COVID-19 has thrown us into a new world of working. While many businesses suffer, others are struggling to cope with exponential increase in demand for their services. To limit economic damage, and to manage increased/new workloads, businesses and governments are turning to technology.
Businesses that are seeing unprecedented spikes in customer activity are in a desirable position. However, this does present significant resourcing problems. For example, retailers whose shops have closed have seen sales shift entirely online, at least for those who are fortunate enough to sell online. Meanwhile, many contact centers are experiencing higher-than-usual volumes of customer inquiries. The sudden uptick is putting enormous pressure on these organizations’ employees, as well as their digital systems.
Trissential has been helping these businesses cope by deploying robots, at a swift rate, to allow for the increase in online and contact center interactions. We have just built a proof of concept which allows a contact center agent to work in collaboration with a robot to create and edit account details. The robot carries out all of the repetitive tasks associated with this process and the interface gives prompts to the agent to allow for smooth – and fast – movement through the process. This allows the organization to handle a greater volume of customer requests and deliver an improved customer experience each time.
It’s not just businesses that are being overwhelmed by a change in demand. Healthcare systems have been tested beyond their limits as patient numbers surge. Aside from the obvious capacity issues that this creates, it has put a massive burden on administrative workloads. Increased appointment-making, testing, hospital admissions and mass recruitment of healthcare workers all require additional administration. To manage this, the healthcare industry worldwide is finding enormous benefit from process automation, which can supplement the work that overstretched administrators are currently facing.
As we try to imagine what our new ‘normal’ will look like as we move through these unprecedented times, there are many questions that arise. What will happen to our workforces and how they operate? Will businesses reverse the changes that they have made and go back to exactly how things were? It seems unlikely: it doesn’t make economic sense, and it would be impractical. However, some employees are starting to return to the office for at least part of the work week, while sales channels may become more varied. The work involved in this alone will require certain processes to be automated to ensure employees remain focused on the business-critical tasks that will help to future-proof their organization.
Businesses are getting a taste of the benefits that process automation can bring. As we have seen during this crisis, robots are not replacing humans; they are taking on the time-consuming tasks that are distracting people from important tasks or overburdening already-stretched teams. We expect that a combined workforce – of digital and human teams working in tandem – will become more commonplace, but less daunting for businesses and their employees. This integrated and intelligent workforce will change how we do our jobs; but as has been evident over the past months, change is the only thing we can be certain of.
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