Many Australian businesses have introduced new technologies to help overcome the challenges over the past two years. This rapid digital transformation has enabled businesses to maintain, and often improve, a seamless customer service experience.
But with so many technologies offering solutions to the same problem, many businesses have struggled to identify the best solution and have instead created new problems.
Introducing the wrong digital solutions, or not properly training customer service agents, can prevent employees from meaningfully connecting with clients instead of empowering them.
Recent research by Customer Contact Week (CCW) found that 91% of companies say their agents need to access multiple screens or systems during typical interactions.
What are the merits of hyperautomation?
It’s no surprise that leading technology goals for 2022 include improving productivity, reducing customer and agent effort and supporting real-time training and e-learning. Central to this focus is hyperautomation, where organisations automate as much as possible.
“Hyper” driving the customer experience
With tech behind hyperautomation continuing to mature, Gartner predicts that the global market for those tools and tech is expected to increase 12% to $596.6 billion this year.
With this rapid rise, hyperautomation’s valuable addition to the existing efforts of agents and organisations will unlock new possibilities to improve the customer service experience.
Yet, firms need to be certain that they are investing in tech that will empower agents effectively to support clients. Given the link between employee and customer experiences, any hope of improving the customer experience hinges on reducing agent effort.
Introducing hyperautomation tech plays a key role in achieving this goal. Simplifying the processes that human agents need to complete is a key first step in delivering an improved customer experience. With remote working becoming common, agents operating from home cannot easily ask their peers for help navigating a complicated tool or system.
If the platform is not inherently intuitive and efficient, productivity and agent satisfaction will suffer, and so will the client. Outstanding customer service is no longer a “nice-to-have”, it is an essential. Customers want to be able to contact an organisation, get the information they need, place orders, and make enquiries at any time and via the channel of their choice.
We’re on the brink of an experience renaissance, redefining the customer experience. This renaissance is galvanising firms to push beyond the traditional customer service philosophy and reimagine their entire business through the lens of experience, and the voices of clients.
Hyperautomation with a human touch
Instead of “the robots” replacing humans, hyperautomation enables people and machines to better work together and empowers employees to be more efficient.
For instance, contact centres and their agents can accelerate their investments into automation technologies to equip agents with more ways to understand clients and respond to labour shortages efficiently and effectively. While automation can take care of basic self-service requests, agents will be freed up to assist customers with more complex queries.
The agent experience will be better than ever. Smart agent-assist tools will support agents in real time, listening into conversations and providing contextual information, pulling up related content for instant help, or suggesting next-best actions. The combination of AI-powered services and semi-automated AI-assisted services will be the benchmark for customer care.
How to equip and empower agents
Research from CCW found that 59% of firms do not feel that end users have influence over tech decisions. However, without giving the users a seat at the table or evaluating feedback, it will be almost impossible to identify and implement the most suitable technology.
Consumers are demanding faster and more personalised experiences. As they become more comfortable with self-service for simple issues, clients will primarily rely on agent assistance for more complex matters. As such, agents require in-depth knowledge, guidance and client data, available in a single 360-degree view, to handle more-challenging issues.
Removing the need to locate data required will enable agents to devise more creative solutions and form meaningful human connections, one of the main advantages over robots.
Businesses expect a lot from their teams and the human challenge starts with hiring. Customer-centric organisations need to make sure staffing teams have a steady stream of human talent qualified to deliver the required customer service standard.
If we can hire the right candidates, we need training programs to get them up to speed quickly, therefore, we can continuously deal with employee turnover.
Often customer service teams have a high level of churn, as people deal with burnout or lack of advancement, which can be addressed by emphasising training and ensuring the agents are equipped with the skills and tech to resolve higher stakes and more complex issues.
Hyperautomation helps to eliminate operational bottlenecks
Hyperautomation can help agents take care of many required tasks in a more efficient manner. With the correct tech and tools, hyperautomation can augment work and advance sustainability within an organisation. However, before embarking on a hyperautomation journey, organisations must be aware of the challenges to ensure smooth implementation.
Conversational AI and automation are no longer buzzwords. They have transformed into business strategies, ones that can be used across multiple touchpoints in the customer journey. The benefits are evident in the delivery of high-quality, consistent, and personalised customer service experiences along with increased revenue and support efficiency.
The goal to drive better customer service experiences has resulted in a surge toward adoption of hyperautomation tech across many industries. In the near future, executives will require every new initiative in the firm to have automation as part of the execution plan.
We are leaving an era where we adapt to computers and how they can process inputs. We don’t have natural language interfaces to allow us find information quickly, access systems and complete end-to-end processes. These interfaces can be built and improved rapidly.
Hyperautomation technologies open the door to increase revenue without increasing headcount, providing higher quality and more consistent customer service and making it easy and interesting for consumers to stay in a self-service mindset.
Philipp Heltewig is the CEO and Co-founder at Cognigy.