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Leveraging Automation for effective customer communication

August 14, 2020 - Manish Bararia Associate Director - Product Management, EdgeVerve

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Increased adoption of eDelivery channels driving enterprises towards implementing automation for customer communication.

Communication is an important aspect of running a business efficiently. An enterprise needs to stay in constant touch with the customers to be able to serve them better. With the world going digital and electronic delivery (eDelivery) taking over almost entirely, regular communication has become even more important to stay relevant, and ahead of the competition.

Customer Communication needs span across departments and involve multiple stakeholders in an organization. For instance, in a Telco, the core billing department has quite a few communications to be sent to and received from the customers, so do the technical support, marketing, and collections departments. Similarly, in a bank, the relationship management team continuously communicates with the customers, so do the Billing/Invoicing and the marketing department. Besides, the various business lines like Loans, Credit Cards, etc. have their own set of communications/correspondence.

With the increased adoption of digital/eDelivery channels, the mode of communication has also become significant. Some communication must be sent over email, some posted over a website, some are better marketed on social media, for some others SMS is the most effective method of communication and, albeit with reducing frequency nowadays, some are even sent physically.

Considering all of this, having a coherent strategy that works across departments, stakeholders, business lines, modes of communications, and – not to forget, the multiple IT systems as well has become a complex challenge. Further, there are cases where we under-communicate or over-communicate with the customers – simply because organizations just don’t know who is sending what communication to customers. With all these challenges, not only is it difficult to comprehend a consistent strategy, it is even more difficult to implement it. The kind of flexibility needed to implement a Customer Communication strategy/plan is difficult to achieve as it goes through too many IT applications and causes too much friction in existing assets/investments.

In such a scenario, do organizations give up? Or leave every sub-unit or department to fend for themselves? Well, of course not. In fact, because of all this, organizations are more conscious and aware of the need to have a consistent customer communication management plan than ever before. They have tried out various approaches to solve this multi-faceted problem. Some organizations have tried various out-of-the-box (OOTB) products, and some have tried to create in-house solutions to manage these communications. And these options have provided results with a mixed degree of success. With the flexibility that is needed because of the multi-departments, multi-systems, and ever-changing customer demands, it is difficult to have a sophisticated hard-wired solution for this. This is where Automation and specifically Robotic Process Automation (RPA) comes in. Adding another exciting dimension to this is Intelligent RPA.

RPA, in both attended and unattended form, is perfectly suited for this kind of scenario. It works as an OTT layer on top of existing IT systems, works with existing IT systems and if done well, creates a potent communication mechanism with the customer. RPA is non-intrusive and super-agile and works as a human would – only faster and with less “human” errors. It can bring in human capabilities as and when needed as well in the form of Attended Automation. It can take care of under-communication and over-communication as a centralized communications robot can track when was the last communication sent to a customer and therefore can hold back or expedite the next communication.

Let’s walk through this with the example of a bank and some specific communications it needs to carry out.

As you can see, many of these use cases are easily taken care of by RPA. There are plenty more such easily visible use cases across industries. The simplicity and ease of implementation of Intelligent RPA to cater to such use cases make it the best bet for any agile organization.

Moreover, beyond the obvious set of use cases mentioned above, there is another technology that helps organizations decide on which processes to automate and which ones to optimize/standardize. And it is as applicable to Customer Communications as any other space.

Process Discovery is a technology that helps organizations understand their processes and variations better by removing human bias and providing data-based intelligence. This helps organizations optimize the processes and guides them to select the right processes to automate. With this, organizations have found more automatable processes than what was obvious, and sometimes also pointed out processes as not-to-be-automated so that time/dollars are not wasted going after something that would be difficult to automate.

Case Study – A large bank in North America:

To summarize, with increased adoption of eDelivery, enterprises are fast moving towards implementing automation for customer communication. Leveraging Intelligent RPA (Attended & Unattended) along with Process Discovery, can be a promising and agile answer to an organization’s customer communication needs. Not only can RPA handle the ever-changing underlying systems with ease; they can also handle these without IT involvement to a large extent.

AssistEdge provides a cohesive automation platform through its products like AssistEdge RPA, AssistEdge Engage, and AssistEdge Discover.

AssistEdge RPA offers a platform for automating various processes, bringing about sweeping changes across an enterprise. It provides the capabilities to build and execute both “Unattended” and “Attended” intelligent automation. Powered by Albie, the cognitive engine, AssistEdge RPA 18.0 empowers enterprises to embark on the journey towards Automation Singularity.

AssistEdge Engage helps organizations in reimagining their contact center and achieving superior customer experience. Customers benefit from faster query resolution, reduced hold time, increased first call resolution, and suitable offers, thereby improving brand connect and loyalty.

AssistEdge Discover is a leading process discovery product that captures and leverages user’s digital interactions to create business process maps and transformational insights that aids organizations in process improvement, automation, and efficiency. Powered by empirical data, the outcomes are free from human biases providing a powerful foundation for operational excellence and continuous improvement.

Manish Bararia

Associate Director - Product Management, EdgeVerve

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