Contact Centers Should Look at RPA, Frost & Sullivan Recommends

Robotic process automation (RPA) has tremendous potential to help contact centers reduce costs and increase operational efficiencies, research firm Frost & Sullivan has concluded.

Those cost reductions can be realized through increased accuracy, compliance, and speed of delivery without added personnel costs, Frost & Sullivan concluded in its latest analysis, titled "Robotic Process Automation Market Outlook for Customer Care, 2017."

RPA uses software that incorporates artificial intellignece, machine learning, and similar technologies to automate routine, high-volume tasks that are sensitive to human error, thus reducing labor costs, while increasing accuracy. In addition, RPA applications can access data restricted from live agents, helping to avoid security bottlenecks and improve operational efficiency, the firm concluded.

"Robotic automation processes can dramatically improve the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of customer care departments, such as contact centers," said Frost & Sullivan Digital Transformation Principal Analyst Nancy Jamison in a statement."However, it's important for organizations to have a cross-organizational plan for automation, as RPA applications can significantly impact people's roles and adjacent processes. In addition, having such a plan enables organizations to see where automation should and shouldn't occur."

The following are just some of the areas where RPA can be leveraged, according to the report:

  • Contact center automation, including guided resolution/next-step actions, biometrics implementation for improved security, and repetitive tasks;
  • Cross-organization process automation: repetitive data entry, improved consistency and accuracy in data input, IT offload of simple projects;
  • Security and compliance: security bottleneck reduction, regulatory compliance, fraud pattern detection, and alerts;
  • Finance: fraud detection, compliance risk reduction, customer lifecycle management, and regulatory compliance; and
  • Insurance: policy renewals/administration, premium recalculations, underwriting, and data aggregation from disparate sources.

"Organizations considering RPA tools should look for solutions that are scalable and reliable," Jamison said. "Other key considerations include choosing RPAs that follow a development process that is repeatable, provides access control and auditing, and can be managed similar to live agents with centralized control."