If you have been keeping up with the latest trends in AI technology, you probably know about chatbots and RPA are two of the two most widely adopted and popular AI technologies available. These two technologies form the bulk of AI-based applications used by businesses. But, let’s consider the possibilities that can be unlocked by integrating these two powerful technologies with each other in order to develop an even more technically advanced powerhouse.
Although there are many trends impacting the chatbot ecosystem, an incredibly important and interesting trend is the integration of a chatbot with robotic process automation (RPA). Currently, business chatbots navigate several challenges, mostly dealing with issues in customer service, employee self-service and scalability. Now, by harnessing the power of automation from RPA and the cognitive intelligence possessed by chatbots, the entire experience can be taken up a notch, resulting in increased productivity and business advantage. This can occur when chatbots are correctly integrated with RPA to develop intelligent, automated and end-to-end customer and employee experience.
As chatbots are increasingly being relied upon to carry out a wide variety of tasks across various functions, they will require back-office RPA robots that have the ability to quickly locate information and perform transactions on the behalf of users.
RPA And Its Growing Importance
So how exactly does RPA work? RPA involves using AI software and machine learning capabilities to execute diverse, repeatable tasks like managing queries, carrying out transactions, inputting data, performing calculations etc. That was previously being done manually by a human workforce. Currently, RPA is deployed to streamline and automate back-office operations in HR, Finance, Accounting etc.
It is estimated that robotic process automation (RPA) software revenue is expected to reach around $2.4 billion by 2022
Implementing RPA software does not involve changing or restructuring existing infrastructure and systems. Rather, its system sits on top of the existing IT infrastructure as a separate layer, as opposed to directly being a part of it. As a result, businesses can quickly integrate RPA technology with their existing infrastructure and systems.
Dissimilar to traditional IT automation, RPA technology is able to adapt to changing situations and new circumstances. Once the software is trained to comprehend the actions of specific processes in the outline applications, RPA software can manipulate data, trigger responses, initiate new actions and communicate autonomously with other systems.
Chatbots (front office bots) interact with customers or employees in order to send information, carry out tasks or record their requests. Based on the application, bots need to be integrated with and have access to information from varying business systems. These systems can be about the help desk, intranet, CRM, Business Intelligence, LOB, HR knowledge bases etc.
If these systems have modern APIs, then the chatbot can gain access to the required information independently and without any problems. However, if the systems do not have modern APIs, the Chabot might not be able to integrate and retrieve information accurately.
This is where RPA comes into effect. Integration of RPA enables chatbots to effectively navigate through legacy enterprise systems that do not contain modern APIs
The RPA-Chabot integration is an incredible combination and a game-changer for two distinct reasons:
- Chatbots powered by RPA can integrate with disparate and multiple back-end business systems. RPA allows chatbots to quickly locate and retrieve information from these systems and manage more complex, real-time customer/employee queries or requests at scale.
- Similarly, chatbots, when requested by a user, can notify RPA to carry out specific mundane tasks without having to involve a human employee.
The combination of chatbots and RPA can tackle several common issues faced by businesses today. They can enable businesses to meet the growing customer expectations cost-effectively by integrating the automation capabilities of RPA with the self-service features offered by chatbots. This leads to an increase in employee productivity as they no longer have to spend time on routine and mundane activities like collecting customer data, copying information, filling out forms and paperwork etc.
Additionally, Chatbots using RPA can become more proactive the more it learns and improves the personalization of the customer experience. Leveraging machine learning allows RPA bots to harness and analyze large quantities of customer data to derive meaningful, contextual and individualized up-sell and cross-sell offers to customers.
Here are some of the key benefits of using RPA bots in a business:
- Improved employee and customer experience
- Reduce business costs
- Reduced time to complete tasks
- Increased employee productivity
- Increased competitive advantage