How can technology continue to enhance the customer experience?
Does it have limits before it starts to have an unintended negative impact?
Technology-backed service improvements in the legal sector typically deliver a customer experience that feels seamless, faster, and familiar. “Familiar” because it reflects day-to-day life where clients engage with Amazon, Uber, online banking services and so on. Today’s clients are comfortable online. They’re comfortable with chat bots. They like the option to call a service representative but also to be able to access the service through their mobile without making a call. They want easy access to their bills at anytime from anywhere.
With services and pricing so competitive, many organisations seek competitive advantage by kick-starting technical projects related to customer experience. Doing so without any real understanding of the customer journey is unlikely to deliver the desired improvements. The starting point has to be mapping the customer journey. As you map the journey, note the customer’s expectations, their pain points and those ’make or break’ touchpoints that define how they feel about your organisation. In this way, you can see what areas need improvement and at which stages technology might deliver benefits. Negative impacts occur when organisations employ technology for technologies sake – feeling pressurised to “digitally transform” without pausing to reflect on what’s truly needed.
Customer journey mapping highlights where service responsiveness, accuracy, knowledge, availability, reliability and so on is lacking. Increasingly organisations are choosing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to revolutionise process efficiencies and deliver the very improvements needed. Put simply, RPA is just software (known as bots) that automates a process e.g. onboarding a client, invoicing, searching through files, providing answers to frequently asked questions and so on. By its very nature it provides those levels of response, accuracy, reliability etc. associated with a superior service experience. We’re talking about immediate responses to client emails. 100% accurate billing. Bots are designed to handle and manage data, to open and ‘read’ emails, to scan and process documents, to screen scrape – so much that forms the bedrock of a legal firm’s service. Clients don’t need a human to send emails that acknowledge contact, or download, search and provide data. Clients don’t care if a bot does those tasks; they just want their issues resolved quickly without mistakes.
Without question, there are points in the journey where a human touch is what is required. Any task that requires creativity, ingenuity or empathy is better suited to a human than a bot. Using RPA for the logical tasks liberates your employees to focus on clients that need a human connection. The future holds this combination of human workers and bots delivering the customer experience. The bots can handle processes such as service ticketing, document processing (including customer forms and applications), contact centre operations, order processing, data allocation and reporting, and customer data management, data validation and checks – the repetitive, logical tasks. Your employees will drive improvements using their emotional intelligence. RPA is a huge opportunity to complement your employee’s abilities to overcome customer hurdles and deliver an experience fit for today’s competitive landscape and the future.