It’s a common misunderstanding that automation exists to replace humans, but that is far from the truth. As Ian Wilson, Senior Vice President, Marina Bay Sands explained in an interview with us, “[Robotic and Intelligent Process Automation] look to reduce low value tasks ... both allow our employees to focus more time on how to take good care of our guests or how they can add more value to the organization.” Customer experience leaders must understand first which processes in their organization can benefit most from automation and where human interaction is most highly valued.

The benefit of optimizing business processes through automation is not just in achieving a higher ROI on your investment, it’s also about improving the customer experience. Below are at least three ways the customer can benefit:

1. More consistent experiences

One of the big reasons why customer service teams struggle to deliver a consistent experience is due to fragmented back-end processes. Most organizations today are still dealing with the challenge of data siloization, which means that agents will often need to reach out to another department in order to access the requested information. In those cases, the response the customer receives depends a lot on the agent’s own knowledge and their access to the department owning the information. Automated services such as chatbots are more likely to deliver a consistent response to customers with the same question or issue.

2. Faster responses

One of the most common pain points for customers is waiting for service. Studies show that customers’ expectation of what constitutes an adequate response times is getting faster and faster, so while it might have been reasonable for customers to wait a day for an agent to respond in the past, the expected response time for questions on social media can now be as fast as under an hour. Picking up a phone to reach a call centre is usually a customer's last resort given the predictably long hold periods and transferring between departments. For multiple years running, Forrester survey respondents reported using web or mobile self-service more than speaking with an agent over the phone. Digital channels such as messaging services have the advantage of being able to deliver immediate automated responses to straightforward questions while also providing an option to reach human agents when required.

3. More accurate information

All successful transactions rely on having the right information available to the right people at the right time. No matter how much service training is performed, it’s impossible to anticipate all issues. One of the biggest barriers faced in trying to deliver accurate information is that products and services are often released and updated faster than adequate training can be done. It’s nearly impossible to achieve equal product knowledge across all team members – usually service agents will need to contact other departments such as procurement or warehousing to obtain the required information. A Business Process Application can help ensure the flow of accurate information in real time so that it is always accessible.

Getting started with auto-replies 

Auto-reply customer emails are an easy way to automate some of the most basic service tasks. Examples of when an auto-reply could be appropriate are: following up an online interaction, such as a thank-you email when a subscription is made, or when customer feedback indicates that no immediate action is required but you wish to acknowledge the interaction.

Local Measure’s real time feedback tool offers businesses the ability to send a custom auto-reply email when a customer has left positive feedback. Since service teams will typically prioritize responding to negative feedback, an auto-reply to positive feedback ensures that all responding customers are delivered a timely reply. Learn more about how you can save time with Pulse.