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3 Advanced Call Center Technologies Making Automation Easy

Call centers are hungry for automation. Ask any call center leader and you’ll find that automation is at the top of their wish list.
They might focus on self-service, data entry or better call flows – but any way you look at it, automation is the driver.
So how do you make your automation needs a reality? Let’s look at 3 advanced call center technologies that could help you get started.

In this post:

⦁ RPA
⦁ APIs
⦁ No-Code automation

The advanced call center technologies driving automation

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

That’s right – we’re starting with robots!
Actually, these robots are just software processes… sorry about that.
RPA has been pretty big news for a couple of years now. The core idea is simple; you take a process that should be automated, and you teach the software to do it for you.

What is this good at?

A lot of contact center processes are repetitive and ‘click heavy.’
Think about the after call work that agents do. Sometimes it involves putting the same data into more than one system – which is expensive, error-prone, and boring.
RPA can perform that process for you, as many times as you need it to. Likewise for any back-office process. If it’s fairly simple and / or very repetitive, an RPA provider can easily recreate the process from beginning to end – automatically.

What are the benefits?

⦁ Your processes work 24/7
⦁ They achieve a far higher degree of accuracy than a human
⦁ It’s available for practically any business

What are the drawbacks?

Here’s the big problem: RPA has a surprisingly high rate of failure. Between 30-50% of initial RPA projects fail. That, in part, is why the ROI of this kind of automation is… unreliable.
There’s another issue; automating a badly designed process isn’t the same as replacing that process.
In fact, once you’ve invested in RPA, you’re actually more committed to the bad process!
It’s possible that while you’re trying to automate around a problem, your competitors are solving that problem.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

APIs are often discussed in the context of software development – but that’s not what we’re interested in today.
A refresher: APIs are the ‘universal translators’ that let data pass between different systems. Your CRM might not ‘speak the same language’ as your Helpdesk or your telephony – but APIs help them communicate.

What is this good at?

Call centers tend to use a lot of different systems. The best automated processes work across as many of those systems as possible. So the first step towards automation is integration.
And APIs are very good at integration.
In effect, they make any complex process achievable. Want data from IVR to go to ACD to inform routing? And then to CRM to schedule a next action? API integration is how you’ll do it.

What are the benefits?

⦁ Enables sophisticated process automation
⦁ Completely destroys data silos
⦁ Creates a single customer view for agents

What are the drawbacks?

API integration goes a lot deeper than RPA – and so tends to cost more.
And, while some vendors will claim that API integration opens up unlimited customization, there’s a big ‘but’…
Customization is only unlimited if your development time is unlimited.
Another major obstacle for contact centers has traditionally been a lack of development resources. Basically, you can integrate your systems with APIs, but who designs and builds the automated processes?
Who has the time and the coding skills? (But wait – we’re going to answer that in the next entry…)

No-Code automation platforms

As advanced call center technologies go, No-Code platforms are pretty much the gold standard.
This won’t take much explaining because the clue is in the name! A No-Code platform is a call handling platform that lets you design and build automated processes without a team of developers.
Under one quarter of call centers collaborate in the design of their own processes! That’s bizarre, and probably accounts for a lot of the bad service design you encounter…

What is this good at?

The key word with No-Code is flexibility.
Traditionally, the design and build of new call center services took weeks or even months. It meant describing a service to the person who was going to build it (and hoping they got it right.)
And once a service was created there was almost no scope to change it!
No-Code automation is different. Let’s say you want to introduce dynamic call routing. It will take one person a few days – at most – to set that up.
Even after they’re done, you can keep developing that process with simple tools, just by investing a couple of hours.
What are the benefits?
⦁ Fast, flexible automation
⦁ No need for in-house developers
⦁ Process design stays with customer service teams

What are the drawbacks?

Obviously, some vendors are better than others. Are their tools genuinely easy to use? Are those tools flexible enough to create the right services for your customers, or are they generic?
But overall, if you want to design and build complex workflows without learning to code, this is the way to go.
So when you’re shopping for the right mix of advanced call center technologies, what should you look for?
Integration is key. We’ve looked at front-end integration, via RPA, and back-end integration, via APIs. There’s a good chance that your ideal service involves some combination of both!
And as for the automation?
Just ask these two questions when you look at possible solutions:
⦁ Does it meet our current needs?
⦁ Is it flexible enough to meet our future needs?

About babelforce

babelforce is a global cloud communications platform focused on No-Code integration and automation. It allows non-technical people to build even the most complex integrated processes for customer-facing teams, particularly in the call center.

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