I have been working for many years in the Customer Experience world and picked a few things that will help you along the way in creating the success we all want from our robotic process automation projects.
Feel free to contact me at any time If you want to discuss them further or just give me your view on it.
By Torbjörn Hörberg, Customer Experience SME, TM Group.
Let’s start this!
Involve the agents early
I started as an agent in a contact center and have experienced it all when it comes to handling multiple customers and guiding them through the journey, while at in the same time handling all the applications needed to complete inquiry.
The agents know what to do and create smart shortcuts themselves to cope with the workload. Therefore, you should listen to them and take their “own” processes for best result.
It also helps when it comes to early adoption of the new tool and process if they have been part of the journey.
Involve the IT-department early
For many this is like:
“Now, why should we? The vendor said no IT was needed early on.”
Well that might be true, but trust me, IT will be needed along the way, especially during the implementation. Maybe to do something as simple as opening a port or grant access.
The entire process gets a lot easier and the project runs smoother, if we involve IT early to show the potential and how it will help to boost the customer experience greatly, no IT-department can say no to that.
Involve customers if possible
Best case scenario. If we could get input from the customers to try out the process and add feedback to it, give them something in return for participating.
You should of course get the most valid insight from the feedback in either your Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) or surveys, but if not, we can help you through that as well.
Have all the data
If you don’t have all the data for the process you will end up remaking the process as soon as some additional metric data appears. So be careful with getting all the data right. And keep this as metrics for later to measure the success.
Data Management is also a point where we can be your go-to business partner.
Map processes in detail
Same as the point above, this is one of the most crucial points.
Make sure you map all deviations of a process. Thing can and will go wrong down the line, so the job to be done here is to map all possible steps and processes in detail. This way you’ll be as prepared as possible, when something goes sideways.
Ask the questions:
– “Why do your agents perform this particular process?”
– “What if this happens – what then?”
Prepare the process to be robust to create a safe and bulletproof process. When I go in and perform the mapping, I always sit with at least 3-4 different agents to really see all sides of the process to get a good and diverse overview.
Include all channels
People being new to this type of automation has the believe that it only belongs to a certain channel. But the applications out there today is designed for all channel types, from phone to social media. This is called omnichannel.
Keep in mind when you design an automation process that any given inquiry could end up in any of your channels. Therefore, design the processes to include all your channels, and not only traditional ones.
Watch Torbjörn's latest BPA video, where he talkes about this particular subject in more detail.
Follow up on success criteria
I hear from many companies that the automation they created is not returning any hard-metric values, but still the process does cut down for example AHT (average handling time) on inquiries handled over the phone… And then they ask, “how is that?”
If you are keeping AHT as a metric in your contact center you should see it go down, if not that time we freed up is being taken by the agents for something else during the calls. If your agents do exactly this, it should also show in the other metrics, like queue time is going up?
Agents realize they have more time to take the same amount of calls as before. Therefore, you should change that metric, so it follows the change in AHT.
And always keep setting up goals for the process and monitor them constantly. This is also an area of expertise of mine.
Aim big but act small
The greatest and most common pitfall when implementing RPA is that companies take on more than they can handle from the very beginning. You should learn the crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run.
A common scenario is that businesses get eager to start an RPA project and they find the most complexed process there is in your business and try to automate that.
Ask yourself, “why is this process complex?”. The answer might be that it is probably because there is a lot of applications, instances or groups involved etc.
And then I say to you, “don’t make that mistake.”
Start with taking a few lower hanging fruits from that before mentioned complex process, break it down into smaller pieces and start automating that.
The tricky part here is making sure you streamline the way you’re building the automation for every lower hanging process, so when all the lower hanging processes are automated, you’re able to connect them. When all the lower hanging processes are connected, then your complex process from before has been automated in a good, strong, streamlined programmed way. This will also make it easier to maintain and change any of the single processes down the line.
“Why would I need to change anything down the line?”, you ask. Your customers’ behavior and expectations change over time, and your need to amend your RPA solution accordingly. You can keep track of your customers’ behavior and expectation using various methods, which I will be glad to discuss with you 1-to-1.
This concludes my tips and tricks on how to make your RPA journey a success. After reading this you might have questions, feedback, comments etc., and I would be
So, hope you got some pointers in the automation process project world, and as I said in the beginning, please let me know if you have other ideas on input!
Let me know if you want to discuss more or if you want to pay you a visit.