Introduction to RPA
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software designed to mechanize high-volume, repetitive and time-consuming, manual tasks like maintenance of records and transactions, form filling, copy-pasting, or moving files and folders, or data entry, etc. in an organization. This helps free up human resources which leads to employees contributing their time and effort to more rewarding roles and taking on more valuable responsibilities.
RPA eliminates errors, completes the work efficiently and accurately. Since RPA can be integrated with legacy systems, it is also cost-effective. It also assists in decision-making with critical data-based insights.
RPA can be seen widely adopted in industries like Banking, HR, and Finance, where inputting repetitive information and generating outputs are performed like chores. Such industries need to embrace RPA since it also provides a competitive edge.
Some Tasks that can be Automated Using RPA are:
- User setup and configuration in the systems
- Employee, customer, and vendor onboarding and maintenance
- Aggregation of reports for accounting, finance, and taxation
- Customer due diligence for Know your customer and anti-money laundering
- Payroll processing, collecting, and connecting data between multiple departments and systems
- Automatic CRM updates and data gathering for sales teams
- Competitive pricing and monitoring for online shopping portals
- Processing orders, scheduling and tracking shipments
Introduction to Chatbots
According to Oxford Dictionaries, a chatbot is “A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the internet”.
Chatbots are an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program or software that uses important, pre-designed user phrases and signals to provide the customer with basic services. They are designed with emotions that help in delivering a seamless, conversational experience. It uses audio or written methods of conducting a conversation with customers on websites, messaging applications, mobile apps, or telephone.
A chatbot is also known as Chatterbox, Talk bot, Chatterbot, or an Artificial Conversational Entity (ACE). Chatbots provide front-end customer service. They give instant automated responses to simple issues faced by customers. But if complicated issues arise, the bot connects the customers to a live customer service representative. Thus, an efficient problem resolution mechanism is developed.
A chatterbox Works in Two Ways:
Set guidelines: It can only respond to a set number of requests from the options fed in the software. Hence, customers can only select queries from the options provided. If they have a more complicated issue, the chatbot will lead the customers to a service representative.
Machine learning: With continuous human interactions, they can identify communication patterns and learn how to make real-life, human-like conversations. Chatbots have their own artificial brain. Examples of chatbots are Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Google Assistant.
Integration between RPA Services and Chatbots
Simple or complicated but, monotonous tasks like filling out forms, creating reports, copy-pasting and moving data, running if/then commands, operating social media, opening emails and processing attachments, performing calculations, operating systems, reading and writing databases, extracting structured data from documents, employee, vendor or customer onboarding, payroll processing, accounting, etc. can be completed by RPA.
Although AI companies can provide a 24-hour service, 64% of respondents reported in a survey that 24-hour service is one of the main advantages of chatbots. Customers’ queries are solved regardless of the time and location with the help of these bots. This helps build a positive brand image and a good reputation for the company and drives customer satisfaction.
The conversational AI uses its machine learning to read customers’ emotional state and responds accordingly. Also, RPA technology automatically starts the backend process to resolve customer issues. These backend systems that RPA steers through include enterprise resources from help desk and billing, and payment to CRM, HRM, and HCM.
Some industries where RPA chatbots might be useful are banking, travel, telecommunication, healthcare and insurance, supply chain management, shipping, and logistics, etc.
How Chatbots and RPA Complement Each Other?
- RPA works well with structured and monotonous data, whereas chatbots work with unstructured conversations because of AI. Hence, RPA helps gather and organize the unstructured data, helps find responses to customers’ queries from this unstructured data fed by chatbots, and helps chatbots in responding to customers’ queries from the stored data.
- Chatbot helps RPA with intricate, real-time problems, gather data from the user, process it, and give a relevant statistic back. This leads to the two-way communication process.
- ● The chatbot understands customers’ desires, and RPA works behind the scenes to make it happen. They work together to create a smooth, efficient, and seamless experience for the users while also benefiting the business.
Advantages of integrating RPA with Chatbots
● Reduces Operating Costs
Since chatbots act on behalf of customer representatives and attend to customer queries/complaints, the employees have more time to undertake indispensable responsibilities. Employee satisfaction level increases since they are now free from doing monotonous tasks.
Unlike humans, chatbots work 24×7 and do not demand extra pay. The influx of questions does not mean an increase in cost. Hence, it helps in reducing the operating costs of the company.
The range of chatbots is much higher. It can address thousands of users with no key difference in effort. It can run across applications, devices, websites, and regions in different languages at once. A few other advantages can be:
- Better customer engagement
- Keeping a track of consumers’ data to help them if and when they contact again.
- Unlike humans, who can make errors, chatbots can operate efficiently and accurately
There is no disagreement on how useful and powerful RPA and chatbot integration can be for the business. It is redefining the customer service sector by constantly raising the bar for the efficient and correct course of action and speedy problem solving with its engagement.
RPA will become even more cost-effective and easier to adapt to such technologies soon. It will also help in fulfilling complex customer demands. The organizations that have spent their valuable time and money will not only have an advantage but also flourish in their respective fields.