unattended software with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) that handles common, high-volume, repetitive tasks. It’s used on the back end to help associates process back office work quicker and with minimal errors. Examples are case classification, queries, calculations, and basic maintenance of records and transactions.
  • Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA): Attended automated solution that helps associates work faster and more efficiently by simplifying and automating business processes and transactions on their desktops. It’s essential for front-line associates who need to be freed up for more personalized service.
  • Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA): AI-enabled chat assistant that generates personalized responses by combining analytics and cognitive computing based on individual customer information, past conversations, and location, leveraging the corporate knowledgebase and human insight.

All these programs work together to assist with simple tasks, freeing both the front- and- the back office to streamline operations and give them more time with the human interactions that matter.

So apart from making your job easier, why is Intelligent Automation so essential?

We’re only human

It doesn’t take long to sit down with even the most tenured contact center agents to see the complexity of the applications, processes, and the insane amount of manual inefficiencies these agents must deal with to service customer inquiries. A recent study by Pega showed the power of workforce intelligence bots to collect information on how work is getting done within contact centers. They found that only 28% of active work is being done within the structured applications like ERP, CRM, and legacy applications businesses spend the most time, money and resources building and maintaining. That means over 70% of their time is spent navigating through unstructured applications like Microsoft Office, Outlook, and other third-party web sites where error rates are much higher. These unstructured applications result in one error for every 14 keystrokes.

On average a contact center agent will switch between applications 1,100 times a day, toggling between as many as 35 applications in each shift. Agents are typically required to fill out forms depending on the call type and this is where the manual copy/paste madness begins and the frustration for both the agent and the customer. On numerous observation sessions a customer could be heard asking “are you still there?” because an agent is frantically trying to complete these manual tasks within the handle time targets they are micromanaged to.

Automation to the rescue

Organizations need a practical approach to change the way they drive customer engagement operational excellence over their existing applications and customer interaction channels.

Robotic automation is incredibly powerful software that mimics human manual activities and reduces the dependency for human beings. The beauty of RDA and RPA is that it doesn’t require any changes to the underlying applications. You don’t need access to source code or APIs, and it doesn’t matter if the application is mainframe, desktop, web, Java, .Net, virtualized or custom applications. It’s a rapid visual design environment that deploys monitoring and automation solutions iteratively and incrementally.

Bottom line, you can start to see results and savings within weeks without waiting for the “IT Roadmap.” You can also increase production capacity without having to increase headcount while significantly improving the agent and customer experience.

To learn more about the difference between robotic automation software, check out our technology guide to RPA and RDA.

Intelligent automation in action

TTEC has a proven methodology to provide customers with an unbiased, data-driven decision on where to begin this automation journey and the ability to remove the technical and operational obstacles that stand in the way of great experiences.

In working with a large EMEA-based telco, TTEC optimized over 200 front- and back-office processes that showed anywhere from a 27-94% reduction in agent task time depending on the process. We deployed software robots to assist agents with these manual tasks reduces average handle time, ensures process compliance, eliminates errors, reduces training time and allows agents to focus on communication, empathy, and problem-solving skills.

The future of work included intelligent automation

The beauty of automation is its ability to not replace our work, but its ability to work side-by-side with people to bring out the best in employee and customer experience. Intelligent Automation capabilities free up your team to work on the human interactions that matter by completing requests and processes around the clock.

Once you understand the wide array of tools that can offered today, you are one step closer to entering the contact center of the future.