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AI/Automation

How telecoms companies can leverage RPA to improve operations and maximize their workforce

Enterprise automation software can help service providers gain a competitive advantage and help achieve business objectives. Automation has the power to make routine telecoms processes more efficient, which can reduce costs and enable employees to deliver stronger customer service. Here is how:

Manage vast, unstructured datasets

As CSPs expand to cover more customers across geographies, they find themselves accountable for managing high volumes of information from network providers, engineers, sales representatives and customer service representatives – and usually all in different formats. Without efficient information flows and a way to consolidate this data, telecom workers can find themselves in a state of information overload, in which the volume of data is too high or disparate to be easily actionable. Worse, processing this data manually can result in costly errors and can take hours of employees' time, thereby stalling operations as staff get their bearings.

To operate with increased agility, CSPs can use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to compile information from various locations and then automatically plug it into their operating systems. RPA is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy and manage software robots that emulate humans' actions interacting with digital systems and software. Just like people, software robots can do things like understand what is on a screen, complete the right keystrokes, navigate systems, identify and extract data, and perform a wide range of defined actions. But software robots can do it faster and more consistently than people.

For example, Finnish telecoms provider DNA leverages RPA to automatically update its subscription database whenever a customer makes a change to their account, so that agents don't need to spend time comparing new and old datasets side by side and updating records manually. As a result of deploying a software robot for this task, DNA witnessed a tenfold increase in performance, with 100% accuracy for the information being recorded.

With data collection streamlined, employees have more time to then analyze data and use it to inform strategic business decisions. CSPs don't need to fear operational downtime while implementing RPA either, as some programs can be easily integrated with existing legacy systems to deliver results fast.

Increase employees' responsiveness to customer inquiries

Stay-at-home orders during the pandemic have made people more reliant on CSPs than ever before. This dependency can result in intense pressure on CSPs' customer service teams, many members of which may be working remotely or with decreased availability during this time.

Automation not only frees agents up to engage in more customer-facing activities, but it also makes those interactions more meaningful. Software robots can be deployed on a CSP's website as the first point of contact for customers, fielding straightforward questions like what the specific terms of their plans are so that agents have even more time to dedicate to high-value cases (e.g., persuading a customer away from switching to a new provider). Robots can also support agents during actual conversations by automatically pulling up a customer's profile when they call in so that the agent has the necessary information ready and can resolve the case more quickly. Additionally, with insights into a customer's sales history, the agent is equipped to recommend and secure upselling opportunities to increase the value of transaction.

With demand for a better digital experience on the rise, now is the time for CSPs to invest in automation technology to get ahead of their competitors. By transforming processes on the back end of operations and significantly enhancing the quality of customer service offerings, automation accomplishes more than just maximizing CSPs' ROI. With robots freeing up employees to work on other activities, they can channel their creativity toward activities that will drive greater value for the business.

— Joel Cherkis, VP of Global Industries, UiPath

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