The Evolving Role of Business Process Automation in the Customer Service Experience
Deon Scheepers, Regional Business Development Manager, Interactive Intelligence Africa
Contact centre companies are still being forced to continually evolve in order to satisfy an ever more informed and demanding audience.
Research has shown that one of the keys to improving the customer experience lies in the effective redesign of business processes. Yet, in most instances, short-term goals tend to take precedence over significant process automation efforts as a result of the everyday ‘busyness’ of business.
The outcome of out-dated and non customer-centric processes means an inevitable drop in customer satisfaction. In today’s competitive and constantly evolving landscape, businesses simply cannot afford to compromise on their customer service delivery, and should focus on the improvement of core processes in order to ensure their long-term success.
Whilst companies are ultimately a product of their leadership, employee base and culture, their core processes can be substantially improved through the implementation of Business Process Administration (BPA) software.
Lightening the Load
Far too often, businesses rely too heavily on their employees to execute business processes that could be better handled automatically. Contact centre workers often struggle to perform their tasks to the best of their ability as a result of insufficient integration within the company’s systems.
Knowledge workers regularly end up manually re-entering the same data across a number of applications as a result of this insufficient integration, resulting in less speedy service, and a substantially increased margin for error.
BPA Systems are able to greatly reduce pressure on employees, through seamless integration with legacy back-office systems. The result is a vastly simplified user interface, and a substantially reduced workload for contact centre staff, who no longer have to navigate multiple screens and applications.
An integrated system such as this also reduces the need for manual processes, thereby reducing the likelihood of human error. Over and above this, contact centre employees are able to better focus on the primary task at hand – servicing the customer.
See Things From The Customer’s Perspective
Many companies have also made the mistake of creating their systems and processes around the structure of their internal organisation, rather than paying appropriate heed to the customer’s experience.
The building of processes around the needs of the organisation rather than those of the customer can quickly result in mounting frustration, and can leave businesses struggling in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Companies need to offer more viable pathways into their business processes, as this is what savvy customers now demand. Complicated IVR menus that mimic the company’s internal departmental structure have no relevance to the end-user, and, whilst this might save on day-to-day operational costs, the financial impact of a dissatisfied customer base can be enormous.
In the vast majority of cases, this problem arises due to a company’s inability to place sufficient focus on customer satisfaction. Many tend to develop a unified view of their customers, as a result of data being spread across multiple systems, and tend to lose sight of what kind of experience will ultimately delight the customer.
Contact centre agents often become so caught up in the process involved in the facilitation of a customer experience, that they lose the ability to actually engage the end user in an appropriate manner.
BPA systems ultimately enable contact centre staff to view each customer as a unique entity, as they collate appropriate information and reduce the need for endless administration, thereby humanising callers, and helping contact centre staff to view them as more than just a cog in a very complicated machine.
Streamlining An Organisation
Business processes form the cornerstone of any business and brand, and can play a huge role in dictating an enterprise’s success. A strong foundation of sound processes enables a business to evolve to the needs of their customer base with greater efficiency and ease.
Automated process management tools can serve as a vital first step in a business’s re-examination of their core processes, and can help to facilitate a revitalised approach to customer service.
Out-dated processes often result in the customer losing out at the end of the day, and, whilst BPA systems are certainly not the answer to all a company’s problems, they can help to streamline the customer service chain, affording corporates the time and opportunity to refine their approach to their most important asset.