With Robotic Process Automation (RPA) getting more and more popular for replacing human handling by automated processes, it only makes sense to try to apply RPA in Call Center environments. One of the examples found on the web is to apply RPA during handling of customer phone calls, performing actions in multiple applications within the landscape. Even though this might sound like a good example for applying RPA as it replaces routines-based human activity and it aides the Call Center Agent (CCA) in handling the call effectively, it’s worthwhile inspecting the existing landscape first.
If RPA has to be applied across application borders, the first question must be whether or not the existing landscape is still up-to-date. Specifically, given above scenario, is there a CRM application in place and if so, is this CRM application capable of supporting the CCA as required by the existing business processes? (CRM) Cloud applications like Salesforce.com are capable of specifically handling above scenario by integrating existing business processes into the cloud platform giving the CCA one customer view and one application to work from. This already helps the CCA in performing his/her tasks in a more efficient way.
Of course there can be exceptions, there might be legacy applications in the landscape that cannot be integrated in any way just because those applications don’t support today’s technology. RPA as mentioned above could be a viable solution if these applications must be consulted during a customer call, however, obviously it’s worthwhile looking into modernizing these applications.
So now the integration issue is solved, the CCA agent is capable to perform his/her work from one application in an effective manner. How can the CCA be supported further? Looking at it from a Salesforce point of view, processes can be configured to enrich the data registration during the phone call. Also business processes can be started within Salesforce or in other applications either through point-and-click or using coding. In either case, there is no need for RPA applications to perform these actions.
Of course RPA can still be applied in a Salesforce environment to increase the effectiveness of a Call Center as a whole. A great example is the usage of chat-bots, but also various classification issues can be solved using RPA. As opposed to the scenario where RPA is used to overcome architectural gaps as described above, RPA like this is now used to actually lift the Call Center to the next level.