Today, leading brands and service providers are turning to the amazing cognitive technology offered by “chatbots” to better manage and automate the customer service experience. At the same time, another technology gaining traction in the industry, Robotic Process Automation, is also being referred to as a “bot,” and it has started to create some confusion. The truth is, while RPA and chatbots both utilize artificial intelligence to impact the customer service experience positively, they are entirely different in their roles. Let’s take a look:
As we move further into the digital age, with the growing need for an Omni-channel customer service presence, brands are beginning to utilize chatbots as their agents of choice on the front end of their customer service response system. The cognitive technology of chatbots enables them to interpret customers’ voice and text responses and follow up with accurate, automated answers designed to resolve routine customer service issues quickly. If the chatbot is unable to take control of the interaction and settle the matter, only then is the customer directed to a live agent. Another benefit is that human agents can now focus their efforts on more complex cases and value based tasks. In short, by cutting response times down to the minimum, while providing a round the clock presence, these virtual assistants not only increase the efficiency of the call center operations in various ways, they also drastically improve the overall customer experience. Furthermore, the data gathered by the chatbots can offer valuable insights into a specific consumer’s needs, which can also be a powerful tool to deliver increasingly personalized customer experiences. Indeed, chatbots have the potential to be a real game changer for businesses, enabling a maximally efficient call center operation with higher customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction.
At the same time, companies have also begun to discover a different type of bot, known as Software Robots - Robotic Process Automation (RPA). While confusion may potentially stem from the fact that both RPA and chatbots both automate repeatable, high-volume tasks that have long been handled manually, where RPA is different is that its target customers are not the end consumers. Its target audience is the internal employee that utilizes RPA to automate back office business processes. Today, this technology has already made inroads in a variety of fields. For example, banks have started using RPA for employment and credit checks to automate mortgage processing. Security companies are deploying RPA to automate processes associated with ID and access management, while the insurance industry is using RPA to process claims. However, unlike with chatbots, the customer is not even aware of the presence of RPA, as the customers don't interact with an RPA bot. However, the increased speed of the internal processing has a direct positive effect on the customer experience, which they most certainly are aware of.
The Super Chatbot
The truth is the time is almost here when chatbots themselves will incorporate Robotic Process Automation technology, combining the powers of both and forming what is known as a “Super Chatbot.” The Super Chatbot will use its cognitive intelligence to recognize the customer’s emotional state and respond accordingly, while at the same time, the integrated RPA technology can automatically initiate the backend processes required to help resolve the issue the customer presented.
There is no doubt that the artificial intelligence of both chatbots and RPA has raised the standards of customer service and with all the various types of work that it can accomplish, its adoption should only continue to spread for years to come!