There are several reasons for a company to use Robotic Process Automation tools. Still, the main one is to save resources and time, freeing up its employees to perform more critical and strategic activities for the business.
Automation is becoming a key driver of digital transformation, and RPA software can simplify process automation for organizations. By deploying bots to get things done quickly, companies can prioritize deploying projects and activities that demand human brain power.
RPA software is most relevant for time-consuming and manual activities such as data entry, which can require many clicks and hours of a human employee.
Bots deployed on RPA tools can accomplish these time-consuming and labor-intensive activities in a fraction of the time compared to humans.
From this description of how RPA works, we can deduce that there are three main types of tools. See what they are below:
- Self-learning solutions: using historical and current data, such tools monitor employee tasks to understand completed roles and start them after reaching a considerable level of confidence;
- Programmable RPA robots: programmers, in this case, need to understand and code a set of rules that manage the operation of RPA;
- Cognitive automation: intelligent or cognitive automation solutions deal with unstructured and structured data and learn similarly to humans.
Before continuing, it is necessary to clarify structured and unstructured data. In case you are not familiar with these terms, in a simplified way, structured data is easy to organize and ends up identifying some specific characteristics.
Non-defaulting customers are good examples. A list of customers whose payments are up to date is easily identifiable and objective data. As for unstructured data, they are challenging to identify and more subjective.
In a satisfaction survey, you have reserved a place for observations, a free field in which the customer can answer whatever he wants. This space is open for a story, cases of dissatisfaction, or intricate details of an objective relationship.
For this data to be processed, it is necessary to classify it somehow. From the descriptions of the tools, the most attractive solutions inevitably are those of cognitive automation.
What Are The Prospects For Using RPA?
It is important to note that robots replace the practice of outsourcing. This method started to be used frequently in the 90s, and it is still a matter of discussion when the subject is approached, especially from the labor point of view.
Regardless of the different arguments, many companies used this resource, in most cases, to reduce costs. Several problems can arise from this practice. In addition to labor issues, we can mention the reduced control over the operation and lack of integration between teams. So RPA solves all these points at a lower cost.
While some organizations can still be competitive without RPA, this will only happen for a while. It’s like trying to mine ores with hoes and shovels. To emphasize that the increasing incorporation of robots in processes is entirely irreversible, we brought you some numbers about the use of the tool.
The direct services market includes consulting and implementation in RPA, leaving aside the broader operational services, which indicates an even more expected growth with the evolution of the employed technology.
We can cite the case of Xchanging, a provider of outsourced services. A company that achieved cost reduction between 11% and 30% with the automation of processes. Its professionals received unstructured data from its consumers that were manually processed.
With automation, processes that took months are now completed in minutes.
What Are The Predictions For The Future Of RPA?
Robotic Process Automation is likely to advance through three stages of innovation. The first stage deals with structured data and static rules, with automated activities such as validation and data entry.
The second stage results in specific ways of using resources for language processing and other activities, such as process automation and content analysis. The third stage consists of cognitive processing abilities and language advances. These are RPA systems that can make decisions.
Most RPA solutions that exist today deal with structured data. As far as unstructured text information is concerned, Robotic Process Automation has yet to be explored. For that reason, this field tends to grow with technological advances.
The RPA solutions that exist today are entirely “action-based.” They tend to move very quickly into the thinking stage. This implies understanding contexts and considering variables in the workflow in which actions occur.
Scenarios where judgment and contextual knowledge are required, such as process management and customer complaint resolution, involving numerous exceptions and unstructured data, hold real promise for the future.
Where email, chat, and real-time interaction occur, RPA has still been applied conservatively. This is due to the volume of unstructured data.
Each interaction should be identified in a particular category, such as late deliveries, out-of-stock items, customer address changes, and order cancellations. For each specific problem, there is a sequence of equivalent actions. The use of more intelligent robots that can process this type of data is now entirely possible.
However, some limitations prevent this solution from being applied on a larger scale. As these restrictions are operational and cultural, they will be overcome quickly.
What Customer Improvements Can RPA Bring?
Customer service is a sector of the company that can benefit from RPA. With the possibility of offering solutions to common problems with services, technology, and processes, call centers can count on greater efficiency and superior profitability when combined with RPA.
Process automation is more than just a more accessible and practical way of working with repetitive and boring activities.
It provides pervasive customer benefits that will raise service levels. Robots receive training to put all tasks into practice.
First and foremost, RPA provides a superior customer experience with almost no glitches. The customer can make calls and have contact details, or updated notes, right after the conversation.
In the meantime, the attendant has time to transmit the data again and respond to the consumer’s urgencies. Such efficiency enables the company to care for more customers in less time.
Then, RPA allows agents to integrate information to update systems with just one entry. By enabling real-time information integration and automating processes, all interactions are streamlined. Additional activities that RPA can automate are:
- sending notifications;
- order preparation;
- closing fake accounts;
- updated consumer profiles.
These are just a few examples of what can be granted to systems running on RPA technology.