In a time when everyone wants, and expects, immediate answers to their questions, the pressure is on for businesses when it comes to customer engagement. Enter process automation…

Gartner predicts that by 2020 as much as 85% of all customer interactions will be handled and managed without humans. Customer support is an area where automation can play a major role, particularly in the financial services and retail industries. Read on to find out how you can better support your employees to provide the best customer experience possible.

Supporting conversation with bots

Chatbots are becoming a familiar sight in customer services. eMarketer predicts that the number of chat app users worldwide reached two billion in 2018.

“Chatbots have embedded natural language processing – they’re trying to understand the intent of a human, so they deal with more unstructured data,” explained Forrester’s Craig Le Clair, in Bizagi’s recent webinar, How Bizagi and UiPath Combine to Deliver Complete Digital Process Automation.

“Chatbots are now called conversational AI. There’s a level of learning and you have a refresh of conversational intelligence to enable conversations in the future.”

But chatbots cannot act alone – they need to be enabled by an automation technology, such as digital process automation (DPA) or robotic process automation (RPA). They act as an API to kick off processes in real time if the customer has complex requests that can’t be answered in the chat window alone. “RPA bots can integrate and connect into multiple back-end applications to retrieve customer data and channel it to the chatbot. The chatbot, in turn, triggers the RPA robots to execute specific tasks,” explains Smart Customer Service.

It’s important for chatbots to be fully integrated so that businesses can provide an end-to-end customer experience. It’s all well and good for chatbots to recognize that a customer has a problem, but DPA needs to be used to communicate with the back end and provide a solution, such as arranging a refund or replacement for a faulty product, or setting up a call or booking an appointment with a company representative.

Chat can even be used to offer options to your customer before they need or request support. Conversational marketing pop-ups can act as a personal shopper by offering customers help to find what they’re looking for online. Take a look at the screenshot below of Spring, which asks questions to narrow down what the customer is interested in.

DPA and RPA customer engagement
Image via IMPACT

Not only does it provide a more personalized experience, but it is also much more efficient – two key elements in delivering great customer service.

Engage with customers from the very beginning

Interactions are a major factor for customers when they are forming an opinion of your company. There are four main points of engagement in any customer relationship – quoting, onboarding, servicing, and renewal.

Arguably the most critical of all of these interactions is onboarding – you only get one chance to make a first impression. The best way to ensure that customers are receiving the optimum experience is to set automation in place across your core processes.

Bizagi customer, Eidsiva Broadband, one of the largest fiber network providers in Norway, did just that. Eidsiva automated their online customer broadband activation process, which was previously conducted mainly via the phone. Additionally, they provided automated SMS alerts to customers to provide awareness touchpoints during the onboarding process.

As well as improving their customer engagement, the business saved three man-years of work by automating processes with Bizagi’s DPA and enabled a key structure for employees to follow. This guaranteed productivity and compliance throughout the customer journey.

“Improving the customer experience is the main thing that we have seen from Bizagi but also the fact that we have processes being followed. Before we made routines but people would just go back to their desks and do it the old way,” said Silja Hjelmstadstuen, Head of Process at Eidsiva Broadband.

Find out more about how to optimize your customer onboarding in our blog, which details customer experience, data privacy needs and how to map out your processes.

Automation benefits both customers and the business

In addition to improving customer engagement, automation can aid the business. RPA can act as a fraud deterrent (automatically flagging any suspicious details) which is particularly helpful to financial services who need to mitigate risk when authorizing loans.

The loan approval process traditionally involves lots of paperwork and long wait times while information on the applicant is gathered. DPA can make this process far more efficient as well as eliminating the possibility for human error when manually entering data.  

One FTSE 100 bank who works with Bizagi initially had 11 disconnected systems, preventing staff from obtaining a singular customer view, slowing their loan approval process.

By automating processes and providing contextualization of customer information using Bizgai DPA, staff could spend less time manually cross-checking information and were provided with an intuitive view of customer profiles containing all the relevant data they required. This not only pleased customers as they could get their loans approved faster, but made the business more efficient and meant they could process more loans every month. 

These relationships are very much a two-way street: improve your customer engagement, and your customers will be satisfied – hopefully to the point where they act as an advocate for your business. Not to mention more efficient service will help organizations to complete sales quickly, increasing turnover.

If you’d like to find out more about how to use automation to deliver better customer experiences and optimize your business, watch our webinar with Forrester and UiPath, How Bizagi and UiPath Combine to Deliver Complete Digital Process Automation.