What are the benefits of Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic process automation (RPA) tools perform tasks across business systems and applications in much the same way as human workers do. RPA software ‘robots’ are especially good at repeatable, routine, rules-based tasks such as accessing customer data from several business systems, checking a form for completeness or processing an insurance claim.
RPA not only improves efficiency and accuracy in business processes, but also spares human workers from needing to spend their time on dull and repetitive tasks. This frees them up to focus on work that requires human judgement and empathy. As discussed in the previous post in this series, RPA works by accessing information from your existing computer systems in much the same way as a human worker would.
How does RPA benefit your business?
The benefits of RPA are wide-ranging and far-reaching. You can put software robots to work to achieve significant and measurable improvements in areas of your business that range from customer satisfaction and employee engagement through to process speed, accuracy and cost efficiency. The non-exhaustive list of the benefits of RPA include:
- Customer satisfaction: By freeing up your customer-service personnel from forms and tabulations, you’re giving them more time for attentive customer service. The result is an improved customer experience and a much greater ability to meet the requirements of service-level agreements.
- Productivity: Compared with humans, software robots can complete the same tasks about five times faster. They also work 24/7. Work will be getting done more quickly, which creates capacity for more work to get done. Higher productivity can reduce expenses as well as create room for more rapid growth.
- Accuracy: Robots are 100 percent accurate, 100 percent consistent, and 100 percent compliant with policies. The more work you turn over to robots, the fewer clerical errors you experience, and the more time you save that used to be spent correcting those errors. Eliminating the little mistakes humans make can have an enormous culminative impact on your cost base and customer satisfaction levels.
- Resource utilization: Offloading the mundane tasks to robots frees up your team to handle the tasks that add the most value to your business. What’s more, a robotic workforce is fully scalable, enabling organizations to respond to a spike in demand or a lull. That’s good for customer service and helps ease HR headaches.
- RPA will almost certainly change your labor equation — but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be slashing full-time equivalents. Your human workforce will be freed from many routine, mundane tasks for which they’re overqualified. That leaves them bandwidth to tackle higher-value work.
- Return on investment (ROI): You will start seeing rapid ROI when you switch on your robotic workforce, with operating costs generally dropping quickly. While some IT expenditures will make you wait months or years before ROI shows up, with RPA, you’ll begin seeing ROI in weeks.
- Reduced staffing headaches: There’s nothing easy about staffing, especially in parts of your organization where the demand is uneven, activity levels are unpredictable, and turnover is high. Unlike the human workforce robots can be scaled up and down comparatively easily. They can be deployed quickly and much more cost-effectively. It’s a lot easier to have the right level of staff at the right time.
What RPA robots can do
It’s an exciting time in customer contact. No longer are we looking at automation as solely adding self-service channels to provide alternate ways to interact with customers. Now, we can make interactions quicker, more information-rich with more accuracy, while maintaining the human touch. To illustrate the benefits of RPA, let’s consider some real world use cases.
In the utility sector, an oil-and-gas multinational handles 15,000 change-of-address requests every month. Robots came to the rescue. RPA bots now handle creating new accounts in the CRM system and the average time for a change request has dropped from 11 minutes to just one.
In a debt collection scenario, a lender could use desktop (or attended) automation to help ensure that the agent remains compliant with regulations, for example, prompting them to inform the caller of certain content. But this becomes more powerful and interesting when more intelligence is added to the RPA solution.
For example, when the call is made to the customer and speech analytics data is made available on the employee’s desktop, the script which the desktop robot presents to the agent might be changed based on the “situation” of the person being called. Perhaps the called party didn’t pay bills for some time due to extenuating circumstances that require empathy, such as forgetting to pay due to a death in the family.
Financing application use case
In another scenario, a bank’s existing customer is interested in obtaining financing for her first home. She can just as easily go online, investigate rates and begin her journey with the bank’s information chatbot or by calling in to speak with a bank associate, and chooses to start with the bot. This bot can determine the cause for her inquiry and also authenticate who she is.
It can build an inquiry profile by pulling together information on her various accounts and check her credit score, which provides it with information on payment history, length of time she has had credit accounts, the amount of usage and any negative marks on her credit. The bot can then present her with a link to a pre-populated form to start the loan application process.
The NICE RPA solution suite
Under the RPA umbrella, NICE has excellent examples of tools that enable organizations to execute on their automation strategies. NICE offers unattended robots that completely frees the human employee from performing tedious tasks, plus attended robots that work collaboratively with human employees, for processes that require human intervention. The combination of both attended and unattended automations can enable greater process efficiencies.
Some of the benefits of NICE Robotic Automation include:
- Increase throughput – robots are faster than humans and work 24/7
- Ensure compliance – robots deliver results with 100 percent accuracy
- Reduce costs – 10 robots can do the work of 100 people
- Increase employee engagement – let employees focus on the value-add activities
- Easily scalable - as your enterprise grows, you can scale up the power of Robotic Automation to match your changing needs
Find out how to use RPA to make routine desktop tasks easy, fast and error-free, for improved efficiency, customer satisfaction and employee engagement.