RPA the boring stuff so the human can level-up

“In the Age of Bots, What About People?”, we raised the question around whether people and Bots can work together. Bots are designed to reduce the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees, freeing up people’s time for higher value work that requires more reasoning, judgement and creativity.

The question then is how to use the time that has been freed up. Does the person to find other work to fill that time, or should leadership actively engage with the affected person to identify new work that is meaningful and will have a positive impact on the organisation? The benefit clearly is in finding the work that will grow the individual and improve job satisfaction putting an end to the routine work and replacing it with meaningful and rewarding work instead. The organisation will realise the value when that new work delivers an enhanced customer experience as well as the efficiency the automation delivered. The key is to take a conscious approach in deciding how to best use the time to everyone’s advantage.

Before we launch into the list of pros, it’s important to realise that everyone in the business has a customer.  Some work with the actual end user customer who exchanges money for the value, whilst others work interdepartmentally, and those relying on their work product are the customer.  When we shift our view point and ask ourselves “who is my customer, who am I helping?” the below points become relevant across the organisation at every level.

Enhanced collaboration across teams

Some of the challenges in providing better customer service are related to the siloed mentality that exists between departments. “Get my part done and move it along”. When people are stressed from doing a high volume of repetitive work, they seldom are open to new ideas and collaboration with staff from other teams. By sitting down with key people from other teams, it would be possible to review the workflow and think creatively about new ways of working across teams to resolving any issues, providing a better customer journey and experience. Freeing up time to have and implement new and progressive ideas.

Meaningful customer engagement

Customer facing employees can become much more engaged with the customer when the mundane work has been removed. They can actively listen to what the customer is asking for and think strategically about how best to provide the solution. By showing empathy to the customer, they can work through the key issues and understand the underlying concern and root cause, which is not necessarily what has been raised as the problem.

Improved focus on quality

The human errors are removed when Bots are used for those mundane and repetitive tasks, and the resultant work is produced accurately on time, every time. Some of the newly available work cycles can be used to train people on how to focus on a higher quality customer delivery rather than just getting the job done. There is an overall improvement in the workplace with both Bots and people in moving towards operational excellence and not only do the people feel heard, they are able to be a part of the change and assist the organisation to level-up.  This can do wonders for the self-esteem of a person, and in turn drives higher employee engagement.

 Identifying common themes

With enhanced reporting and the availability of data, it becomes possible to quickly identify negative trends and points of friction in the customer journey.  People who engage with customers will already have a sense of the common issues, but citizen analysts will be able to use the data, together with their insight, to focus on the problem and its resolution. Causal relationships would be clear to someone working with the processes and hearing the detail from the customer who has the time to spend on thinking to join up the datapoints and identify the appropriate resolution.

 Innovation for new services and/or products

People who engage with the customer will often hear requests for enhancements to existing or requirements for new products or services. For some there is often no incentive to raise this for further discussion, or there is simply no time to take it further. If time is created for more meaningful engagement the representative would be able to ask for further information and understand why the customer is making the suggestion, and raise that in discussions with other customers to gauge the broader interest. If the focus is to create an improved customer experience, then the best way to achieve that is by using the suggestions that customers have provided and assessing them to see what is viable. Channels between teams that work on products and services need to be opened up and the time taken to collaborate to bring about the innovative ideas.  This in turn creates potential new revenue and business growth opportunities for the organisation.

Torch Solutioneers takes a people-centric approach to RPA and will work with you and your team to identify new ways of working, as well as possible reskilling that may be required to leverage the opportunities for the people and business to level-up.