Conversational RPA is a concept that has recently gained prominence. With the growing sophistication of technology, particularly in Artificial Intelligence (AI), this is a subject to consider when exploring Conversational AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
These technologies offer workplace solutions that are both efficient and simplified. As a result, many businesses consider implementing Conversational RPA or Intelligent Process Automation in their daily operations because of the groundbreaking benefits.
Conversational AI and RPA as different operations
To understand the integration of Conversational AI and RPA, you need to understand the different functions they play individually and how their integration is a revolutionary move to simplify how corporations conduct business.
Robotic Process Automation uses software robots, often known as bots and virtual assistants, to automate routine and repetitive tasks at scale, to remove inefficiencies, redundancy, lower costs, and optimize speed and efficiency. This software might range from simple rule-based automated processes to advanced machine learning-based solutions.
An outstanding feature is that it focuses on removing human intervention from crucial processes. It is controlled by organized datasets rather than human or chat augmentation and centered around back-office procedures governed by a standard set of principles.
On the other hand, Conversational AI can be used in any user-specific process that involves voice or message interaction. It can interpret intention using natural language understanding (NLP) technology, then automate processes required to execute that intent.
The idea behind Conversational RPA
Using a combination of chatbots and RPA, businesses can solve many typical issues.
This is through the integration of the front-end functions of Conversational AI and the back-end functions of RPA. RPA focuses on automating business processes, while Conversational AI removes the inefficiencies, traffic and friction when dealing with customer interactions.
This means that agents are more efficient because they don’t have to waste time on repetitive tasks like acquiring customer data, copying information, and filling out paperwork.
Furthermore, using RPA and conversational AI allows for greater personalization of the user experience. Conversational RPA captures and assesses enormous quantities of consumer data using machine learning and then delivers insightful, relevant, and personalized responses.
The impact of Conversational RPA
Conversational RPA is used to streamline numerous processes across industries.
Improved customer experience
One way to secure customer loyalty to your brand is by ensuring that the customer experience is pleasant from the start to the end of their buying journey. Conversational RPA achieves this by securing a speedy, helpful and seamless interaction through chatbots.
For instance, if you are an insurance company and a client wants to submit a claim, this technology can quickly obtain all the relevant information from the claimer. In the back office, the RPA bot will review their policy status to assess whether they are eligible for a refund.
The insurer can seamlessly process the claim with this technology and either deny or accept the claim, all this time maintaining constant communication with the claimer.
Improved employee experience
While your priority should be your clients, you cannot have a happy client without a happy employee. Conversational RPA can be used to simplify how you interact with your clients.
For example, when it comes to training, entry and exit management, performance management and talent development, scheduling, leave, and payroll handling, you can utilize automation and the self-service feature of chatbots.
Improved hiring experience
The hiring process is a frustrating and grueling experience for the HR department because of the monotony and volume of resumes to review and candidates to interview.
With Conversational RPA, a significant number tasks can be automated, such as resume screening, candidate vetting, face-to-face interview scheduling, and online video interviews.
Reduce business costs
By automating several business processes, a business can save thousands of dollars that would have hired extra human labor. In addition, there are reduced costs that come from dealing with clients at scale, reduced traffic, and reduced losses in sales.
Reduced time to complete tasks
The use of chatbots means that tasks can be completed in record time and not just the exchanges between the virtual assistants and customers. With RPA, these smart machines can record, store, retrieve and process information without human intervention. Moreover, since there is no need for human interaction, these processes are faster and error-free.
Increased employee productivity
Employees are more productive because they do not have to deal with mundane and repetitive tasks that induce fatigue, boredom and consequently error. They have the mental and physical capacity to deal with more demanding tasks that require human intervention.
Increased competitive advantage
With conversational RPAs, businesses do not have to close. They can run for 24 hours, from anywhere, anytime, and unattended. Because of the increased speed, performance, and ability to deal with clients at scale, the company can enjoy increased sales and revenue.
Creating a Conversational RPA Strategy
To successfully introduce Conversational RPA, you have to create a good strategy. You can follow these simple steps if you need guidance on creating a Conversational RPA strategy.
Mitigate employee concerns
A constant fear of workers, especially with the advancement of technology, is the obsolescence of their jobs. Machines can do their jobs faster, for longer and more minor errors. This means that news of a Conversational RPA will probably be met with hostility.
However, to minimize employee concerns, they can be thoroughly briefed on the purpose of this integration which has nothing to do with reducing employee numbers. Instead, it is a tool to simplify processes, reduce redundancy, human error and free up time for high-level tasks.
Set realistic expectations
Some companies look at automation as a quick fix, a one-size-fits-all solution for their problems. They might assume automation will help them significantly reduce the number of employees, sharply reduce handling time and significantly improve customer satisfaction.
While this has happened for some companies, it is not the norm. The most probable outcomes are reduced errors and reduced time is taken, leaving room for high-level duties.
All stakeholders need to decide on the expected outcome when introducing conversational RPA, then set realistic goals with guidance from the Conversational RPA strategist.
Leveraging the Right Software and Skillsets
There is no one-size-fits-all for a pilot program for Conversational RPA. For simplicity, consider three factors: people, processes and technology. It would help if you considered your employees’ skill sets in comparison to the technology you want to implement.
Do they have the skills to manipulate this technology? What are you trying to achieve? What processes are you trying to automate, and which software is available for your exact needs?
Put together an efficient support team
It is vital to have a team with skills to execute a successful Conversational RPA strategy that will handle all hurdles and needs. Developers; will be in charge of designing, testing, and delivering automated systems that conform to stated design principles and standards.
Process analysts; who document the unique needs for each automated process, assuring reusability, robustness, and scalability, as well as cost and time-saving.
Project coordinators; While problem resolution is critical, so is the ability to communicate with IT and other teams effectively. Therefore, you need coordinators to ensure all groups are on the same page and moving at the scheduled pace.
Obtain the right data
Data collection and processing is one of the most critical steps during a Conversational RPA strategy. It can make or break the entire process. Therefore, you need to be vigilant and conscious of every stage of data mining, processing or manipulation to ensure no errors.
The team needs to find missing, inaccurate, inconsistent, duplicate and orphaned data.
Challenges of implementation of Conversational RPA
Difficulty getting employees on board
At times, it is not easy to get employees on board with a Conversational RPA strategy because they automatically assume the software is meant to replace them.
Sometimes, employers see Conversational RPA as a quick fix to underlying problems like customer dissatisfaction, handling time and excessive employee numbers, which it is not.
This refers to missing, inaccurate, inconsistent, duplicated and orphaned data. Where any such data is present, it affects the efficiency and performance of the Conversational RPA.
Lack of skills
In some cases, as much as you want to introduce sophisticated technology into your business processes, your employers do not have the necessary skills to utilize this technology, and training them would mean unanticipated costs and company hours.
Lack of a consolidated team
Your company may have the right technology, skills and strategy, but if you do not have a team to coordinate and manage the piloting of this Conversational RPA, it is bound to fail.
RPA and other innovative ways are all about re-assessing, changing business processes so as to flourish and have a competitive edge with companies in the same industry.
Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.