Boosting Customer Engagement with Automation

Automation is reshaping how businesses engage with customers through the use of artificial intelligence and robotics. Whilst originally leveraged as an opportunity to reduce costs, automation is the new opportunity to boost customer engagement through improved communication and the ability for customers to serve themselves. In this digital era we live in, automation is quickly becoming a core competency, allowing businesses the opportunity to reduce multiple tasks with minimal human intervention. According to Inc.com, “To remain competitive you need to automate--or someone else will automate you out of business”. Regardless of the extent of automation within your business, it is still critical that automation is run side-by-side with direct customer contact and engagement.

An introduction to business process automation (BPA)

Business Process Automation (BPA) has been defined by Techopedia as the “process of managing information, data and processes to reduce costs, resources and investment. BPA increases productivity by automating key business processes through computing technology.” There are several areas within each business that has the potential to leverage automation such as marketing, accounting, administration and more. For financial advisers and stockbrokers, often several types of automation can be leveraged with the objective of improving efficiencies, boosting customer engagement, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Having a single source of truth for each client has never been more important.

Automation at every stage of the customer journey

At every stage of the customer journey, automation can be leveraged to improve customer engagement and nurture the adviser-client relationship. As prospects explore options, you have the opportunity to allow clients to understand these through targeted communications and information. For example, let’s say that you have advised your client to invest in Exchange Traded Funds – automation allows you to create a singular or sequence of communications that will educate your client on ETFs. Personalising this communication by including information only relevant to that client (eg. this will enhance your existing investment portfolio $XX to $XX with the FY20 forecast for ETF’s at XX%). Not only does this type of automation allow you to showcase your knowledge and expertise, but it also boosts customer engagement by providing information relevant to their needs and personal situation. According to Appian, “Maintaining engagement is essential to the overall well-being of most businesses.”

Improve processes and efficiencies with automation

Not only can automation to be incredibly powerful in terms of customer engagement, it also provides the opportunity for process improvement and business efficiency. The reduction in manual intervention and handling can improve not only speed of communication, but also frees up valuable employee time. Where steps in processes may run the risk of being skipped or forgotten, automation can either complete the task and/or remind (a.k.a. nag) the adviser to complete said task. Automation allows you organisation and employees to “work smarter, not harder” by leveraging existing data already held on clients and prospects.

How to implement automation

Introducing automation into your business shouldn’t be taken lightly, and it’s critical to engage and enthuse your employees about the opportunities automation brings. Building a culture that embraces automation is critical to ensure the engagement and support of your team. To implement automation, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Review your existing internal processes to identify opportunities for automation to be leveraged
  2. Prepare processes and create flowcharts to identify, document and execute automation opportunities
  3. Undertake training with staff members so that automation data is maintained

At all times it is critical to keep your customer’s needs and wants in mind, ensuring that you incorporate these into your processes with the end objective of boosting customer engagement and satisfaction.

Consideration should be given to the resource required to implement automation – both financial and human resource. Data collation and integrity needs to be reviewed, and integration with other systems should be determined and confirmed. The only true way of having a single source of truth is by allowing your systems to work together, with data maintained and synchronised.

The importance of data integrity

From inception to implementation and beyond, automation will be ineffective and potentially brand damaging if client data is inaccurate. Ensuring your data is accurate and maintained is essential to ensure a positive customer experience. This is when the risk of automation needs to be evaluated and considered. Not only will incorrect or inaccurate data reflect poorly on the organisation, but also significantly impact client trust and confidence.

The benefits of automation

According to Appian, “Maintaining engagement is essential to the overall well-being of most businesses… We’re in a societal age where it becomes ever more difficult to capture and maintain consumers’ attention”. The long-term benefits of automating your processes make the up-front investment worthwhile. Here are just a few of the benefits that automation can provide your business:

  1. Increased productivity – automation reduces the amount of time needed to complete a task, and can free up the time of your employees whilst providing better customer service
  2. Reduced time and costs – completing tasks manually takes considerably more time than when they are automated – allowing you to have more time to add genuine value to your business. Automation also reduces the risk of expensive manual errors and can save on administrative labour costs.
  3. Improved quality – automated processes ensures that tasks are completed in an identical fashion, allowing for more reliable customer service, in turn boosting customer engagement.
  4. Data insights – by having a single source of truth your business has greater visibility into how aspects of the business are performing. The ability to view and monitor processes, their status, task completion & timeliness allows accountability across various aspects of the business.
  5. Streamlined communications – through tracking and reporting communications, the risk of information being lost in translation is minimal. With a centralised view of a client at any given time, the risk of losing precious information with an employee’s departure (short or long term) is minimised.  

Complii’s web-based compliance solution allows you to automate, check and process compliance obligations and protect AFSL’s, stockbrokers, advisors and clients. Complii’s Client Portfolio Portal allows your clients to login online, view and update their risk profiles, run and print statements, contract notes, securely contact their advisor (no more email fraud!), track stock performance with live pricing and much more. For more information on how Complii can help you automate your processes and boost customer engagement, visit www.complii.com.au

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