In this age of information, companies collect and process a wide variety and large volume of data — more than ever before. Customers’ personally identifiable information (PII), including names, addresses, phone numbers, and financial data, can be spread across systems and applications — legacy and new — as the result of many factors, including how long a customer has been with the business and all the ways the customer has interacted with the business.
A mailing address could be here. Credit card information could be there. Ordering history? Who knows where.
What’s more, one piece of information such as a name or phone number rarely exists by itself. It can be attached to other information that is deemed sensitive such as a credit card number, which is not only valuable to your organization but also to people who will misuse it. Contact centers deal with that risk daily due to the number of times applications are accessed by humans.
The situation has created a needle in the haystack challenge for many contact centers. It can be difficult to quickly and easily find the needle — customer information — in the giant haystack of data storage systems and applications. And once a customer’s information is found, the information needs to be protected.
As an example, an agent at a contact center gets a call from a customer wanting to update his mailing address. The agent has to search through each information source as well as update each source. And that means the customer has to wait and wait for the request to be completed or the agent must tell the customer that a follow-up call is needed — bad for the first call resolution rate (FCR), the average handle time (AHT), and customer satisfaction (CSAT).
The situation can get worse. What if the agent finds the mailing address in a file with sensitive information such as a credit card number or social security number? Now, a potential security issue arises. That’s especially true with agents working from home where network connections may not be as secure and the information may get exposed to third parties.
By employing intelligent automation with software robots, or bots, a contact center can now accelerate the search and update process. A customized, interactive form view can be created that links all the systems and applications that contain customer data.
When a customer’s name and requested information is entered into the form, a bot will automatically pull up and pull together the data for an agent. The agent can then view on one screen the data from multiple customer touchpoints.
Take the mailing address example. One change on the form to update the address will automatically update that address across the board — in all the different systems and applications where it resides.
The bot will work directly with the touchpoints behind the form, while the agent will only have access to the form. So, the agent will only see what’s necessary to complete the request and to personalize the customer experience. The customer’s PII will remain hidden.
The agent will be able to focus more on engaging with the customer as the bot handles the request quickly, efficiently, and safely, with the potential for an improved FCR, AHT, and CSAT score — a happy ending for everyone involved.
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A growth-focused product marketer, Ritu Kapoor serves as director of product marketing. She enjoys launching new products and evangelizing innovations in the RPA space.