Robotic process automation (RPA) may bring to mind robots that are doing the work of humans in a contact center. However, in the outsourcing industry, RPA has so far been envisioned as software to boost the efficiency of rules-based tasks. The focus on designing robots that think like humans is still in its infancy.
For instance, a robotic ‘agent’ may not replace an agent at your business process outsourcing operations. But the robot may automate repetitive tasks performed by the agent, saving him/her time to devote to more important or creative tasks. Or the robot may manipulate an application during customer interactions in a way that helps the agent optimize engagement or focus on high-value or complex customers conversations more effectively.
No outsourcing company is exactly looking to replace its human workers with their robot counterparts. The wisdom behind automation is to leverage its intrinsic benefits while involving employees in more strategy-oriented tasks.
Integrating automation into your process requires careful planning, testing and implementation. You may need to tweak your business model and build an ecosystem of partnerships with technology providers. Before you can get down to business, you must determine the kind of value RPA can potentially deliver. Here are some points to ponder over:
- Cost savings: According to Deloitte, 43% of organizations believe that innovation can reduce the cost of delivery. You can explore the areas where automation can lower costs or create monetization opportunities.
- Availability: Robotics software is available round the clock. Like live chat support that works 24/7, automation tools can be utilized to perform process-driven tasks in the absence of humans.
- Efficiency improvements: As mentioned earlier, a major benefit of RPA to an outsourcing company is the time and effort that it saves human workers on routine, mundane tasks. As accuracy levels are high with programmed robots, there is no question of human intervention or error. Automated software can optimize throughput and cycle times to improve the overall efficiency of BPO processes.
- Employee satisfaction: By serving as an enabler and assistant, robotics software can inject a freshness to the usual routine and encourage new ways of working. Employees can put time savings to productive use, such as reskilling, leadership development, creative brainstorming and training.
Robotic process automation should not intimidate, but excite. With careful consideration and proactive planning, outsourcing companies can bring their business, technology and people into the 21st century.