RPA: Personalise, Don’t Mechanise the Customer Experience

Meeting customer expectations is an increasing challenge in our on-demand era. Get it right, and businesses can secure lasting customer relations.

Fail to hit the mark, and customers can turn to a competitor in a matter of seconds. Personalisation is the foundation of customer retention through building trustful and meaningful relations that make customers feel valued. Embracing automation technologies can help organisations meet these increasing customer demands through freeing staff to spend more time on creating a personalised and meaningful customer experience. It is small wonder then that, 90 percent of business decision makers and 80 percent of knowledge workers agree that automation could help transform the customer experience, according to global research from Blue Prism. It is time then to learn what automation really means for customer experience and how businesses can make the most of it.

Race to keep pace

For some time now organisations have been reaping the benefits of digital transformation by implementing technologies that increase profits and efficiencies. But as more and more organisations progress in their digital transformation, the competition to stand out is an increasing challenge. The retail banking sector is a prime example. Consumer interaction with banks has been transformed in the past decade as a result of rapid technological adoption. Digital disruptors such as Monzo and Starling Bank tapped into our cultural obsession with technology and are reshaping consumer expectations of what good and simple banking looks like. As a result, the customer experience in the retail banking sector is enjoying a renaissance, as even traditional banks are pushing to improve their own consumer expectations. This has resulted in the customer experience rising to the top of many bank’s priorities, as customer retention becomes a key metric for success. Proof of this change can be seen in, Monzo’s recent news that it has just reached two million users. However, while Monzo’s success is impressive, it’s smaller scale makes it far easier to deliver a more personalised customer experience. The real challenge is for established banks such as HSBC, RBS and Lloyds to deliver the same customer experience but at a scale many orders of magnitude larger. One way of the key ways to do this though is via automation such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Using the very latest connected-RPA to automate certain repetitive and mundane tasks has the dual benefit of speeding up tasks while also freeing human workers to deliver the personalised customer experience that consumers expect.

Enter Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

In fact, the benefits of connected-RPA are already being felt from the boardroom to the shop floor. According to Blue Prism’s global research, 92 percent of business decision makers plan to extend use cases of automation across their business, and 76 percent agree RPA offers more than just time and cost savings. RPA is taking on more time-consuming and process-based tasks and freeing humans to take on more fulfilling roles requiring strategy and creativity. By freeing up the digital entrepreneurs that already exist within a business, organisations can enjoy the benefits of staff with more time to think and work on solving key business problems as we as the opportunity to personalise the customer experience. Over time organisations can implement automation to undertake certain roles and restructure staff into more customer-facing roles, but such technologies can also be a direct solution to streamlining and enhancing customer service.

A great example of how RPA can improve the customer experience is with Lloyds Banking Group. The 250-year-old bank has more than 30 million customers, 75,000 staff and 2,000 branches across the UK. They are re-imagining what the customer experience could look like, using RPA to help shape this

strategy into a reality. The organisation has ensured a ‘safe at scale’ approach, investing in a few of their customer journeys before they confederate out RPA further. In turn, RPA is a significant lever in transforming the customer journeys at Lloyds, freeing staff from mundane, repetitive tasks and re-skilling their talent.

Personalise, don’t mechanise

It is tempting for businesses to implement automation technologies at speed in order to transform the customer experience. Blue Prism’s global research reports that 61% of business decision makers agree that their organisations are struggling to keep up with customer demand, so it’s no surprise that automation technologies are on the rise. Yet these technologies must be implemented with strategic IT involvement who have done the due diligence at selecting the correct RPA solution to scale with. If organisations are to deliver a strong and personalised customer experience, they must get the right stakeholders on board so they can serve at scale. Decision-makers must do more than just implement technology, but combat the cultural anxiety around automation through reimagining the customer experience and training staff for this change. Automate the wrong processes, and risk hindering the customer experience by creating a robotic service that offers no human interaction.

Business decision makers are facing up to the reality of meeting customer demands. Business decision makers though must set clear expectations on how and why they are to invest in automation technologies to enhance and personalise the customer experience. Get it right, and the business, the worker and the customer win. The key to improving the customer experience then is for these technologies to be implemented appropriately so they enhance and don’t hinder customer satisfaction.

About the Author

Pat Geary is Chief Evangelist at Blue Prism. Blue Prism’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software enables business operations to be agile and cost effective through rapid automation of manual, rules based, back office administrative processes, reducing cost and improving accuracy by creating a “digital workforce”​.