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Real-time Guidance Keys Deeper CX Value in NICE Robotic Process Automation

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NICE Robotic Process Automation (RPA) manages the order and delivery processes for a company’s entire global operations. One of the world’s largest home furnishings retailers leveraged the solution, which resulted in the company eliminating 100 percent of its order entry errors and saving 5,000 hours on manual processes, while dramatically improving the customer experience.

Loyalty360 caught up with Oded Karev, vice president, head of advanced process automation for NICE, to find out more about this unique solution.

How does NICE Robotic Process Automation create synergies that drive awareness/deeper CX, leading, ultimately, to customer loyalty?

Karev: NICE Robotic Process Automation creates synergies through shorter handle times for customer inquiries, as the robot can work 4-5 times faster than a human, and does so without any errors. By taking on these clerical tasks, the back office human employee can work in parallel to the robot to provide faster and more accurate responses to the end customer–this human-robot synergy is an important element in boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty. In essence, when this synergy occurs, front office agents can focus completely on the call with the customer, give them more attention, meet their needs, and improve customer satisfaction.

Looking ahead, robots will also work on self-service channels such as IVR, allowing customers to complete their inquiries over self-service. traditionally, customer frustration is caused by attempting to complete a self-service inquiry and failing. But now, with agents working in the background of self-service, the success of these channels will rise, and the overall customer experience will benefit. NICE offers a unique desktop automation solution, which supports the agent in real-time, helping them carry out these tasks faster, more efficiently, and with real-time guidance.

How does it work and what makes it unique?

Karev: NICE Robotic Automation supports completely unattended server-based robotic automation and agent-assisted (attended) desktop automation. NICE Robotic Automation is a highly secure, stable, and scalable solution, suitable for the most demanding enterprise needs. It integrates with any third-party or homegrown system. One of its competitive advantages is that it seamlessly integrates with NICE’s analytics, case management, and workforce optimization solutions to deliver maximum value. For instance, customers can integrate real-time authentication into the solution and trigger Desktop Automation agents to assist when a possible contact center fraud alert is triggered.

Advanced features include:

  • Automation portal to monitor, manage and control the robots and processes.
  • An object oriented, modular development tool which is code-less and is geared towards the business analyst users
  • Multi-skilled robots which can handle any type of process
  • Advanced optical character reading (OCR) engine that enables robots to retrieve data from scanned documents and remote desktops
  • Customers and partners can add their own library function modules to the platform
  • Unique Connectivity watcher to alert developers about connectivity breaks that impact the automation continuity.
  • Highest enterprise-grade security. Robots are fully encrypted and fully stored in system database.
  • Highly scalable with support of up to 25,000 robotic clients on a single server

How long has the RPA been in existence and what feedback have you received about how it helps companies in a variety of ways?

Karev: NICE’s RPA program has been in existence for over 15 years. Here are two examples of customers that have seen immediate results from the service:

  1.  Public sector agency – NICE Robotic Automation delivered immediate savings for one agency in the public sector and allowed the agency to work more quickly and efficiently. By eliminating the need for human intervention when updating customer information provided by a third-party vendor, the agency could save $13 million and address the $2.7 billion in fraud annually. Robotics gave the organization flexibility in terms of when changes could be processed, enabling around-the-clock progress. What’s more, the solution ensured zero errors in entering the records and could scale to accommodate peaks of work.
  2. Leading telco - With NICE Robotic Automation, a telco leader could reduce the number of errors and delays in their service, which had a direct impact on the perceived customer experience. The handling time for contact center agents to upsell a package dropped from 42 to 19 days, and the telco realized an 80 percent reduction in the time required to rent a new device, to four minutes from more than 20.

It sounds like it has a significant impact on online ordering and the customer experience?

Karev: There has been a significant increase in ecommerce in recent years. For major retailers, this means that they must also have multichannel customer support centers (CSC) to deliver the best possible customer experience. For the global retailer named in our press release, the company noted that about 40 percent of customers contacting a CSC purchased their products online, while only about 8 percent of them bought their product in-store.

The company has seen a need for even more CSC employees every year, and projections suggest that if no processes change, the company would need 20,000 people to handle ecommerce and service within just five years. That was determined to be an unsustainable service model. The company also recognized a need to work smarter, reduce employee hours spent on routine tasks, and increase employee engagement with the more substantive work they enjoy.

The results:

  • An improved operational efficiency has empowered front office personnel to rapidly resolve customer issues upon first contact. They are further enabled to proactively offer additional service or products by simply asking, “Can I help you with anything else?”
  • Employees are now more engaged and have increased job satisfaction. This, in turn, increases customer satisfaction with their support center interactions and improves sentiment regarding the brand.
  • In addition, self-service channels can often be fully automated to resolve many routine issues, improving yet another aspect of the customer journey.  

How does it impact employee engagement?

Karev: Employees no longer need to remember complex processes, as the robots guide them in real-time to deliver the next best action. Also, employees no longer need to perform the boring, mundane tasks inherent to call centers and can focus on the more interesting work that requires a human touch–this makes their job more engaging and interesting.

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