Automation in customer facing roles has generally seen a negative backlash, especially where complaints are concerned. The thought was that in replacing people with robots, customers would feel their interactions were colder and this may be true. The use case for automation in these areas is not to replace people but to ensure that those people have the right information faster, have less paperwork and can serve the customer faster and more efficiently.
Review customer complaints: The reason why a robot is generally not suited to complaints in particular is that often they will come down to a subjective issue on quality. Where a bot could help is simply in pulling up customer details. It’s often frustrating for customers when after waiting 10-15 minutes to speak with a person they then have to wait another few minutes while their details are pulled up. RPA can work across systems and silos and pull information from different departments in literally seconds.
Process Refunds: Apart from in very straight forward cases, a person will most probably have to decide whether to issue a refund, but a bot can certainly process that, update ERP and finance teams and pull this data into reports or live dashboards.
Handle enquiries and communicate: Although Chatbots are useful to ensure communication in a 24 hour world, they are only as good as the people who design them and will ultimately pale next to a real person. Despite much of the hype artificial intelligent can be considered simple pattern recognition at this point and although automation can ensure an enquiry or complaint goes to the right department or person, it is limited to anything more than this.
Gathering and updating customer data: For people dealing with inbound calls, updating and collating information is a time-consuming action and gets in the way of them serving more customers. Bots could attach call records to a record, take actions such as taking someone off a particular mailing list.
Automation is all about serving data faster and the impact on customer facing processes such as enquiries and complaints should be looked at from the angle of what data would enable the team to serve the customer faster. This could be knowing what the stock level of a product are without needing to log into an ERP for example.