Published in BizCommunity, 23rd June 2020
By Ryan Falkenberg
Covid-19 has certainly forced a lot of change, very rapidly. Both in the business and consumer spheres, the virtual world has become increasingly important as physical equivalents remain problematic.
The move to remote working has accelerated digital transformation, particularly in the customer service area where tools like chatbots were becoming commonplace before the pandemic. As people are forced to use digital, rather than physical channels, the increased volumes have challenged human support and service staff.
Ryan Falkenberg, co-CEO of CLEVVA, says “Customers are avoiding human contact and are not going to stores/branches, as a result. They’re going online. Historically, online as a channel has just been about information support through chatbots and the like. If you wanted something done, you needed to engage a human who could understand your context, their context, their rules and so on, and we can’t do that right now. Not to the scale needed.”
The banks, for example, have been overwhelmed by applications for Covid-19 relief. The best they have been able to do under the circumstances is to develop an intelligent form for customers to fill in. The problem is that the form then goes to a human to check the applicant’s account and see if they qualify and then kick off a process to approve or reject it and execute (if applicable).
“The banks have gotten an avalanche of requests and as a result have to accelerate a part of their digital transformation and rapidly roll out digital experts that can ask the right questions of applicants, go into the system, check the account status, approve/decline online in one go, and execute,” comments Falkenberg.
And what’s more, these digital experts have to perform in a consistent, compliant and context-relevant way, every time.
“That’s quite a tall order,” says Falkenberg, plus these assistants need work seamlessly with resulting back-office systems.
“Companies have realised that to get straight through processing working, they have to solve the front office issue. Simple digital assistants and online capture forms don’t crack it anymore. Customers want to deal with a digital expert capable of not only diagnosing their issue or need and advising them of a context-relevant solution but also executing the resulting actions so the job gets done there and then.”
This means digital self-service is rapidly transitioning away from performing like an information hub to offering customers a one-touch transaction and advisory service. And with the help of digital workers, this transformation is now possible without having to pull out all the existing plumbing.
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