Cutting Average Handle Time With a Robot Assistant

Most celebrities have personal assistants that take care of the routine tasks in their lives, so their rich and famous clients can focus on being fabulous.

Such luxuries are out of reach for the rest of us – but in the contact center, some agents are getting a little extra help from their own assistants. They won’t fetch your coffee, but these automated helpers known as RPAs – robotic process automation – can alleviate repetitive tasks and expedite calls, thus lowering average handle time.

There are two levels of help possible based on the type of RPA utilized. The traditional form can transfer content and information from one system to another, and improve process flow by navigating between screens without prompting by an agent. That allows the agent to focus more on the customer.

“Attended automation” is a more sophisticated solution that provides real-time guidance and help as agents engage with customers. For instance, if a customer says he’d like to sign up for a company’s loyalty program, the RPA will be triggered by that statement and bring up the correct form on the agent’s screen.

Such shortcuts can result in significant savings in time on every call.

For example: an agent greets a customer and verifies his or her identity by whatever means required at that company. Without RPA, the next step would be for the agent to pull up that customer’s file, retrieving data from wherever it may be contained.

With RPA, that data is pulled as soon as the customer’s identity is verified, along with any forms that might relate to the reason for the call. If there are scripted responses appropriate to the topic, those will appear without prompting as well. Without having to handle these tasks manually, the agent can be more responsive to the client and engaged in the conversation.

When the call ends the job doesn’t – there is always after-call work depending on the engagement – processing an order or return, updating a file, etc. With RPA, these tasks can also be executed automatically, leaving the agent free to move on to another call.

By shifting some of the mundane work to RPA, agents can reduce the length of many calls by as much as 2-3 minutes, while also eliminating some of the most tedious aspects of their daily work. Multiply that time savings by the number of calls in a shift, factor in happier agents, and it’s easy to see why RPA is gaining popularity at contact centers.

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