Across industries, AI and automation have begun to revolutionize the way work happens. While business process automation is nothing new, today’s emerging technologies have the potential to fundamentally restructure how enterprises organize, prioritize, and execute workflows. All of this leads to an autonomous enterprise that can generate higher outputs without necessitating an equivalent investment in traditional overhead. Moving toward a more autonomous model can unlock the kind of growth and acceleration that has eluded many large enterprises in recent years.
If you want to understand the impact of the autonomous enterprise, you might start by examining customer service: An industry marked in equal parts by simple, rote, manual tasks and complex, intertwining, often emotionally charged workflows. Autonomous customer service can handle much of the basic work directly, streamline and untangle difficult processes, and open up customer service representatives to provide more emotive, effective service.
Let’s break down the impact autonomous will have on customer service in four key areas.
I: The customer experience
Customer service starts with the customer. All of the complexity and inefficiency that can exist within the contact center is passed to the customer in the form of long wait times, self-service dead ends, or convoluted paths to resolution.
Autonomous service also starts with the customer. Straight-through processing can resolve many customer inquiries on the spot, directly in the channel, using tools many orgs already use, like chatbots or email bots – now powered by AI and automation. As the enterprise moves toward autonomous maturity, capabilities like proactive service become possible, where a customer situation triggers preemptive outreach, resolving a potential issue before it develops.
II: The employee experience
When customers resolve more of their own inquiries without ever reaching a customer service representative (CSR), the contact center employee experience becomes markedly better. With fewer manual tasks on their plate, CSRs have the bandwidth to spend more time on complex inquiries that require a human touch, such as the sensitive conversations that happen in insurance or healthcare settings.
But autonomous customer service can also help CSRs perform at a high level more consistently by streamlining almost all of the work they do before, after, and during interactions. This could mean serving up relevant articles or cases triggered by something a customer says during an interaction, or filling in key information on the fly without requiring the CSR to type or copy it in, or even automating the entire post-interaction wrap-up.
III: The back office
Customer service orgs will also benefit from the same autonomous elements that power all kinds of enterprises at the process or back-office level. AI can help improve operational efficiency by identifying and remedying redundant or unduly complex processes. Autonomous enterprises are also better equipped to uncover risk, from compliance and governance to sustainability.
In the contact center, these attributes go even further. CSRs often rely on legacy tools working in concert to deliver effective service – autonomous service aims to de-silo, consolidate, and orchestrate the tool stack.
IV: The business opportunity
What does this all mean for business leaders? Consider a few examples from real enterprises beginning their autonomous journey:
- One global insurance company saves employees over 50,000 hours per year by automating tasks related to copying data from documents or opening and filing emails.
- A large bank built 35 applications to automate thousands of hours of manual work after uncovering back-office inefficiencies through process mining.
- Another bank increased customer engagement rates multifold by using AI to deliver next best actions for their CSRs to offer customers in real time.
By automating work out of the contact center altogether, autonomous enterprises can deliver better, faster service without increasing headcount. Doing so through a low-code platform for AI-powered decisioning and workflow automation ensures continuity across existing systems and users. Additionally, predictive decisioning opens the door to revenue-generating opportunities and helps move contact centers off the back foot, from a reactive model to a proactive one. In short, an autonomous approach can improve productivity, effectiveness, and revenue.
Focusing on the low-hanging fruit, the first stages can yield immediate results for the enterprise – and it can continue to reap the rewards of autonomous service on its journey toward autonomous maturity. Want to learn more about how to achieve autonomous maturity in the contact center? Click here.