Improving services at a time when financial restrictions can hamper large investments means leaders need to act smart in order to develop and deliver enhanced provisions to customers and citizens.
Organisations dedicated to innovating their customer service model should seek to take advantage of automation software. Automation is not new, chat-bots on websites and automated email workflows have been around for a number of years, however the rewards of embracing automation are yet to be fully reaped.
Customer service automation brings benefits that are felt both internally and for citizens. These include savings in time and money as well as a streamlined customer centric product that focuses on delivering enhanced customer service experiences.
By bringing customer service functions such as complaint management online, organisations are not only accessible 24/7, the complaint handling process can be started even when case workers are absent. For example, a form submission can trigger a workflow that automates stages of the complaints process that drastically reduces the number of tasks requiring human input.
A complaint can be analysed, read, categorised, assigned and an initial response can be produced and sent to the complainant automatically. Human workers are freed from menial tasks to excel in value adding areas where their skill set can be more effectively utilised. Over the course of a year this can save days or even weeks’ worth of time.
Automation will also improve response times. According to the Interactive Intelligence Group, speed was pinpointed as the most important service factor with 75% of all respondents craving shorter response times. The traditional approach to solving this issue would have been adding human resource at great expense, yet as outlined above, automation has changed this with technological solutions now leading the way.
Critics of automation often cite that it removes the human face of organisations. Whilst this is true to a certain extent, consumer behaviour has changed as technology has advanced in the past 20 years. Sectors such as banking and retail have driven this with the development of digital services, where accounts and products can be accessed from any location on multiple devices, ultimately delivering services so easy to use that the benefits far outweigh any loss in personal interactions. As a nation, we are becoming digital natives where our first thought when there is a problem is to turn to Google for help.
The success of any automated case management solution ultimately comes down to the architecture of the process and the technology used. When a well programmed workflow is deployed on the most appropriate form of technology, this mix is the formula required to save both time and money.
Over the next few years as digital transformation programmes continue to evolve we will see more and more automation in our everyday lives. The public authorities who embrace automation will benefit the most from greater efficiency.
Equiniti ICS work in partnership with public sector organisations across the UK and Ireland helping them to deliver of digital transformation objectives. If automation sounds like an area you are keen to speak more about, contact us and we will be in touch.