Using Intelligent Automation to drive customer acquisition…but where lies the intelligence?

05 June 2019

Customer onboarding is the process that users go through when they start their journey as a customer of your product or service.

Rather than throwing random information at your newly acquired customers, customer onboarding refers to the process of gradually and effectively showing the most salient information to your customer as you move through the process.

It’s about teaching them how to make the best out of your product/service. Onboarding new customers involves listening to your customer’s questions and concerns and answering them. It’s about making the experience as smooth as possible. Relying solely on technology to manage this most valuable of processes is a serious error in judgement. However, leveraging the incredible benefits that technology can bring to the process whilst deploying the key people involved throughout the process right from start is the key to success.

The benefits that automation can bring to any business process is evident and a well-trodden path. Putting in place a business process that has been designed and tested in close collaboration with the key stakeholders at the customer-side is the starting point. Process design workshops, with those teams and individuals who understand intimately each and every touchpoint throughout the customer journey, will give you the best chance to ensure you are implementing a process most likely to deliver success. This is a top-down responsibility: C-level sponsorship of this most critical of business processes is imperative… without this ownership, responsibility and ultimately accountability, you are more than likely to fail to implement something which is at the very heart of what you are delivering to your customer.

That’s one of the main reasons why customers will leave and never come back.

The role which technology plays in this process can most certainly not be over-emphasised. Intelligent Automation in particular is the perfect combination of technologies geared to ensuring that the customers’ best interests are served throughout.  Our goal in any customer onboarding process is to show users the value this blend of automation technologies has to offer them. We introduce them to these capabilities and then show them all the available features in a consumer friendly way. Our focus is to make the user experience as simple and seamless as possible. The fundamental building blocks of Intelligent Automation technology are Process Orchestration, Cognitive Capture and Robotic Process Automation (RPA):

Process Orchestration allows you to design your end-to-end customer journey, factoring in all the variables throughout. Business rules will govern what happens at each and every stage through the process. The imperative is ensuring that your process becomes sticky… that customers don’t drop off or become confused or disinterested. Good customer engagement and an optimal user experience right from the first impression is fundamental to this. Understanding that your customers will have different and unique preferences in how they are engaged, through a range of platforms and devices, how they are communicated with and more importantly what they want to avoid is key.

Capture Technologies have been around since the formation of modern computing systems. Deployment of integrated intelligent capture technologies as part of a document heavy onboarding process such as invoices, contracts or account opening allows for huge automation opportunities with humans only intervening to handle exceptions.

Teams of software robots created via RPA technology, have become the new digital workforce, capable of acquiring data in a wide range of formats from a huge number of sources, using it to make decisions, triggering actions in downstream processes, and learning from both humans and systems to improve over time. On its own, RPA technology offers organisations significant opportunities to benefit through repetitive task automation. Deployed as part of an Intelligent Automation strategy across a range of business processes, it provides even greater potential.

Many employees are apprehensive when it comes to considering enterprise automation projects, especially when they hear of RPA initiatives; many fearing their jobs are at risk. However, post-implementation, employee satisfaction and ultimately customer satisfaction is one of the most telling metrics of success. This is the key to optimising the customer onboarding experience… the human workforce and specifically those workers who understand implicitly what is truly important to your customers, how customers like to be communicated with, talked to, consulted with, followed up on, left alone when necessary etc. etc.

A truly Intelligent onboarding process is one that elevates your most valuable asset directly to the fore of the customer experience and ensures that whilst the technology enables numerous and significant improvements across the board, you can continue to have those experts who know your business and your customers better than anyone else do what they are absolutely best at!

Brendan McNabb (Chief Business Development Officer, Lithe)

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