Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Negative impact of Business Process Automation
As discussed in our last blog post, business process automation has a lot of benefits which lead to operational excellence. The ultimate goal of automation is to improve customer satisfaction by providing an excellent customer experience. With the recent pandemic, the digital transformation has been highly promoted and advertised to offer a seamless experience to the customer. The reason behind it is that the customers are connected and want to access all services anywhere, anytime. Businesses need to provide online services/products easily and quickly. If we take the example of the banking sector, as an ex-banker, I witnessed the race to close branches and offer online services. To achieve that, banks need to invest heavily in technology. They need to automate their internal processes to offer a seamless experience to the customer as an outcome.
The biggest mistake made, is integrating technology without ensuring or testing the result. Any technology integration into a business process should be tested to ensure that the business process is streamlined and optimized to deliver a seamless experience. Recently, banks have heavily invested in technology, to offer to their customers a seamless experience that promises fast execution and easy access to their services.
Illustrative examples in the Banking sector
If you have visited a branch recently, you must have noticed that when you request a token number for your banking transaction, you need to provide your phone number. Once it is your turn, the relationship manager will ask you for your phone number to access your bank account! This is where automation doesn’t add any value. In contrary, this is silly!
This is why we insist on testing the automation and making sure it helps to reach the ultimate goal. Another example that definitely increases customer frustration and complaints is replacing a call centre agent by a voice machine. I recently have tested it with one leading bank, it initially asks you for your bank account. What if I am not a bank customer, and I need information? Then if you manage to continue without providing a bank account or phone number, the robot will ask you to talk and use words that can be recognized. It never works!!! And after several attempts, you don’t even get the chance to talk to an agent or get a menu to select from.
This is where automation doesn’t add any value, on the contrary! It is silly! This is why we insist on testing the automation and making sure it helps to reach the ultimate goal. Another example that definitely increases customer frustration and complaints is replacing a call centre agent by a voice machine. I recently have tested it with one leading bank. First, it will ask for your bank account, but what if I am not a bank customer, that I just need information? Then, if you manage to continue without providing a bank account or phone number, the robot will ask you to talk and use words that can be recognized. It never works!!! And after several failed attempts, you don’t even get the chance to talk to an agent or get to select from a menu.
Illustrative example with e-commerce
Another example I can share is my experience with the e-commerce systems integrated with their shipment company.
Two months again, I have ordered items from a famous e-commerce platform. I was updated regularly by SMS regarding the status of my purchase, which was great. But a few days later, I received a call from the online platform, asking me to provide my detailed address. The call center agent emphasized on the fact that this would avoid calls from the shipment company and faster delivery. The next day, I received a call from the shipment company, asking me for my detailed address, because they didn't receive it from the e-commerce platform. The agent apologized several times after being informed that I had a call the previous day. On the third day, I received a call from the driver, asking me again for my detailed address, as nobody shared it with him. This example clearly shows the lack of communication and review of all the business processes.
If the business processes were reviewed and tested after integration, this issue wouldn't have happened. This goes without saying that this increases customer frustration and dissatisfaction.
What would happen if there is system failure?
Have you considered a potential system failure? Do you have a contingency plan? Relying heavily on technology can backfire if you haven’t trained properly your employees to the new systems. Training will benefit your business in many ways. In this case, it will allow your employees to handle the processes, in case of a system failure. By knowing the business processes, they will be able to handle them manually and to continue to serve the customers seamlessly. The other benefit of training is that the IT department will be able to fix rapidly the issue, if well trained. They will be able to understand, localize the issue and solve it.
We are not against technology, but we are advocates of value-added services/products that offer the best customer experience. Operation excellence plays a big part in offering a great customer experience. To reach operation excellence, you have to define, map, analyze, standardize, streamline, improve, monitor, and measure your business processes.
If you need help with your business processes or have a question, contact us now!