In today's world we have come to realize that technology makes our lives easier. Incorporated into almost all daily used devices, from smart phones to smart refrigerators, technology simply makes our personal lives easier to manage thereby creating a more efficient use of our personal time.
Self-service is often the first step of the customer service journey. It is at this time that the solution can either enhance brand perception or hurt brand perception, so the importance of self-service cannot be over emphasized. Factors driving organizations to invest in self-service include:
While assisted service aptly describes the human-touch component, intelligent agent engagement more accurately describes the human-touch fueled with technology to drive improved operational efficiency.
Agent engagement refers to any customer interaction that requires a human-touch. While much of the technology focus of recent years has been with self-service, the assisted service channel is seeing a resurgence of interest and importance. There is also a growing realization that customers no longer need to make a binary decision on using one form of service over the other - instead, self-service and assisted service are deeply intertwined, so much so that a single customer interaction can span both channels, multiple times.
Within the broader domain of Customer Experience (CX) technology there has perhaps been no greater technological advancement than self-service products and solutions. The dizzying pace of innovation - artificial intelligence, chatbots, machine learning, autonomous service - is enough to leave any CX practitioner feeling overwhelmed. Coupled with the fact that self-service initiatives are often high-visibility and high-priority projects, the risk of a failed implementation always looms large.
What is the motivation for companies to improve their assisted service?
The strategic importance of investing in the Customer Experience has led organizations to improve all aspects of the customer journey. While the self-service channel is being prioritized in part due to customer demand and in part due to cost advantages, companies are being driven to take a renewed look at agent engagement due to a number of factors:
Intelligent self-service refers to the new generation of self-service solutions. These solutions are changing the paradigm over the old way of doing it. The highly structured classification and prescriptive knowledge bases are being replaced (or fronted) with virtual customer assistants (VCA’s) or chatbots. The old IVR phone trees (“press one for billing, press two for services…”) are being replaced by graphical or digital alternatives. Automation technology, often thought to be the exclusive domain for organizational automation, is now being utilized to assist customers.
Today, if you scrolled through the latest news regarding RPA, whether it be around new funding, company announcements in this space or industry growth, you would think RPA is scaling at an unprecedented pace for whatever company just decides to take the plunge. However, the reality on the ground continues to paint a drastically different picture. The truth is that, according to new data from 590 enterprises worldwide, only 13% of RPA adopters are currently scaled up and industrialized, while most RPA adopters are still tinkering with projects and not progressing towards enterprise scale adoption. Indeed, if there is one thing this tells us when it comes to enterprise RPA, is that it is not nearly as easy as the hype suggests. The problem doesn’t seem to be with the technology itself, so why are there such a large number of businesses that are, at best, slow to fully benefit from RPA software?
So where do business users fit in this RPA space? Business users have a role to play – and it’s a very integrated role but it is not in developing the automations no matter how good a vendors’ “automation recorder” may be. The business should be the ones identifying the opportunities, documenting the opportunities and be an integral process in the agile process contributing to ongoing process improvement, testing, adoption, etc. That’s the beauty of agile delivery…collaboration between business and IT quick and iterative development, not letting fear of failure delay progress, if at first you fail… try try again. Wasn’t this the root cause we were trying to solve for😊 in the first place.
Before I profess my thoughts on this one, let’s first look to the experts in the field who are implementing RPA. The big consulting shops or boutique services companies who are also fighting for your business. Groups with hundreds of onshore and offshore employees dedicated to building RPA bots for their clients. Surely the truth of this business user RPA battle lies within their four walls.