Every business needs to sell to survive. issues in the operations side of selling can result in customer complaints or selling at reduced prices due to clerical errors.
Automating complete sales operations process eliminates these errors and provides fast service to your customers. Since automation processes sales faster than manual processes, customers will receive invoices earlier, leading to earlier payments and improved cash flow.
Since procure-to-pay process involves extracting invoice and payment data from multiple systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), banks, vendors, logistics companies and since not all these systems provide easy integration methods they generally involve some form of manual labor. RPA bots can fill integration gaps. Since they work on the front-end, they can provide an easy way to automate integrations.
With a fully automated procure-to-pay, you can ensure that procurement best practices are followed and there’s a single source of truth for all transactions.
3- Customer onboarding
Most B2C businesses have a customer onboarding process that is critical to reduce churn and get customers to start using the product. Using OCR and cognitive automation, most customer onboarding actions can be completed instantaneously even in companies that rely on legacy systems, greatly improving customer experience.
Workfusion’s case study explains how they achieved Straight Through Processing (STP) in a major bank’s customer onboarding process and reduced onboarding time from 20 days to 5 minutes.
4- Data migration and entry
Legacy systems still perform critical functions at companies. For example legacy billing systems need to interface with other systems and such systems may not have the capability to pull relevant data from APIs. In such cases, employees manually migrate data using formats like CSV. RPA can prevent such manual labor and potential clerical errors it brings.
Furthermore such systems that keep data up to data enable improved analysis and decision making. We are living in a day when even marketing has 5000 applications to choose from. RPA can help integrate applications and allow for more holistic analyses.
5- Extracting data from PDFs, scanned documents and other formats
Screen scraping, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and basic pattern recognition technologies enable data extraction from almost any format, reducing the need for keying in data.
6- Periodic report preparation and dissemination
Every business requires regular reports to inform managers and ensure team are aware of their progress. Preparing such reports and sending them over every week or month is not labor intensive but it distracts employees. RPA solutions can easily auto-generate reports, analyze their contents and based on the contents, email them to relevant stakeholders.
For example, a report of a telecom operator showing areas with connectivity issues has different recipients based on its severity. CTO should be copied in reports with criticial issues and head of network should be copied in reports with major issues. RPA bots can analyze reports to modify recipients according to provided criteria.
7- Generating mass emails
Mass emails relying on data from multiple systems are painful to produce manually. Especially if you are sending them frequently, consider automating the process.
8- Creating and delivering invoices
This is a case of data replication. Same sales data needs to exist in both CRM and accounting systems. Instead of manual data replication, bots can update accounting records, prepare and deliver invoices from the right email accounts.
9- CRM Management
Updating interactions to CRM is time consuming and unproductive yet necessary. Because Salesforce acts needs to act as the source of truth regarding customer interactions. That’s why there are mugs, T-shirts and all sorts of memes about “If it is not in salesforce, then it doesn’t exist.”
There is an emerging class of solutions that allow companies to integrate their email, call and other communication data to CRM. If you can not find a good solution for the CRM system you are using, you could write a simple bot to update your CRM records with customer contact data.
10- Loading a detailed customer profile
customer including her previous interactions with support
11- Getting detailed billing data.
Whenever you call customer service regarding your most recent payment, you need to stay on the line for a minute or two while the customer service rep scrambles to pull your record and understand it. With an RPA bot programmed to retrieve that data, your payment data can be invoked in seconds with a single click from the rep.
12- Updating user preferences and other user information
A customer rep needs to understand the customer’s intent, perform the necessary actions by switching between different systems and applications and inform the customer. This has several disadvantages, customer needs to wait while the rep is busy dealing with data, sometimes asking for information that had been asked before. This reduces customer satisfaction and increases call duration. It’s one of the rare examples of a company wasting its resources while creating dissatisfaction for its customers.
The solution requires identify frequent customer queries, examine customer rep actions in response to these queries and build RPA solutions to facilitate those actions. There can be a variety of solutions:
- Customer rep can launch a bot whenever several pieces of data need to be synchronized across systems. With the press of a button, the bot completes all actions in miliseconds. This is a simple RPA implementation that can be programmed within hours and create value quickly.
- A dashboard can be created for common queries. Customer rep will fill the necessary data to resolve the issues and bots will use that data in several systems to complete the transaction. Such dashboards will require more effort but still are feasible to create within weeks for most common actions.
13- Resolving simple but common customer issues.
For example, resetting a broadband customer’s connection to the server can fix some simple connection issues. This can be done without switching screens with a simple RPA bot.
14- Automating multi-step complex tasks that require little decision making
Some legacy systems force customer service reps to complete numerous steps to complete some common tasks. If these steps do not require human judgement, they can easily be automated, saving significant time.