How to Automate the Front Office for Improved Productivity

How to Automate the Front Office for Improved Productivity

Over the past five years, robotic process automation (RPA) and conversational AI have gained exceptional popularity and become top investments for companies hoping to streamline productivity and efficiency in their offices. 

Among the other benefits of RPA implementation together with conversational AI are process improvements, customer satisfaction, reduced costs, and automating mundane tasks related to the business. So it’s no wonder that, according to Gartner, organizations will be able to run 25% more tasks without human intervention by 2023. 

Much of this autonomy will be achieved by using automation for front-office, critical operations, infrastructure, and data processing. Among these, the front office is an often-overlooked place where automation offers a wide range of benefits. 

Why Automate the Front Office?

By automating the front office, customer satisfaction can soar because of the improved efficiency and effective sales and customer service. Front office automation can help by gathering customer data, responding to and updating customer inquiries or complaints, registration, and security checks often completed by a human, front-office team member.

 RPA can complete these tasks with great speed and accuracy, vital for all other operations to serve customers efficiently and effectively. Human team members that have traditionally completed these front office tasks probably won’t hesitate to switch off to RPA, as these tasks can be mundane and monotonous to complete. RPA can handle these processes without error as well!

Automating front-office tasks can motivate employees to become more involved in their roles and within the business, while enjoying the benefits of no monotonous tasks, fewer errors, reduced transaction costs and time, and better customer service experiences. RPA also enables live interactions between the front office and back office to help improve efficiency and customer satisfaction and increase communication between all team members.

How Can Automation Improve Front Office Productivity?

#1. Enhance Customer Service Experience

Excellent customer service is vital to business success and sustainment. Customers depend on and desire a seamless experience across any channels and communication efforts. They expect great support, fast responses, and simple solutions. With emerging technological advancements, customers are starting to expect quick gratification to inquiries. Automation makes it easier than ever to deliver these results customers want. 

The desire for instant gratification to any inquiry has led to businesses investing in RPA and simulating human-customer communication. Front office tasks are repetitive and take up a lot of time throughout the day. Tasks like data entry, validation, data extraction, and more can now be completed automatically. Human employees can focus on other tasks that can grow relationships with existing and potential customers.

Automating these mundane tasks achieves faster results, shorter wait times for customers, clear communication, and consistency across all channels (which benefits both customers and team members), leading to greater customer engagement and satisfaction, better productivity, reduced costs, fewer errors, and faster resolution for customers.

#2. Improved Communication and Collaboration

Automation in the front office can encourage better communication with customers and other team members. RPA is deployed and instantly works by sending out automatic alerts or notifications. Companies can preconfigure these reminders or notifications, and then employees can follow up with customers when needed or desired by the customer. 

With these automated notifications, companies can inform customers of new products, services, or offers/deals on existing products. Excellent communication is vital for understanding customers’ needs, desires, and opinions and position an organization to better foster these relationships. When communication is seamless, consistent, and in-depth, opportunities arise for all parties involved. 

Collaboration between the front office and the back office is mandatory. This collaboration is how issues are resolved, and experiences are personalized for customers. Automation can shorten the time it takes to address customer questions or concerns, and it is crucial to front office success. Being able to communicate and collaborate with the back office in real-time is vital. If both front-office and back-office tasks are automated, things can get done even faster. They can take the customer service experience to another level and unify a business’s customer service protocols. 

Automation enhances team member engagement and productivity within the company. This, in turn, improves retention to lower the total cost of ownership and improve a team member’s overall experience. Automation allows businesses to provide guidance, automatic approvals, and coaching or training across multiple channels.

#3. Lead Nurturing

Keeping customers informed, happy, and engaged across their buyer’s journey is the most challenging yet rewarding part of sales. To increase close rates and shorten sales cycles, it is vital to nurture sales leads with the best and most accurate information to ensure that customers are fully informed and understand the solutions, and value. Frequently asked questions before the sales team contacts them. 

Automating the lead nurturing process ensures that all leads are attended to and followed up, all while delivering the right content. Companies can systematically and automatically track rates of engagements and send out additional content at the critical stage of the sales cycle. Automatic lead nurturing can eliminate some types of sales pressure, enhance efficiency, cut costs, and allocate time to more valuable sales process elements.

#4. Improve the Sales Order Process

The entire sales order process can be challenging. It involves various stakeholders and departments (including sales, customer service, finance, and analytics/logistics). It can involve many applications, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, business processes management, accounting software, approvals, and workflow exceptions. 

Sales orders are traditionally processed manually, which is incredibly slow, mundane, and inefficient. A lot of time is wasted, and unexpected delays can reduce profits and annoy customers, resulting in loss of business. By automating order entry, your company can boost sales and marketing efforts, keep track of business growth and reduce the costs of manually performing these tasks involved in the sales order process. 

Automation is incredibly accurate, which streamlines tasks and delivers the correct information to the right person, in the right department much faster. This frees up more time to focus on business growth, revenue, and innovations within the organization.

#5. Make Tangible Improvements

Without an implementation strategy, these automations can fall flat. The entire point of automating your front office is not to do things entirely, but to do things better. Employees can save vast amounts of time by not having to do the mundane tasks and can spend time doing more important ones. Front office automation can create improvements in that area first. 

Automations can also work with humans to make office tasks easier. For example, hiring managers can use automation tools to filter through resumes. The hiring manager can then interview applicable candidates and then select the best fit for the position. The automation system can then distribute the necessary onboarding documentation to the selected candidate. This automated, online onboarding process can eliminate manual data entry and streamline processes, thus improving team member productivity. This can give your company a competitive advantage in many ways.

Automating the front office can save your business money, enhance productivity, and improve the customer service experience. By implementing RPA and conversational AI, team members are spared the tedious tasks and can focus more on customer-facing operations. 

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